1996-1997 Recall of NC015 and NC015CP Federal Pioneer Circuit Breakers in Canada - Some Federal Pacific Products renamed Federal Pioneer
In May 1999 we (DJF) learned from Schneider Canada that Federal pioneer circuit breakers sold by that company are re-named from Federal Pacific circuit breakers and that
two 15-amp single-pole models NC015 and NC015CP made between August 1, 1996 and June 11, 1997 have been recalled.
Notice: This Federal Pioneer circuit breaker notice pertains only to an older recall of specific circuit breakers sold in Canada under the brand name Federal Pioneer FP circuit breakers. This notice does not pertain to other FP equipment and not to Federal Pacific Electric panels and breakers - the U.S. product design produced and marketed in Canada under the Federal Pioneer or FP brand.
There has not been a blanket recall of Federal Pioneer electrical panels (FP Panels) in Canada nor is there a financial assistance or warranty program addressing the repair or replacement of these electrical panels.
The Canadian Federal Pioneer electrical panel circuit breaker recall notice is available here. We asked the company to determine if Federal Pioneer and Federal Pacific components sold
in Canada were made in the U.S. or if tooling used to produce them was identical with that used in the U.S.
. If this is the case (as one might expect based on
economies of production) one should consider the possibility that other defects reported in the U.S. may also appear in Canadian installations. As of the latest date of this web page (see page bottom) no reply has been received.
The Federal Pioneer electric panel Warranty Alert was issued by the Ontario New Home Warranty program in October 1997 and provides for circuit breaker replacement. Schneider Canada is an electrical supplier whose product lines combine those previously marketed under the names
Federal Pacific Electric, Federal Pioneer, Square-D, Tele Mechanique, Modicon, and Merlin Gerin.
Comparing the Canadian Warranty Alert for Federal Pioneer NC015/NC015CP circuit breakers and US CPSC and Industry Response to the performance of FPE Stab-Lok® circuit breakers in the U.S. we comment:
This was a limited (to manufacturing date and breaker type) recall issued in Canada. But we emphasize the point that is made in the recall notice, as it expresses a safety concern that applies to users of FPE Stab-Lok® equipment in the US.
The recall notice states "If the circuit breaker does not perform as intended, there is a potential for property damage and/or personal injury". That is what FPE denied, and a charge for which the U.S. CPSC did not have the resources to gather the evidence required to prevail in court.That statement is the most important part of the recall notice.
Consumers whose properties receive electrical power supplied through an American-made FPE Stab-Lok® panel should ask why it is that Stab-Lok® breakers that don't trip properly in Canada pose a risk of property damage and/or injury, but Stab-Lok® breakers that don't trip properly in the USA do not? Do we have less aggressive electrons in the USA.
The Ontario New Home Warranty Program
(ONHWP) wants to pass along important product
recall information to all registered builders/
vendors from Schneider Canada.
Schneider Canada was recently made aware of a
potential problem with their Federal Pioneer
brand NC015 and NC015CP circuit breakers
manufactured between August 1, 1996 and
June 11, 1997.
In some circumstances these breakers may not
trip. In other cases, the breakers will continue to
protect anticipated overloads and short circuit
currents. If the circuit breaker does not perform
as intended, there is potential for property
damage and/or personal injury. There have been
no reports of injuries or fires as a result of the
Schneider Canada is determined to make every
effort to locate and replace these circuit breakers.
Their plan is to notify homeowners in a number
of ways, including utility bill stuffers, advertising
and through channel and contractor notification.
They expect to receive calls from concerned
homeowners requesting replacement of their
circuit breakers. Here is a summary of the
process Schneider Canada has set up:
* There is a toll free call centre at 1-888-519-
5536 or 416-234-6407 (Metro Toronto) that
homeowners can telephone for more
information about the program and register
their home for breaker replacement.
* The call centre has a list of authorized
contractors and will refer up to three local
contractors for the homeowner to call.
* Homeowners select one of the contractors
and call to arrange a suitable date and time to
visit and replace the breakers.
