Federal Pacific Questions

Here is a Federal Pacific Panel and I had some questions.

  1. I believe that FPE had a classaction lawsuit (http://inspectapedia.com/fpe/FPE_Class_Action_Settlement.htm) and they are considered to have a much higher failure rate on breakers. Is there a best educational link and what verbiage do you mention in your reports.
  2. How do I know what amp this panel is at. There is no external breaker and not sure how to add the breakers to know on this. The panel box itself says 125A but please explain how you get there by looking in the box.
  3. is the 60Amp box feeding the A/C a legitimate way to come off the feeder side
  4. Comments on the mast head under the siding?
  5. I also saw some double lugged and some bushing missing off top and live wire hanging on side (other than breaker off. Anything else you wish to share, I have a trainable spirit.



Some info here



I do not like to inspect from Pictures not enough info .

I think it might be to your advantage to get more education from Courses or mentoring with another Homie

Get over the brand name of the panel and inspect it as if it were any other panel.

The capacity is limited by the smallest rated component. The box may have a 125A rating, but the feeders or SEC look too small for 125A.

If that panel is the service equipment, it requires a disconnect. If it’s a sub panel, the neutrals must be isolated from the egc’s and from the enclosure.

The 60A box is acceptable, but appears to be tapped directly from the main lugs of the adjacent panel, which is improper.

The double-tapping of the breakers is also improper.

Not your job to detail the issues here. With no main and double-taps, a sub-par manufacturer, recommend, refer, done. Next.

In terms of question # 1 -FPE’s have been discussed here since the dawn of time…or time of this forum anyway. Do a search on the subject and you will find all you care to know about FLE and everyones random opinions (many based on personal feelings and not facts) but…never the less everyones entitled to have one…you may develop your own while reading.

In all cases an electrician would need to look at this panel. Multiple double taps, taping off the main incoming leads, FPE… all worth deferring.

Jeff, nothing wrong with FPE?

What about Zinsco?

My grandpa has inspected for 14 years and always pointed them out to be evaluated and possibly replaced.

Like this one? I didn’t even pull the cover…afraid of the breakers falling out on me.

Interesting , Will you please tell me how many you have had breakers falling out on you and what kind of panels these where

Did you see the breakers in that Zinsco panel. They are listing…:shock:

LOL ! Yes! Please do … Jeezus !
I told you we would have another FP thread in a week…Huh?

And you call yourself a home inspector…
If they fell out they wouldn’t be hot now would they?..LOL!
You guys make me laugh .

You grandpa was sincere , but could he have been sincerely incorrect?

And that idiotic statement makes me laugh…I am not about to pull a cover off if it looks dangerous to me. This is a Zinsco and the breakers do not clip on to a bracket. It was also just a 4pt, and the name alone is enough to walk away from that panel, no further evaluation needed.

So! You don’t know enough to be able to open it. With that in mind I agree. Never go beyond what your knowledge base is.

In addition, what part of my statement do you feel was idiotic?

I guess you never heard of what’s called an “Arc Flash” before. And, I really don’t feel like waiting around for an electrician to get the damn thing fixed temporarily…it’s going to have to be replaced anyway if this client wants insurance. Get It?

No I don’t get it! How do you know what the insurance co is going to pass or fail.
And as for arc flash use proper eye protection, and use the front as a shield when opening the darn thing. And wear gloves…

In addition, don’t stand in water …thought I would let you know.

Interesting can you tell us what sort of experience you have had with this .
How do you know it has to be replaced .

Roy, you may not be familiar with what a 4 point inspection is…insurance overview of the four main systems. Just by the name alone, insurance underwriters in FL will not accept a Zinsco panel, along with FPE Stab-Lok. More and more carriers are not accepting Sylvania and Challenger panels either. Replacement is mandatory whether in good shape or not. I have plenty of experience with this. Most of these are over 40 years old and need replacing anyway, but I don’t say that in my reports…I just report the manufacturer and any defects.