Federal Pacific electrical service panel


L

Lee M.

I recently had to have my central air unit replaced. The HVAC contractor
said the Federal Pacific service entrance I have (house was built in 1970)
is notorious for breakers not tripping on an overload condition and causing
fires. He suggested I get it replaced. I'm inclined to think if the thing
has failed in 33 years, it's probably OK but it got me wondering. Are these
service entrances faulty by design? Should I play it safe and have it
replaced? I have no idea what the cost would be but after shelling out
$1900 for a new A/C unit, I'd hate to take another big hit on the home
repair budget this soon.
 
S

Speedy Jim

Lee said:
I recently had to have my central air unit replaced. The HVAC contractor
said the Federal Pacific service entrance I have (house was built in 1970)
is notorious for breakers not tripping on an overload condition and causing
fires. He suggested I get it replaced. I'm inclined to think if the thing
has failed in 33 years, it's probably OK but it got me wondering. Are these
service entrances faulty by design? Should I play it safe and have it
replaced? I have no idea what the cost would be but after shelling out
$1900 for a new A/C unit, I'd hate to take another big hit on the home
repair budget this soon.
There is truth to it; he wasn't blowing smoke:

http://www.inspect-ny.com/fpe/fpepanel.htm

You *can* replace individual 2-pole breakers with
brand new units as one solution.

Disclaimer: Check the UL-listing on any new brekaers to
see if they are listed as suitable for your panel.

Jim
 
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G

George

Lee M. said:
I recently had to have my central air unit replaced. The HVAC contractor
said the Federal Pacific service entrance I have (house was built in 1970)
is notorious for breakers not tripping on an overload condition and causing
fires. He suggested I get it replaced. I'm inclined to think if the thing
has failed in 33 years, it's probably OK but it got me wondering. Are these
service entrances faulty by design? Should I play it safe and have it
replaced? I have no idea what the cost would be but after shelling out
$1900 for a new A/C unit, I'd hate to take another big hit on the home
repair budget this soon.
The guy is right on target. Federal Pacific was a cheap "contractor grade"
breaker system. They have 2 failure modes. One is because of the method
used to plug the breaker into the buss (stab-lok). Sometimes they don't make
good contact and overheat. The other is that the breakers don't trip during
a fault. If you compare their equipment with competitors you will see how
mickey mouse they are.
 
I

I-zheet M'drurz

The guy is right on target. Federal Pacific was a cheap "contractor
grade" breaker system. They have 2 failure modes. One is because of
the method used to plug the breaker into the buss (stab-lok).
Sometimes they don't make good contact and overheat. The other is
that the breakers don't trip during a fault. If you compare their
equipment with competitors you will see how mickey mouse they are.
Then why hasn't it been pulled from use via a mandatory recall?

How can it stay out there in use if this is all known "fact"?

What does UL have to say about the issue, I'm assuming their
initials are on the load centers, no?

Sorry, but this stinks of "urban legend" as told by contractors
selling rival equipment.
 
B

berkshire bill

I-zheet M'drurz said:
Then why hasn't it been pulled from use via a mandatory recall?

How can it stay out there in use if this is all known "fact"?

What does UL have to say about the issue, I'm assuming their
initials are on the load centers, no?

Sorry, but this stinks of "urban legend" as told by contractors
selling rival equipment.
Here's the basic part of the "legend"
http://www.prospec.net/federal_pacific.htm but I honestly think many
electricians were doing us a favor by not having faith in Federal Pacific.

Bill
 
T

TURTLE

This is Turtle.

Reply Below at the bull posted.


I-zheet M'drurz said:
Then why hasn't it been pulled from use via a mandatory recall?
If you knew anything about electrical work like you have claimed, you would
know FPE went belly up 10 to15 years ago and told UL to cram it.
How can it stay out there in use if this is all known "fact"?
All breaker companys will tell you that if your breaker are over 20 years
old. Your suppose to change them out. Who are you going to call when your
suppose have change them out for being old already. If you figure out what
to do on this one you can work on Enron customers and solve their problems
too.
What does UL have to say about the issue, I'm assuming their
initials are on the load centers, no?
UL , did stop putting their stamp on them but UL have nothing to do with
recalling a breaker for a bankrupt company. They just approve breaker as
being good at the time of the sale but not for 40 years later.
Sorry, but this stinks of "urban legend" as told by contractors
selling rival equipment.
Yes , Tom their breaker stink but who are you going to call , Ghost Busters
to revive the bankrupt company. The last time i checked on them. there was a
1 in a 5,000 that will fail in the close possion.

Yes, Tom You need to read up on them before you start judging dead horses.

TURTLE
 
T

TURTLE

Lee M. said:
I recently had to have my central air unit replaced. The HVAC contractor
said the Federal Pacific service entrance I have (house was built in 1970)
is notorious for breakers not tripping on an overload condition and causing
fires. He suggested I get it replaced. I'm inclined to think if the thing
has failed in 33 years, it's probably OK but it got me wondering. Are these
service entrances faulty by design? Should I play it safe and have it
replaced? I have no idea what the cost would be but after shelling out
$1900 for a new A/C unit, I'd hate to take another big hit on the home
repair budget this soon.
This is Turtle.

You can test these breaker out by putting load on them to see them pop. A
good electrician can do this very easily if he wants to and see them pop. If
they pop one time they are alright. The bad ones will not pop at all and can
be located very easily.

When in dought. Whip out your bilfold and replace them. Now testing does
pretty good.

TURTLE
 
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G

Gary Tait

This is Turtle.

Reply Below at the bull posted.




If you knew anything about electrical work like you have claimed, you would
know FPE went belly up 10 to15 years ago and told UL to cram it.


All breaker companys will tell you that if your breaker are over 20 years
old. Your suppose to change them out. Who are you going to call when your
suppose have change them out for being old already. If you figure out what
to do on this one you can work on Enron customers and solve their problems
too.


UL , did stop putting their stamp on them but UL have nothing to do with
recalling a breaker for a bankrupt company. They just approve breaker as
being good at the time of the sale but not for 40 years later.


Yes , Tom their breaker stink but who are you going to call , Ghost Busters
to revive the bankrupt company. The last time i checked on them. there was a
1 in a 5,000 that will fail in the close possion.

Yes, Tom You need to read up on them before you start judging dead horses.

TURTLE
FPE's Canadian division os going strong, yo can buy new panels and
breakers today, although they are of a somewhat new design (still
stab-lok though). Many Canadian electricians still use them, becuase
they are the cheapest I guess.
 
V

volts500

I-zheet M'drurz said:
Then why hasn't it been pulled from use via a mandatory recall?

How can it stay out there in use if this is all known "fact"?

What does UL have to say about the issue, I'm assuming their
initials are on the load centers, no?

Sorry, but this stinks of "urban legend" as told by contractors
selling rival equipment.
Sorry, but you are a dangerous moron, I-Shits-fer-brains, Tom "Firebug"
Pendergast...........try doing some _real_ electrical work Mr. Wannabe
Lesstrician,........you'd know that Federal Pacific is crap........along
with Zinsco and Challenger. Doesn't surprise me that you're trying to
defend one of the crappiest (and long since defunct) electrical
manufacturers in recent history.
 
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It is no legend , FPE Stab-Lock Circuit Breakers are not good . As has been said , they have problems tripping when they should , problems burning up the bus where they plug in , and the company is no longer in business ( in the USA ) .

You can fine replacements ( American Circuit Breaker , I think ) . They are expensive !

Here is what I would do , if it were mine ( but , again , I have already upgraded my service ) . Source a 2 pole , 2" wide circuit breaker of the appropriate amperage . Run appropriate sized circuit to the new A/C unit .

At the new A/C unit , install the appropriate amperage outdoor fused disconnect / safety switch , with the appropriate size fuses . Run the appropriate size Liquid-Tite flex & wire to the A/C unit , from the disconnect .

If it goes into overload , the fuse or fuses will blow , even if the Circuit Breaker does not .

I have over 35 years in electrical construction and several in maintenance . But believe what you wish .

I replaced a 6 or 8 circuit FPR loadcenter in the house we inherited from Mom and Dad .

Wyr
God bless
 

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