Federal Pacific Electric was a well-known manufacturer of commercial and home electrical panels in the 1950s to the 1980s. In the past, their breaker boxes earned an excellent reputation for the affordability and reliability.
While the perception of the Federal Pacific breakers was reshaped over time, when it became clear that the panels presented greater dangers to electrical safety over other panels, they continue to be found in a variety of contemporary homes. Homeowners and electricians alike will discover seven essential conclusions about Federal Pacific breakers.
1. Federal Pacific Breakers Pose Serious Security Risques
Research has revealed that the Federal Pacific STABLOK breakers failed and did not trip more than half the time that they were able to detect 135% electrical surges. If homeowners fail to install new breakers from the Federal Pacific after being exposed to the surges for just one time and again, they’re much more likely to malfunction after the next exposure, resulting in failure rates that can reach 65 percent.
2. The Breakers Never Got Remembered
In the year 1980 In 1980, The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) started investigating the security of FPE electrical devices. In the beginning, they did not find enough evidence to issue a recall on the product. But, later research proved that the breakers, no longer manufactured were malfunctioning and creating fire hazards that were not needed.
3. Homeowners Need to Replace FPE Equipment
Failures of Federal Pacific breakers have caused about 2,800 house fires and 13 deaths up to this point, so even though they’re not being recalls, they must have replacements as a precautionary step. The majority of experts suggest replacing all panels however, there are individual breakers that can be replaced, which provide a viable solution for people who cannot pay for new breaker boxes.
4. Homeowners have successfully filed a class Action Lawsuit
In 2005 homeowners affected by FPE breakers’ malfunctions have filed the collective action suit to sue the maker. In the course of an investigation, a specialist conducted tests on FPE breakers and found that they had inconsistently poor performance in comparison to other products UL-rated. Because FPE claimed that its breakers meet UL specifications, plaintiffs could successfully suit FPE for infringement of their rights under the Consumer Fraud Act.
5. Federal Pacific Is No Longer in Business
It was the Federal Pacific Electrical Company sold its US circuit manufacture business to Challenger Electric in 1986. There is only one company that produces breakers that are compatible to Federal Pacific panels. Electricians need to purchase breakers through Connecticut Electric, as other brands won’t work with the panel properly.
6. Federal Pacific Panels Can Cause Inspection Failures
Since FPE panels aren’t reliable they could make homes be unable to pass the inspections that are required to ensure insurance. Because the products continue to cause an estimated $40 million worth of damage every year, it comes not be a surprise to insurance firms that view FPE panels to be high-risk. Certain insurance companies provide protection, but charge higher rates. Some have been blacklisted FPE panels completely.
7. The Best Choice Is Always to replace the Panel
Although it’s possible to change Federal Pacific breakers, the most effective option is to replace the whole panel. It will cost more than just replacing breakers, but it can prevent sparks from electrical currents as well as fires.
The Ideal Time to Take Action is Now
The owners of breakers manufactured through the Federal Pacific Electrical Company should consider options right today. They can repair individual defective breakers since the FPE panels have never been technically recalled. However, the severity of issues associated with these devices make it more secure and efficient to buy new boxes for breaker instead. If in doubt, talk to an electrician in your area.