Federal Pacific Electric Panel Tests Indicate Failures
FPE Stab-Lok® PANEL TEST EXAMPLE - CONTENTS: Results of independent testing on an individual FPE Stab-Lok® panel obtained from a homeowner. Subset of the entire UL 489 Standard, is intended to determine
proper electrical circuit breaker function in response to overcurrent. In the electrical industry, the failure rate for non-trip breakers is virtually zero.
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Independent tests of FPE Equipment: October 15, 2000, Poughkeepsie, NY. Tests by an independent forensic engineer
confirmed failures of circuit breakers in a Federal Pacific Stab-Lok® residential
electric panel that was contributed by a homeowner.
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.
Federal Pacific Electric Test Performed on Homeowner's FPE Breaker Panel
The breakers in this Federal Pacific Stab-Lok® panel were tested according to the
Underwriters Laboratories UL Standard UL 489 calibration test.
This test, a
subset of the entire UL 489 Standard, is intended to determine
proper electrical circuit breaker function in response to overcurrent.
40-Amp breakers were tested at 135% of rated load and should
trip within an hour. 20-Amp and 15-Amp breakers were tested at 200% of
rated load and should trip within 2 minutes.
Federal Pacific Electric (FPE Panel) Test Results
The FPE panel tested contained 19 circuit breakers.
4 breakers (green tabs in various photos) performed properly: the breaker opened the circuit within the prescribed time and the toggle switch moved to the "tripped" position.
13 breakers (yellow tabs in various photos) did not work properly, demonstrating mechanical irregularities within the product: while all "opened" the circuit, some moved to the full-off position and others stayed in the full-on position.
2 breakers (red tabs in various photos), nominally "tripped" in that there was partial or full toggle movement. However, they failed to open the circuit on at least one pole.
10% (2 out of 19) of the Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok® breakers in the panel tested
failed to perform properly. In the electrical industry, the failure rate for non-trip breakers is virtually zero.
Photographs of Federal Pacific Electric Panel Tested
FPE PANEL after testing - oblique view - note variations in toggles after every breaker was subjected to overcurrent
Or see CIRCUIT BREAKER RELIABILITY TESTS gives test results and no-trip failures for both older and newer FEP, FPE & UBI-FPE Circuit Breakers showing high failure rates also for some Murray and Crouse Hinds circuit breakers.
Or see FPE HAZARD REPORT - 2017 [PDF] independent research article by Jess Aronstein, supercedes older FPE hazard reports by this author.
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