Panel wiring question

Home has a 200 amp FPE main panel. There were a few concerns with the main panel as it was an FPE, had open cover knockout at cover, double tap, low voltage transformer in panel, open knock outs and over crowded wiring and a few other issues as well.

There was a 100 amp sub panel connected and what I have never seen before is they connected all the neutral ground connections in the main and just ran the hot to the sub breakers. One reason for the over crowded wiring. The had all the neutrals and grounds separated in the main.

I referred both panels to a sparky as I would replace the FPE and leave it to the electrician if he is going to use the sub or just add one larger main panel box.

What are your thoughts on the wiring to the sub panel? Is blue an acceptable wire color to use?

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As far as the FPE panel,

“The FPE Stab-Lok panel 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 the minimum, the panel should be thoroughly inspected and deemed acceptable by a competent licensed electrician familiar with this type of panel . (See and other documents for details of hazards.)”


Working link HERE

Do you guys actually read the freaking question/post. I know about the FPE. Thats not waht I asked about.

My apolgies David. I did not read to the end.

There is no problem with the blue wire and wire nuts in the panel.

Light blue does happen to be the color reserved for “earthed conductor” in Europe but your not there.


Why would they make all the connections in the main? Seems way overcrowded.

Looking at the old cloth wiring on the right, I assume that the FPE panel is not original to the home.

Pretty typical to extend those old wire runs in that manner.

Is that exposed wire coming out of the 2nd and third 20 amper from the top left side?

Looks like someone just sniped off the conductors.

Yes they were sniped away. FPE panel would be original. House is 25 years old.

My notes to myself in my language.

Color Function

Black: Hot wire
Red: Hot wire
Blue: Hot wire
White code black: Hot wire
White: Neutral wire
Green : Grounding wire
Green and yellow: Grounding wire
Bare copper: Grounding wire

OK, you referred the main to Sparky because it was an FPE. Who cares about the crowding issue. If they replace it, as I assume you recommend, the issue of overcrowding is not an issue.

You betcha. Any color but green or white is fair game to use as a hot conductor.

The crowding is not even remotely close to being a problem. You’re allowed 75% gutter fill, which is loosely defined as the number of conductors you can bash back in there with the butt of your hammer and still get the cover on.

That gave me a chuckle! :smiley: