service panel on 4 point

Hey guys, working on a 4 point inspection today and have some questions. The main service panel is an FPE stablock. I have read a lot about these panels. I realize some people say they are the worst and some argue nothing conclusive has been found against them. My question is, will they be able to get a new insurance policy with an FPE panel? Will the insurance company kick it back and want it replaced? Regardless, there were several other issues inside this panel that would need to be addressed either way.

Also, the water heater was from 1983; what is the insurance company’s stance on this?

I realize we are there to observe and report, and that is what I will do, but I still have a lot to learn and would like to know what is the typical outcome of these issues?

Some insurance companies will insure a FPE Stab-lok panel, then they send you a nice letter 3-4 months later telling you they are dropping your insurance unless you change it. Just tell the owner to replace the arch-welder in the garage. The water heater is beyond service life(NAHB Life Expectancy of Home components), needs to be replaced.
Check out Jessie Arronstein’s report on FPE panels…

The underwriter will decide. From the looks of that box, they will require a replacement. They will also make a decision on the water heater. They have been known to require replacement because of age.

Just report what you have. The agent will likely know what to do with it since it needs repairs anyway (the report can’t be used until compliant with the carrier’s guidelines). Most likely the panel will need replacement. The water heater also, but that would be up to the carrier since they all have different guidelines.

Most underwriters will not insure with a Federal Pacific panel…Not a big deal as they can be changed out for around $700-$1000. Water heaters are ok even at 25-30 years old(with many underwriters) as long as they are not showing signs of rust and corrosion. Your 3 tab roofs will not be insured by many if they are 20 years old, no matter what useful life you give them… And---- I have never had any problems reporting air conditioners of any age. Not even sure why we report on A/C except that they are concerned with homes that use space heaters…

You can find out plenty on FPE with google. Most likely your client will be sent to citizens until they upgrade some components.

I DON’T wanna start a Stab-Lok debate.
Some carriers will ask what brand of CB panel is present with pics.
If so, the underwriter will accept it or not.

I’ve never had one ask for older water heater replacement… yet.

Do you guys state panel brand names if not asked?
Do you advise the client if the panel has had a history of “issues”? (like Stab-Lok, Zinsco, Sylvania)
I had a client that was very upset when the company did a “QA” on my 4 Point.
They told him he needed to replace his Challenger panels or face cancellation.
There was another instance where both interior & exterior were Stab-Loks.
They only wanted the interior branch circuit one replaced.

I only list the brand if the agent asks.
I always tell my clients of possible issues

Some insurance companies have issues with older HW tanks.

Thanks guys, this was exactly the info I needed. I was just curious as to what your experiences were with these items and whether it was an automatic turn off for the insurance carriers. Thanks again

Not arguing the validity of your statement but just wanted to comment. It may not be a “big deal” to you or me and quite possibly many here, but to a vast majority of older retirees on a fixed income it may be “enormous”. Not everyone has retired with a nest egg. And for the insurance company to want to see a panel replaced on the sole reason of it’s namebrand, well, to me anyways, is irresponsible and insensitive and possibly bordering criminal although I’m quite sure the insurance lawyers would disagree. Of course that’s just my opinion and others may disagree.


Citizen/InterNachi 4pt ask for brand. Is it not a requirement to name brand.

Also if a licensed electrician did some maintenance and a safety check on the system prior to submittal, would the client still get dinged provided an invoice was provided.

Let the electrician fill out the Citizens electrical form and leave the liability to them

Thank you.

Citizens asks if you think it is a problem to give a name.

I give a Picture and let them Read it themselves. No current issues going on I see nothing written bad about it.

They don’t care about any invoices.
If they’ve already decided they want a Stab-Lok gone… buh-bye

Once I find the normal double taps and such I send them a Blank cit form and tell them to have repairs done by licensed electrician and to check his license at

I also tell them to show them the form first before a quote and tell them to tell them they would like to pay to bring the home to a positive report. I also offer them to have their guy call me if they have any questions…

if they have repairs done and new form filled out I remove my electrical portion from their previous report and add a page that says for electrical please see attached report that way i do not have to go back out and charge them again which helps some NON FOOLS realize I did not just write things to get a re-inspection fee.

Most seem to appreciate the offer expect those to stupid to see i am doing them a favor, like the lady I spoke of a few weeks ago. Most who complain are those who wish to rig the stuff themselves just to get by and not really improve the electrical situation. Those folks i send to the $50 a holler guy. Matter a fact any of the shady types I think are trying to pull a fast one I send to my local version of the cheapest of the cheap. He started at $50 a pop for everything and is slowly moving up. Website chances constantly and such. Basically all the folks I think are scum I send to this high quality company. Hell he is even a CPI :slight_smile:

Just report what you see. Let the client know the issues with the FPE panel. You can find info here
As far as the water heater, with being that age it will need to be replaced. Most 4-Points I have done with water heaters older than 1989, found it hard to get insurance.

Good Luck:D

Thanks Shawn, I will report it as is. I did inform my clients about the possible issues with the stab-lock panel as well as the age of the water heater may be an issue for them. Let the chips fall where they may…

Are we forgetting that your SoP’s still apply here? You are to report on why something is deficient, and list the recommended repair: 61-30.801(5) & (6).

This is totally false and outside the scope of a home inspector’s license. No inspector should be specifying any specific repair option. We may make recommendations for correction, monitoring, or further evaluation by qualified specialists, but is not required on a 4pt. And furthermore, The SOP for performing home inspections DOES NOT apply to four point insurance inspections or wind mits.