This is the panel on yesterdays inspection. Can you see where its bonded?

…not right off, but I do see what appear to be aluminum wires.

Also, FPE stab locks, they are problem panels correct. Also, notice the rust in the panel.

…figured Fp from the title of your thread. :wink:


FPE in itself is an issue as it pertains to the breakers itself, the stab-lok design is still used in Fed. Pioneer in Canada and while I agree it is not the BEST connection method and breakers DO pop out when trying to remove the panel cover…it is less of an issue than it is for the breakers itself which are proven to not trip properly.

The RUST in the panel is most certainly something to call out because it usually means something else is going on, water coming in from the service entrance conductors or something leaking above the panel and such and should be looked at and defered.

AS for the bonding of the enclosure…most FPE’s of that time frame were bonding with a bonding strap…I can’t see one from the picture but then again hard to tell from a picture…if you could not find proper bonding then note this ( do not guess or assume ) and along with the defer of the FPE breakers…and what appears to be some AL wiring or could be copper tinned I guess…but unlikely as the insulation looks like thermoplastic so probably al conductors…but then again you need to verify that on the inspection.

The doubling and trippling up of neutral conductors onto the buss bar is also something to note…not to mention IF these are AL conductors it compounds the issue…all of which should be in the report and let the chips fall where they may.

I don’t even open those any more…I just defer them to an electrician.

How do you determine the size of the service as required by the SOP if not looking into the panel? Hopefully, you are not simply looking at the main breaker and reporting that as the service size.

Just asking is all…don’t take the question the wrong way fella…:slight_smile:

Why would you need to? I have deferred the whole mess to the electrician to sort out.
If I pull the deadfront and the melted, brittle Stablok breaker comes off the buss and arcs, then I have a much bigger problem than knowing the service size. It is a safety over SOP thing for me.

to each his own i guess…Just been in so many panels that I can think of other hazards greater in an inspection than looking in a FPE panel if you know how to properly inspect them, properly remove the cover and know exactly what to look for.

Again FPE’s little brother Fed. Pioneer is still being used in Canada…the only issue I find with them are the breakers not tripping as they should…otherwise I would have to examine it to find other issues before I defered it as a whole.

Again just my opinion fella.

I don’t really understand why you would take the cover off something that you are deferring to an electrician for complete replacement. It seems like a waste of time.
…it is not that I have not been in enough panels.
…and it is not that I do not know how to properly inspect them, as implied.

My opinion will not change if I remove the deadfront, and of course I am not going to remove the breaker to inspect the connection to the buss.

I have been around here long enough to know that you believe that installing new breakers in the FPE panel is OK. I would not do that in my home, and would not let anyone in my family have that done in theirs. A new panel is the safest alternative, and it just is not that costly to even really debate. A couple thousand and its’ done.

…And if you OK an FPE panel, and the home burns down, you know who the plaintiff will have as the expert witness…Daniel Friedman. :slight_smile: http://www.inspect-ny.com/fpe/fpepanel.htm


What if the panel is less than 20 breakers and a viable alternative is to replace the FPE breakers with UL Listed replacements that are tested and compliant.

Are we prepaired to say all Federal Pioneer in Canada are also a hazard as they are still being produced?

Other than improper installation of the breaker which could happen, the breakers don't pop out wildly as noted unless we are going into the panel and when done properly might not be the case.

I don't like FPE..do not get me wrong but I feel that HI's need to examine them, look for foundations of other problems besides just the fact of a name.

Defering something based on OTHERS experiences is not a baseline I like to teach....and it is perfectly fine to disagree as what I say is not gospel as you know.

At the end of the day it is the breakers that are the problem in my opinion, I see just as many breakers melted down with Cutler Hammer, Square D , ITE and GE ...you name it I have seen it.

I do tell HI's to recommend them for evaluation to defer liability but the issues of proper bonding and correct grounding needs to take place because we all know at the end of the day the client could choose to do nothing and while they may leave the panel intact....their could be a hidden danger inside that needs to be addresses.....improper connections, damaged conductors just waiting to become issues and so on......just don't see removing the cover PROPERLY and looking inside to verify other issues nearly a safety concern as leaving a hidden defect unfound simply for the sake of defering it.....

FYI…I have no problem DEBATING Mr. Friedman in court…done plenty of court testimony…always two sides to every tale.

Well I do because my attorneys fees would be much steeper than the new panel. :slight_smile:
Besides your E&O carrier will pay out well before it makes it to trial…

lol…I hear ya fella but I don’t carry E & O…:slight_smile:

Nah…just that in my 20 years I have seen some nasty stuff with all brands…and since FPE is technically still ( panelboard style ) being produced technically…the real issue I find is with the OCPD’s and I have safety ways to enhance it without a full upgrade…

But then again as an electrician I probably shoot myself in the ( CASH ) foot for suggestions I make anyway…:slight_smile:

Nah…no worries I will testify for ya and WIN !

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 correct if necessary.