Is Your Federal Pacific Breaker Due for a Replacement?

There has been a lot of debate about the safety of Federal Pacific breakers and concerns have been raised about the potential fire hazard these old-style breakers can pose in your home. 

The debate over their suitability and safety continues and the lawsuits stack up. With that in mind, any potential for an electrical overload and overheating of your wiring should be enough to convince you to consider the idea of replacement Federal Pacific breakers. 

Here is a look at the problems associated with these types of breakers and the panels that house them. 

Known safety issues 

The primary purpose of a circuit breaker is to cut off the electricity supply to a circuit if it detects a problem. Federal Pacific circuit breakers and FPE Stab-Lok panels are specifically in the frame as being problematic. 

A circuit overload can often happen when too many devices are attempting to use a low-voltage circuit in your home. What is supposed to happen in that scenario is your breaker should trip to prevent the wire from overheating and to minimize the risk of a fire developing. 

If the breaker fails to trip it allows the heating levels in the wiring to increase and that could easily cause a fire to start. 

A good number of electrical safety experts have publicly declared that Federal Pacific breakers and FPE Stab-Lok panels pose an increased risk to the safety of homeowners in their property. 

Do you have these breakers in your home? 

Federal Pacific breakers and panels were widely used and installed in homes from the 1950s right through to the 1980s. Thirty years of installations would suggest that these products were reliable. 

However, technologies and safety standards have greatly changed since that period and many electrical contractors believe that these outdated products should be replaced. 

How dangerous are these breakers and panels? 

A large number of breakers and panels have been tested over the years and the results reveal an alarmingly high number of safety breaches. 

It is estimated that about one in three of these old breakers are potentially hazardous. 

When there is a surge in power or a short circuit occurs you would rightly expect your breaker to perform its duties and trip properly. Unfortunately, this does not happen every time with these breakers, creating a potential fire hazard in the process. 

A telltale sign that you might have a faulty breaker that needs replacing would be when you notice signs of burning or scorch marks inside the panel. You might also notice loose breaker switches. 

When you consider the potential consequences of a faulty breaker allowing a fire to develop it is imperative that you get your electrical system checked. 

It is estimated that old Federal Pacific breakers are more likely to cause a fire than newer alternatives. Get your home electrical system checked for safety and even if they don’t find a fault, it makes a lot of sense to consider updating your setup and replacing your old Federal Pacific breakers.

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