21 Feb Is my Electric Panel Safe?
Circuits and wires carry electricity throughout the home like veins and arteries carry blood to organs and limbs. Just as blood keeps the body alive, electricity keeps televisions on, computers powered. Electricity cannot travel throughout a home unless the electrical panel is operating properly. The panel is the heart of an entire home’s electrical system. Without a properly functioning panel, nothing electrical in a home will work.
These two brands of panels may have major manufacturing and/or design flaws that potentially put homeowners at risk—Federal Pacific Electric panels and certain Zinsco panels. There are also millions of people today who have panels that are more than 40 years old and may no longer protect their homes from overcurrents and short circuits. In this Blog we will cover Federal Pacific Electric Company (FPE) and what to do if you have one in your home.
Federal Pacific Electric Company (FPE) was one of the most common manufacturers of circuit breaker panels in North America from the 1950s to the 1980s. Millions of their panels were installed in homes across the country. Yet, as the years passed, electricians and home inspectors often found Federal Pacific Electric panels failed to provide proper protection to homeowners and their families. Experts now say that FPE panels can appear to work fine for years, but after one overcurrent or short circuit, they can overheat and become fire hazards.
In a class action lawsuit, a New Jersey State Court ruled that the Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) Company “violated the Consumer Fraud Act because FPE knowingly and purposefully distributed circuit breakers which were not tested to meet UL standards…” (To see the Class Action Settlement Notice issued for New Jersey Residents, click here.) An expert who investigated the potential hazards of Federal Pacific Electric panels stated under UL 489 test conditions, that FPE panels fail to trip at a much higher rate than standard panels.
If you suspect that you may have a Federal Pacific Electric or an outdated circuit breaker panel in your home, or in any event, you have not had your panel inspected recently, you owe it to yourself and your family to contact a licensed electrical contractor in your area for an inspection.
Schedule your consultation today by calling La Maison Home Inspections (941) 779-7170 or click here to schedule your inspection today.