Federal Pacific Service Panels

Does anyone have a good way to address a home inspection of a Federal Pacific Panel. I have come across a couple and know there are issues with them. Is this a serious issue or minor? Thanks for any input.

Here you go…
"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. "

Good one!

“The FPE Stab-Lok LOCATION(electric/panels) is considered a safety hazard. Hazards associated with this manufacturer have been documented by industry experts. A high percentage of FPE Stab-Lok breakers have failed to open under over-current conditions. Replacement is advised for safety reasons. At a minimum, the panel should be thoroughly inspected and deemed acceptable by a competent licensed electrician familiar with this type of panel. (See our website and other documents for details of hazards.)”

Oh boy, here we go again.

Would you put your ass on the line for that narrative.
With that narrative you have open up the proverbial Pandora’s Box…
You stated…
"documented by industry expert "*
My 1st question to you …And the client may ask the same question.
Who are the industry expert?
Secondly !
A high percentage of FPE Stab-Lok breakers have failed to open under over-current conditions
Question number 2.
How do you know that your statement is %100 true, and where did you hear that from.

I agree they should be replaced.
Just talkin’
Nothing more.

You have a Federal Pacific panel which is legal, but there is a possibility that the circuit breakers may not trip when shorted possibly causing an electrical hazard. Opinions by licensed electricians on this panel varies between safe and unsafe. I recommend you consult a licensed electrician for an opinion and correction if necessary.


I like your narrative, I only wonder what the electrician will say when he goes to inspect the panel. Certainly the known issues of CB’s not tripping cannot typically be confirmed by a simple visual inspection even by an EC.

I would think an electrician would almost certainly recommend replacement. On the cynical side, it’s an opportunity to earn some money. On the somewhat less cynical side, recommending replacement shields him from liability. On the let’s-assume-he’s-on-the-up-and-up side, it could be out of genuine concern for the safety of the inhabitants.

The few I have seen didn’t show any arcing, melting insulation, signs of overheating or other outward symptoms of danger or failure, but they were called out based on FPE’s bad rep. No reason to think an electrician would stick his neck out on something like that.

Well put.

Most of the homes built around here through the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s had FPE because they were a local company and the cheapest around. I have replaced many in my career and if someone asks me for my opinion I would say that the panel is old and obsolete and should be changed.

Please if my wife contacts you Please ignore her.