Should I Replace a Federal FPE Stab-Lok Electrical Panel?

Federal Pacific Electric and Federal Pioneer (FPE) panels were widely used in residential homes in Edmonton and Sherwood Park and throughout Canada and the United States from the 1950s into 2000s. They were marketed as reliable and safe electrical panels, but over time, it has become clear that they are anything but safe. In fact, FPE panels are considered by many experts to be one of the most dangerous electrical products ever manufactured. In this article, we will explore the dangers of FPE panels and what you can do to protect your home and family.

Background of FPE Panels

FPE panels were manufactured by Federal Pacific Electric, a company based in New Jersey. From the 1950s to the s, FPE panels were installed in millions of homes and commercial buildings throughout the United States. They were marketed as reliable and safe electrical panels, but over time, it became clear that they were anything but safe.

The Dangers of FPE Panels

There are several reasons why FPE panels are so dangerous, including:

1. Circuit breakers fail to trip

One of the most significant dangers of FPE panels is that their circuit breakers often fail to trip, even when there is a dangerous overload or short circuit in the electrical system. A circuit breaker is designed to trip or shut off power to a circuit when it detects an overload or short circuit, which can cause a fire. However, FPE circuit breakers are notorious for failing to trip, which can result in fires and electrocution.

2. Faulty design and construction

FPE panels were poorly designed and constructed, with several design flaws that make them more prone to failure. For example, the bus bars in FPE panels are often undersized and can overheat, which can cause the insulation to melt and expose live wires. This can lead to electrical shocks and fires.

3. Inadequate safety testing

FPE panels were never adequately safety tested and were not subjected to the rigorous safety standards that are required of modern electrical products. As a result, their safety features are often inadequate, and they are more prone to failure and malfunction.

4. Difficult to replace

Replacing an FPE panel can be a difficult and expensive process, as the panels were often installed in tight spaces or difficult-to-reach areas. This can make it challenging to replace the panel with a safer alternative, which can leave homeowners and building occupants at risk.

5. Lack of support

FPE went out of business in the early 1980s, which means that there is no longer any support for the panels. Replacement parts are scarce, and it can be challenging to find qualified electricians who are willing to work on FPE panels.

What You Can Do

If you suspect that your home or building has an FPE panel, it is essential to have it inspected by a licensed electrician. An electrician can determine whether the panel is safe and up to code and can recommend any necessary upgrades or replacements.

The best way to protect your home and family from the dangers of FPE panels is to replace the panel with a newer, safer alternative. This can be an expensive process, but it is well worth the investment to ensure the safety of your home and family. A licensed electrician can help you choose a replacement panel that is appropriate for your home’s electrical needs and can install it safely and properly.
If you are purchasing a home or building that has an FPE panel, you should have the electrical system inspected by a licensed electrician before closing. This will ensure that the electrical system is safe and up to code and can help you avoid costly repairs and upgrades in the future.

In conclusion, FPE panels are extremely dangerous and should be replaced as soon as possible. If you suspect that your home or building has an FPE panel, contact Halo Power Solutions for a quote to replace your panel.