Should you trust FPE Panels?

Herein lies your problem, you know nothing about electricity and this shows through your comments about a ground making a GFCI safer.

The sad part is you are steadfast and will not even consider the statements of others. It would be my suggestion to you to defer all electrical to an electrician as you do not display the knowledge to be performing electrical inspections.

Just for your information, it was Paul that invited me to this site to share my wisdom and it was Nick that put this title under my name (InterNACHI Member).
Paul is a close and personal friend and I was the Chief Moderator on his GURU web site before he took the position with NEMA and had to close his site. We have spent endless hours on the phone as well as the emails we have shared over the years. Paul is well aware of my credentials as well as my activity within the state of NC with both the Office of the State Fire Marshall and the Electrical Licensing Board. He also knows of my devotion to the IAEI and the paper from NC State than hangs on my wall.

I can assure you that my devotion to the help of the Home Inspector Members of this site is no less than that of Mr. Gromicko or Mr. Abernathy. I would never give misleading information out on purpose and will always strive to give the best and most detailed information available to me even if some here disagree with what I post.

Now you can shun me off as a stupid electrician that knows nothing if you want but I am not only an electrician but hold the highest license that NC offers. I also hold the highest level Electrical Inspection Certificate the state offers. I am a certified electrical instructor for the Department of Insurance and the NC Electrical Licensing Board. I am an electrical instructor for the NC Chapter of the IAEI. These certified positions are not easy to come by and certain criteria must be met in order to hold a certified position.
For more than 12 years I have been teaching electrical classes at Randolph Community College. These classes include a class on electrical theory and a class that you are in dire need of so you better understand what you are doing. I also teach electrical safety as outlined in NFPA 70E and OSHA along with the Department of Labor in the state of NC.

You can rest assured my friend that my knowledge of electrical theory, safety, and the codes that revolve around the installation of electrical systems in not just that of an electrician’s opinion but of years of research and study. Years of listening to those with far more knowledge than what I have. Unlike some that I know, I listen and I learn.

I never said you are a stupid Electrician! You just did not make things as clear as George or Len. I am sure you are very good at what you do but you don’t understand my passion either nor will you ever.
Everything you put down was already researched by myself and the info Len gave me was very helpful.

Only because (in your mind) it leaned toward supporting your position, otherwise it would have been completely dismissed, as was all of the factual information that actually pertained to the discussion.

They still make and sell a Canadian FP panel in Canada .
Kevin says it is different then the USA FP panel.
I have never seen a USA FP panel .
I have a Canadian FP panel in my home and I am not changing it .
I am in the Process of putting in a stand by generator and have a Canadian approved FP Generator panel that I will be using .
They have Ark fault Breakers available for these panels available in Canada .

According to some sources they are different but that has no bearing on what we are to do when we find one.

Directly spoken to someone or implied it is all the same.
No one can understand ones passion any better than that person their self so this statement holds truth. My passion lends me to listen when someone is talking and then research their words instead of blindly dismissing them as something with fault.
If you had researched what I had said then you wouldn’t still be so adamant about the GFCI with a ground being safer than one without a ground.

So what do you do when you run into one?

According to ESA .
We are to examine like any other panel and if no faults found move on with the inspection .
It sounds to me like you also think all Canadian FP panels should be banned .

When you find time post a picture of it.

Here you are .

Roy those are updated FPE breakers. None of those are in question.
All you need to do with this is make sure the Panel is not made in the US as according to sources the bus bars are different in quality.

You haven’t done your research Kevin, and apparently, you haven’t read your own references.

The Stab-lok bus bar design is one of the “major flaws” of these panels, and the Canadian panels are no different in this respect.

Actually I did do my research and they are different? I can’t dig everything up even though I am super human. LOL

Was that a question?

I can assure you, the bus bars are identical. It’s a key-hole punched plate that the breakers “stab” into, hence the name Stab-lok.

The only real difference with the Canadian models, are that the breakers are manufactured by a different company than the US brand.


Run KEVIN run.

Really Kevin? That’s all you’ve got? At least put up a fight - show me what a Canadian FPE bus bar looks like.

A careful reading of the CPSC press release suggests that the press release was very careful NOT to conclude that there is no hazard, but simply that the information at hand did not prove the hazard, and that the Commission did not have funds to pursue testing

Consumers should read and follow the Commission’s advice regarding circuit breakers. But this advice is insufficient.

It is possible that some breakers may perform with adequate reliability, possibly those manufactured after the companies discovered safety defects and improper practices in listing the product, and possibly those manufactured in Canada. However, in absence of an explicit statement from the manufacturer and/or the US CPSC indicating that newer stock equipment is defect free, and considering that defects occur in both breakers and the panels themselves, and finally, that testing showed failures in both in-use equipment and new off-the-shelf devices, my advice to consumers and electricians is that these panels be replaced with newer equipment


Bob, that site is looking for work.

Sure they would love to replace them all.:roll::roll:

They also want to install a “power saver units”.

They are not needed or cost saving for most residential applications.

I do notice what appears to be a significant difference in busbar design from the American panel busbars shown on your website: Principally, at least with this particular panel, the busbars are each one single piece of stamped and folded brass/copper. There are no screw connections, other then the main lugs which appear to be held to the main busbar by a #10 screw (where the American counterparts where the connection was with a #8 screw.) They apper to have been stamped flat, and then have had the stab tabs bent over from alternating sides of the central insulator.
This might perhaps explain the fewer reports of bus failures in Canadian panels. Given the reports (albeit few) of breakers failing to open which have received CSA approval in older FPE and FP panels, I am inclined to not have faith in their designs, in spite of the potential for different manufacturing tolerances to favourably influence trip behaviour. Locally, Stab lok breakers made by Schneider electric, which are compatible with stab lok panels are available, and are actually fairly reasonably priced (between $10 and $40 CDN for 15A single pole >40 amp double pole.) Having not actually removed one of the older breakers (yet) I am unaware if the stabs on the breakers have been redesigned in Schneider’s products to improve their holding ability, which is my only remaining reservation on replacing the breakers in the panel.

Mike that is just one site plus add up all the other sites reporting this stuff and the fires that have occurred makes it seem silly to worry about 1/4" too much balluster spacing and ignore all the reports on this.

The one time I decided to hold my own opinion and remove a panel cover on these baby’s the breakers started popping off so no longer did I act like an Ostrich and repeatedly for now and in the future defer to an Electrician these death boards.

Do not wish the same on you unless that is what it takes to convince you.