If you have a home that was built before 1990 do this NOW:
Find your electrical panel (usually located in a garage, basement or laundry room) and determine what brand it is.
Do you see this?
If so, you need to replace your electrical panel immediately.
Federal Pacific electrical breaker panels are highly defective and are estimated to cause 2,800 electrical fires a year.
In fact, the brand came under fire in the 1980s for this very reason. But the Consumer Product Safety Commission closed their 2-year investigation on Federal Pacific and failed to recall the product due to lack of funding.
And without an official recall, Federal Pacific was able to install their defective panels in millions of homes from the 1950s through the 1980s.
We’ll show you exactly how to determine if you have a Federal Pacific panel in your home.
But first, let’s compare the way Federal panels work to how a properly functioning panel should work.
How an electrical panel is supposed to work
Your electrical panel distributes electricity throughout your house.
If you open it up, you’ll see circuit breakers labeled for every appliance in your home.
Each individual breaker “protects” a specific appliance or outlet, meaning that it monitors the electrical flow that travels to the appliance. If there is an unsafe current overload or a surge, the breaker senses the change in electrical current and automatically “trips” or shuts off.
When a breaker trips due to a surge or overload, it prevents electrical wires from overheating and causing a fire.
So, your electrical panel, or a “distribution board,” is basically responsible for “distributing” out the electricity safely to each outlet in your home and it provides individual circuit breakers to prevent fires.
How a Federal Pacific breaker panel works (or rather, doesn’t work)
Federal Pacific breaker panels are dangerous because they cause the very thing they are supposed to prevent: electrical fires.
Tests have shown that many of the breakers installed on the panel do not actually trip when there is a current overload or surge.
Basically, some breakers installed on Federal Pacific electrical panels will allow unsafe levels of electricity to course through your home’s wiring, causing them to overheat and potentially cause an electrical fire.
Want to learn more about Federal Pacific breaker panels? Check out our article, 2 Dangerous Circuit Breakers That Could Be Hiding in Your Home.
Signs that you have a Federal Pacific breaker panel include:
- A panel with the name “Federal Pacific” across the front
- Circuit breakers inside the panel labeled “Stab-Lok”
- Circuit breakers that are completely black or circuit breakers that are a combination of orange and black
For more information on identifying a Federal Pacific breaker panel, watch this video.
Live in the Sarasota or surrounding areas and wondering what to do if you have a Federal Pacific breaker panel?
Call a Sarasota electrician to upgrade/replace your panel breaker
If you’ve discovered that you have a Federal Pacific breaker panel installed in your home, you won’t know if the breakers inside are defective until there’s a fire.
Don’t wait to find out.
Call Energy Today to schedule an appointment with one of our certified electricians.
We’ll be able to help you upgrade your electrical panel to a safer, more reliable model.