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Does age matter when evaluating FPE Stab-Lok® elecrical panels or circuit breakrs? Is Federal Electric Pacific Stab-Lok® design equipment safer if made during certain years?
Replacement FPE Stab-Lok® circuit breakers are unlikely to reduce the failure risk of this equipment. We recommend that residential FPE Stab-Lok® electrical panels be replaced entirely or the entire panel bus assembly be replaced, regardless of FPE model number or FPE year of manufacture. We do not sell circuit breakers nor any other products.
AGE MATTERS? - Does the age of Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok® Electric Panels make a difference in the safety concerns?
The following is a personal opinion by the website author: From my knowledge of the history, pattern, and nature of FPE manufacturing and management difficulties, and from a study of the nature of the cause of the fail-to-trip problem, bus connection problems, overheating and fire reports, as well as the history of how the product was made, on-the-fly un-approved changes, label swapping, and other troubles, it appears that the entire FPE-Stab-Lok® product line may have had
defects, labeling errors, safety, or other performance issues for both commercial and residential equipment, where circuit breakers and panels are concerned. (I do not have similar criticism of the older FUSE equipment).
However we have test data only for the FPE Stab-Lok® series of residential electrical panels and circuit breakers. The "Stab-Lok® " product involves a
specific electrical panel, bus, and circuit breaker design. Therefore the FPE Stab-Lok® Panel Website only includes research and warnings for this specific product line.
People write to ask if their Federal Pacific Electric equipment is "OK" based on a particular age of their house and presumably of the panel. "Year" criteria is not useful in evaluating risk as there is no data
that demonstrates that FPE Stab-Lok® equipment is better or worse after specific dates.
Furthermore, the age of a piece of equipment installed in a house can be older or newer than the age of the house itself.
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Aluminum Wiring Information WebsiteAluminum Electrical Wiring Hazards and Repairs: in-depth authoritative info, photos, documents including selection of proper vs. ineffective repair methods. E.g.: Ideal 65 "Twister" purple connector fails in field and lab testing with aluminum wire.
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).
1982 Reliance Electric Co. SEC Quarterly Report: Note C. reports litigation between Reliance and UV Liquidating Trust and contends that "... improper and deceptive practices were employed for many years to secure UL listings for Federal Pacific's circuit protective products..."
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