* The contractor makes a service call to remove
and replace the affected breakers, invoices
Schneider Canada for a service call and
returns the circuit breakers to an authorized
Schneider Canada distributor.
WHAT TO DO - Canadian FPE - Stab Lok Federal Pioneer Stab-Lok® Equipment in Canada
Because Schneider Canada is taking charge of this
product recall ONHWP does not expect to be
You may want to check with your electrical
contractor to determine if your homes and
homeowners are affected.
FOR MORE INFORMATION on Canadian FPE Federal Pioneer Recall
More detailed information is available by calling
your local Schneider Canada office or you can
visit their website at www.schneider.ca
OFFICES OF THE ONTARIO NEW
HOME WARRANTY PROGRAM
5160 Yonge St. 6th Floor
North York ON M2N 6L9
Toll Free 1-800-668-0124
Note: other Ontario New Home Warranty Program office addresses included in the
above notice have been deleted for brevity. Otherwise the notice is quoted
directly and verbatim from a copy faxed to me by Carson Dunlop & Associates
in Toronto on 10/27/97 and verified by telephone call to Schneider Canada
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Questions & answers or comments about the recall of Federal Pioneer electrical equipment: circuit breakers NC015 series.
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Note: as we didn't add this reviewers list until 2007, this list of technical reviewers is incomplete; we have received comments and suggestions regarding this topic, edits and remarks included, from engineers and management from the US CPSC, electricians (many listed at our page on field reports of FPE failures), home inspectors, licensed electricians, and electrical engineers, and even a few attorneys and real estate agents, since 1986. Technical review, critique, content suggestions, questions, or clarifications are invited and where a contributor wishes, credit and links will be provided to that source. Contact us to provide feedback.
Dr. Jess Aronstein, electrical engineer, Poughkeepsie, NY, forensic engineering services, independent laboratory testing for various agencies firstname.lastname@example.org (independent electrical panel testing, including FPE Stab-Lok® panels, to April 2010)
David Carrier, electrical engineer, 53 Henmond Blvd., Poughkeepsie, NY 12603 845-430-7527 email@example.com (independent electrical panel testing, including FPE Stab-Lok® panels, beginning 2010)
Alan Carson, Carson Dunlop, Associates, Toronto, Ontario. Mr. Carson is a home inspection professional, educator, researcher, writer, and a principal of Carson Dunlop Associates, a Toronto home inspection and education firm. Mr. Carson is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors
Carl Grasso, Esq., Herzfeld & Rubin, New York, NY. Mr. Grasso is an attorney who managed a plaintiff's class action litigation against Federal Pacific Electric in New Jersey.
William King, US CPSC Director of Electrical Engineering (Ret).
Licensed Electricians: FPE FAILURE FIRE PHOTOS includes electricians who have provided cases and photographs of field failures of FPE equipment at this website.
Homeowners, Home Inspectors, Electricians: FPE FAILURE FIELD REPORTS includes anecdotal field reports provided by a range of contributors including electricians (and some home owners or home inspectors) who have provided cases and photographs of field failures of FPE equipment at this website.
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
2007 FPE Stab-Lok® TECHNICAL REPORT - an updated test report of independent testing (a large 1.2MB PDF file) using a larger pool of FPE Stab-Lok® circuit breakers than the older CPSC and Wright Malta tests found significantly higher failure rates of FPE Stab-Lok® circuit breakers, including a look at critical safety failures (breaker failed to trip at 200% of rated current or jammed) which found up to 80% failure rate for FPE Stab-Lok® GFCI circuit breakers (n=4), 12% failure rate for double pole FPE Stab-Lok® circuit breakers (n=120), and a 1% failure rate for FPE Stab-Lok® single pole circuit breakers (n=345).
Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd., 120 Carlton Street Suite 407, Toronto ON M5A 4K2. Tel: (416) 964-9415 1-800-268-7070 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The firm provides professional home inspection services & home inspection education & publications. Alan Carson is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material.
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