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This FPE failure report article page explains how, where, and why to report failures or problems with Federal Pacific Electric FPE Stab-Lok® electrical panels and circuit breakers. This website explains the fire and shock hazards associated with Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok® circuit breakers and service panels,
provides a history of the issue, recounts research on FPE failures, and recommends replacement of the panels.
We recommend against replacing individual FPE Stab-Lok® circuit breakers - there is no evidence that doing so will improve the safety of the electrical system. We recommend that the panel be replaced entirely. This web page explains the issues and recommends solutions for people looking for a replacement FPE Stab-Lok® circuit breaker. We do not sell circuit breakers nor any other products.Our site offers impartial, unbiased advice without conflicts of interest
HOW & WHERE TO REPORT FPE Stab-Lok® FAILURES - Reporting Federal Pacific and Federal Pioneer Equipment Problems
How to Report an FPE Stab-Lok® Incident to the US CPSC
In addition to informing us of an FPE Stab-Lok® or Federal Pioneer electrical panel or breaker event so that we can add this incident report to
the data base we maintain, we encourage readers to report such events also to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission - it's easy:
you can use a simple form at the CPSC's website.
Dangerous Product Reports to the US CPSC: To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270, or visit CPSC's web site at SaferProducts.gov.
Please also report incidents to the InspectAPedia. com Editor
How to Report an FPE Stab-Lok® Incident Report to this Website & Independent Research Experts
We invite voluntary field failure reports from readers who are aware of or who experience failures of Federal Pacific and Federal Pioneer equipment order to add to the existing data base.
These reports are invaluable in analyzing types of electrical failures and in enabling us to provide an accurate summary of that information to the public and to concerned government agencies.
Am I Legally Required to Report an Electrical Problem or Fire?
There is no legal requirement that failures be reported to us for tabulation here. If you are willing to report an FPE incident, no costs are involved, and all personal data, property identification, etc. are kept strictly confidential.
Only summary information and depersonalized incident descriptions are tabulated.
This website is not a government or other official document, nor does it receive nor request funding. CONTACT US.
What Information Should be Reported if I have an FPE Stab-Lok® or Federal Pioneer Panel or Breaker Failuire or Fire?
Any details (and photos) you can add about the problem you were experiencing, and the identity your electrician and what s/he told you about this incident, would be important additions to the failure data base. These reports form important data which, after stripping personal data out of the report, we share with government agencies such as the CPSC and with independent researchers. Your privacy is protected.
How should the FPE or FP Panel be Replaced? Replacement Options
At REPLACEMENT PANELS we describe panel replacement
alternatives that include describing an approach that keeps the original steel panel enclosure in place, replacing the electrical components
within it (the "bus assembly") which, if your electrician agrees, might save a portion of the labor costs when replacing the panel.
How to contribute a failed FPE Stab-Lok® or Federal Pioneer Panel or Breaker for Research
If, when you replace your panel, you want to contribute your old one for testing by an independent lab (testing is at no cost to you other than shipping the panel), CONTACT US and we will pass on shipping instructions. As with field reports, the test result data (not your personal information) is provided to the US CPSC and other appropriate agencies.
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Questions & answers or comments about how and where to report FPE Stab-Lok® or Federal Pioneer electrical panel or circuit breaker failures, problems, events, or fires
Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
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 email@example.com (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 firstname.lastname@example.org (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
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..."
Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd., 120 Carlton Street Suite 407, Toronto ON M5A 4K2. Tel: (416) 964-9415 1-800-268-7070 Email: email@example.com. 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.
The Illustrated Home illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Illustrated Home purchased as a single order Enter INSPECTAILL in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
TECHNICAL REFERENCE GUIDE to manufacturer's model and serial number information for heating and cooling equipment, useful for determining the age of heating boilers, furnaces, water heaters is provided by Carson Dunlop, Associates, Toronto - Carson Dunlop Weldon & Associates Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Technical Reference Guide purchased as a single order. Just enter INSPECTATRG in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume.
Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on these courses: Enter INSPECTAHITP in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
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