I’m newer to home inspections (but I’ve been in construction for awhile) and this was this first time I have actually come across one of these beauties. I’ve heard about Federal Pacific breakers and panels before. Now I can say that I’ve caught one in the wild.
And a split buss, no less. Lucky you.
Okay, so now what? Whatcha’ gonna do about it??
I see a double tap (cu & al) & I think a triple on the left.
And, #12 on a 50A for the double tap. Double trouble.
So what did you have to say about it in terms of deficiencies?
I called out everything thing I saw. And then I checked with an electrician friend to make sure I didn’t miss anything.
Good catch it’s hard to see from the particular picture I posted, but there are a couple double taps with aluminum and copper.
I called out the multiple double taps and a triple tap, the disconnected leads, the copper/aluminum double taps, the 60 amp split-bus having a 50 amp breaker (and too many other breakers) downstream from it. I noted that I have yet to see a transformer for a small gas heater be installed inside a panel.
The last thing I mentioned in the report is that Federal Pacific has had safety issues put out on it by consumer groups because their breakers have a habit of not tripping. The very last thing I included was that a licensed electrician needs to further evaluate the situation.
Excellant. Glad to see you didn’t simply condemn the panel based upon the manufacturers name.
There is a lot of “opinion” sites on the internet by wannabe experts.
Might I recommend you include this link with your report statement…
Commission Closes Investigation Of FPE Circuit Breakers And Provides Safety Information For Consumers | CPSC.gov
I might have phrased the FPE part a little bit differently, but excellent job on focusing on the deficiencies over the brand and not simply punting it back to the client to hire someone else to inspect it.
I’m always up for some constructive feedback. How would you have phrased the FPE issues differently?
The CPSC delivered a non-finding after their two-year investigation Commission Closes Investigation Of FPE Circuit Breakers And Provides Safety Information For Consumers | CPSC.gov, so I couch my words a bit as “reputed”. You will also find that a lot of knowledgeable folks are not of a single-mind on whether FPE panels should be replaced, simply because they exist (your example is pretty easy because the panel doesn’t have the physical capacity that they need and should have already been upgraded). In the absence of major deficiencies, I recommend upgrading as a safety improvement but do suggest that they contact their electrician to see if they advise replacing all FPE panels. I’ll PM the wording that I use so you can pick and choose what you find worthwhile to incorporate in your own.
Again, kudos for actually inspecting and reporting actual deficiencies and not simply punting because it was an FPE.
Article 440 allows a 12AWG on a 50 AMP breaker.