If this were your home--replace FP box?

I am not an inspector, just a concerned homeowner…

Last night I was watching a home show where an inspector cautioned a buyer about an FP box (going as far to say that it would be difficult to get insurance). Sitting here today, I realize that I also have an FP stab-lock box.

I’ve done a great deal of reading this morning, and realize that there are many unofficial warnings. I am leaning toward replacement, though I have never had any sign of a problem. I believe that this a 125 amp box, installed in 1981.

Looking for your professional opinion and experience–would you replace this if it were in your home?

Thank you!

I can tell you from first hand experience that FPE breakers often fail to trip when they should. I am an electrician, and my professional advice is to have the panel replaced. After all, overcurrent protection is one of the main reasons for breakers, and the FPE often does not live up to that requirement. The fact that you have no sign of a problem is meaningless. You have no way to know if your breakers should have tripped in the past and didn’t.

FP boxes have concerns. However if there is no indications of issues leave it alone.

However if it where my house. I would call a local licensed electrician who has a good reputation and ask for a quote to replace it. If the quote was within my budget, it would be on his schedule to replace that day.

hope this helps,


Are you running for office or going bipolar, on us? :wink:


Follow Marc’s advice he is a well respected source of A+ information and I advise my clients of the need to have evaluated whenever I encounter FPE.

Here is an example of a different type panel that had gone undetected until I showed up for an inspection.

Note the fused marks on the bus bar, never seen under the breakers and the current owners never disclosed any problems. Why would they they were also unaware.
Not if, but when was this going to become property or life loss, issue?

Why did I sound like Hillary?

Its one of those rare instances where both answers work. You have issues easy to say replace. I am no fan of FP but if there are no issues its hard as a HI to say replace…easy as a HOME OWNER to say replace…hence my answer.

AKA soon to be running for office…Not

What country are you in .
The Canadian FP I do believe are different then USA.
They are no concern here and are still manufactured and I have one in my home .
I am not changing it .

I’m of the school of thought that says HI’s are not qualified to determine the need for replacement hence my standard report wording is:

I’m in the US. I do believe they are different and that I have the problematic variety…

Well, there you go, you answered your own question. :smiley:

If it was my home it would be replaced, too.

:wink: I love when I hear things like this. “I’ve been here for 20 years and it’s never had a problem.”

If there were documented issues regarding the airbags in your car, would you say the same thing? After all, they’ve been there for X# years and there has never been a problem. . .

That’s most likely because you’ve never had to rely on them [airbags or breakers].

The panel and it’s components are a safety system, much like the airbags in your car. When there is a problem, you want your safety systems to work flawlessly. Otherwise, the results could be catastrophic.

Like Marc I am a licensed and insured electrical contractor.
When I bought my home in 1993 it had an FPE panel that was in fine shape physically.
I replaced it within one week of moving in.

Does that tell you anything?


yea says you got a great QOUTE…LOL

:mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Carrie, I also always reccommend immediate evaluation by a licensed electrician. As an HI we can’t really say something must be replaced. If it was my home it would be replaced ASAP. you may want to cruise around on this site. http://www.inspect-ny.com/fpe/fpepanel.htm


Don’t bother with an evaluation by an electrician, most of them turn the breakers off and back on and call that a “check”. I guess they left the proper method out of the electrical test.

The only reason to call an electrician on a FP stab-lok is to get a quote for replacement.

Anyone who continues to use a FP stab-lok either has a high tolerance for danger or just does not understand the purpose and operation of breakers.

Thank you so much for your input!

You have all confirmed my feeling that I need to replace this. I just wanted to make sure that I wasn’t over-reacting!

Thanks again!

I like the analogy … :wink:

I have a FP breaker box in one of my rental houses. Not long ago, I added a new breaker for additional outlets. Must be an after market breaker, was $35 at Home Depot. Being that FP is out of business, why are replacement “parts” still available for what is considered a dangerious panel??? And, from what I have read, replacing the old breakers with new ones is NOT recommended!!!

Not long after, did I discover the problems with the FP panel, and must wonder why replacement breakers are still sold???

With all the information I have come up with, I am going to rip it out and replace it. Not worth the worry now that I know the history behind it!