Federal Electric service panel

I know about Federal Pacific. Seen a few of them. But have never seen a Federal service panel. Can I assume it’s the same company? Home is about 80 years old.


Yes, it is the same company. That is a Federal “noarc” version

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Yup, they are. :smile:

Oh, I see Joe beat me to it.

Thanks Joe and Larry. Just did a little research on the NOARK. Seems they had the same problem as the FPEs.

So now what are you going to say?

I gave my usually response to FP breaker boxes. I stated that there have been problems with the breakers on Federal Pacific service panels and that I recommend an evaluation by a qualified professional electrician. This was a sub panel, but the Square D main panel was a mess as well.

Scott, you mentioned you gave your usual response. Just asking, does your software have a canned comment on FP?

Peter, I think it is in his response:

Edit: I get it now, Peter. You wanted to know if his sofatware came with a narrative regarding FP. Duh! Sorry… :upside_down_face:

Peter, I use TAP inspect. And no it didn’t have a canned comment on FP boxes. So I borrowed and stole from other trusted inspectors. This is the default response I give: “Federal Pacific has been known to have had safety issues with breakers. Recommend evaluation by qualified electrician.” I may tweak it in the future, but for now it seems to be adequate.

BTW-Kenton Shepard has written a digital narrative library with InterNACHI that slides easily into TAP and many other software programs.
I haven’t taken the plunge to spent the $130 bucks but I’m considering it.

Below is my standard comment when I encounter an FPE service or sub panel with no deficiencies.

Federal Pacific Electrical panel observed
This panel is currently installed/wired appropriately.
This panel, however, is old & now considered obsolete. This means in the event that an issue does occur, repair or breaker replacement may be extremely difficult due to lack of availability in compatible parts.

Recommendation: While not necessarily required, it is recommended to have a licensed electrician replace this panel with a more modern panel.

Other info: Federal Pacific Electric Company panels that employ Stablok breakers have been alleged to be defective and unreliable. Although field reports of defects and dangers were never apparently substantiated by laboratory tests some insurance companies will not insure a home with this panel. Please check with your carrier prior to the end of your option period.

If there are deficiencies with or within the panel, I list them each separately & then replace “appropriately” with “inappropriately” & remove the “While not necessarily required” from the recommendation.

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There is a Federal Pacific Electric service panel in the home. There are studies that show that some FPE circuit breakers are prone to problems that can lead to failures, lack of proper protection of circuits and other serious issues, including fire and electrocution. Although the Consumer Products Safety Commission has not issued a formal product recall, the panel is old and the company is now out of business. We cannot definitively call this panel defective, but recommend, for your peace of mind, to consult a qualified electrical contractor to get their opinion on this matter.


I just might steal your FP comment Roy. It’s thorough without being too wordy.

It’s yours…

Yep, Roy’s is short and sweet!

Yes, Roy’s is a great narrative! :smile:

Oh what the hell, just get it over with & scare the hell out of 'em… … …

I have observed a Federal Pacific Electric “Stab-Lok” service panel in the house.
This panel is a latent fire hazard: it’s circuit breakers may fail to trip in response to an over current or a short circuit. Failure of a circuit breaker to trip can result in a fire, property damage, or personal injury. A circuit breaker that may not trip does not afford the protection that is intended and required.
Simply replacing the circuit breakers is not a reliable repair. The panel should be replaced, and significant expense may be involved.

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LOL! LOL! LOL! …Marc… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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You laugh, but it’s what he puts in the reports :slight_smile:

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I’m sure it is… :laughing: