My Stab-lok question

I know you guys/girls are tired of reading about FP panels with Stab-lok breakers, but I got my first two (in one day :shock: ) and am unsure how to report it without being extreme to either side.

They are both main panels without main disconnects.

The first house is circa 1965 and the second house is 1957.

Picture 111.jpg

At the second home, there is another panel just below the main, but I’ll have to attach it in another post.

Any help is greatly appreciated.


I can’t seem to upload the third photo b/c it is 113kb.

Mr. Bruce Thompson,

Try I got the suggestion myself from this forum and it worked ok for resizing/reducing images for me.


Hey Bruce,

The best advice I would give on this is to have it evaluated by a licensed electrical contractor who has experience with older systems. In your statement you said that both are main panels…well the one on top is feeding the panel without an OCPD on the SE Conductors…I would most certainly call that out ( could be a panel ahead of it or at the meter location which is REALLY the main disconnect ) to be evaluated.

I notice their is a lack of EGC’s in this enclosure so is the system ungrounded for the most part? and the only grounds seen are from previously added circuits?

How about this:

Federal Pacific Breakers have a known history of working improperly in overloaded or fault conditions, While I am not able to determine the condition of this system during this inspection I would recommend the evaluation of the system by a licensed electrical contractor who has experience in older electrical equipment, with systems that are more than 30 years old it is always a good idea to have it evaluated by a licensed electrician.

Ok…while I have some personal opinions on the topic of FPE…I will keep them for the people who attend my seminars…:slight_smile:

Here is a nice site with some "sometimes bias " information if you would like it:)

Paul- I was hoping you’d write in. Let me respond to a couple of items for clarity.

  1. The system is ungrounded. Is it because it was built in 1965? Not a single receptacle is ground and I didn’t see any grounding conductor.
  2. The picture on top is from the 1965 house. The picture on bottom is the 1957 house. The '57 has a lower box only containing what appears to be breakers for the stove and furnace.
  3. I thank you for your above statement referencing FPE. Also to Jeff Pope for another one.
  4. I’d love to take your class. I looked at your website the other day for schooling. When are you coming to Texas???



To be honest with you bruce...I have no idea as I don't control that sad to say....if you can get 25-30 local guys together we can make it happen but as of right now.....I am just not sure.

I would make them aware of the ungrounded systems and explain to YOUR client their I explained in a Virtual Inspection Teaching Session which you can find by looking at my back posts.

If these are the only panels....most certainly in the top one I would defer about it not having a main disconnect....but it sounds like you have plenty to justify having it evaluated...I say GOOD CALL as your inspector alarm went off and you responded...Great JOB !

I will come anywhere that we are able to have enough to attend....visit []( and request it in your never know Tom may be able to set something up.


When did grounding become commonplace or code?

I’ll see if I can generate any interest in the Dallas area for a training session.

Thanks again.

Note: original question was…when did Grounding/Bonding start to take place…


The actual grounding dates well back…Sad to say that I am not informed on as to the dates of grounding requirements first origin…however when it comes to the system grounding itself as it pertains to receptacles and so on…this would probably date to the start of NM cable having an EGC inside of it…which started in the middle to 50 & 60’s for the most part.

In the 1950’s you began to see romex with a smaller 2X smaller EGC…but by the 60’s it began to be sized the same size as the actual conductors.

My understanding is even back in 1928 the requirement for a bare grounding conductor was in the language for non-metallic cable…but alas…before my time and obviously not the case since we see NM Cable without an EGC even into the 60’s as you mentioned.

Now…grounding of transformers and so on dates back to the early 1900’s…I believe in 1908 or 1904…something like that…I am going to have to do some research on the dates…I love doing that.

Hey Bruce-

While I may not agree with all of this article...( to be honest I am assuming that because I have not read it...) but thought members may enjoy it.

Paul, thanks for tons of information.

Hopefully, one day your school will make it to Dallas or Houston.