Extreme FPE

I had an interesting one today. A complex of 4 buildings. Each building has 24 condo units. Each building has four meter banks each with 6 meters. All of the distribution panels are FPE. All of the Sub-Panels in each unit of all buildings were originally FPE. The president of the condo association said there have been no reported incidents related to the FPE panels. Building age 1978. I can’t help but wonder how they dealt with the grounding of all those distribution panels all in the same building. There were ground rods visible at each separate location. The individual condo disconnects at each meter had no indication of amperage and consisted of a metal lever that could be slid up or down to supposedly disconnect the power. Anyone ever seen anything like this?

Ward 004.jpg

As a matter of fact, yes I have.

These are simply service-disconnects. Nothing to be alarmed about. FPE manufactured many different systems and components in their day. Not all FPE is bad, only the Stab-lok brand. . .

all of the Sub-panels are stab-loc.

Those are not good, but the disconnects are fine. . .

A summary page of the Hazards of FPE and stabloks can be researched pretty thoroughly from here…


i know i’ve said this before (so if your sick of hearing it, i appologise). i run 2 complexes, one has 72 units, one has 288 units. the co. that ownes them also has 2400 other units threw out N.H. and Mass, they ALL have FPE set ups like this, ALL stab locks, all over 30 years old. in the 7 years i’ve been with this company i’ve only seen typical issues, bad breaker hear and there, or what ever. NO other issues that you all speak of. does this throw off the grade curve? i mean 3000++ units, no major or stereotypical FPE problems, ever. our electrician (same co. for 20 yrs) doesn’t believe it either. he can’t understand why we don’t see the problems at out properties. any ideas???

If everything else in the system is working properly, you may never encounter the worst problems of FPE (breaker failure).

Also, panels located at interiors rather than exteriors have a tendency to have less problems as they are not exposed to the weather and other elements.

that may be why. ours are all in the bedrooms or kitchen, well inside the building. not even on an exterior wall. they were all built in the 60’s/70’s if that could have anything to do with it, but a total of about 20 different contractors for all the different properties, bids, phases of builds, etc…