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Are Federal Pacific Electrical Panels Safe?

It’s a question that we hear all the time from our customers. And we’re always quick with a simple answer: “No.”

Though the Consumer Product Safety Commission never ordered a recall of Federal Pacific Electrical, or FPE, panels following a two-year investigation into the matter, the widely held thought is that these types of panels are much more likely to lead to a home fire or unexpected failure. And though the CPSC won’t take a formal stance on whether or not to replace an FPE panel, most reputable service providers and home inspectors have. It’s why if your property is currently outfitted with an FPE panel, we suggest contacting us immediately to have it replaced.

To learn more about the dangers and cost to replace a Federal Pacific Electrical panel check out the link below:

The Hazards of Federal Pacific Panels

If your property was constructed before the year 2000, then there’s a chance that it’s outfitted with an FPE panel (that is, if it hasn’t already been replaced). In fact, FPE panels were among the most popular of all electric panels installed between 1950 and 1980. However, these panels proved to be very problematic compared to other types of electrical panels, largely due to a lacking original design and cheap parts used in the manufacturing of such appliances. In fact, in 2005, a class action lawsuit was brought against FPE. As part of the legal matter, the FPE electric panel was formally investigated. Here’s a look at what was discovered:

  • FPE panel circuit breakers failed to trip much more frequently than other models. This has the potential to lead to damaged wiring and pose a fire risk.
  • FPE panels did not meet industry standards.

If one of these panels is still installed in your home or business, we suggest it be immediately replaced.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will a Federal Pacific Panel pass inspection?

No, a Federal Pacific Panel will not pass inspection. Federal Pacific Panels are known to be unsafe and unreliable, so they are no longer accepted for use in many jurisdictions throughout the United States. It is also important to note that Federal Pacific Panels will not be accepted for installation when it comes time to sell a property, so it is highly recommended that these panels be replaced with a safer option before any potential buyers start looking at the property.


When were Federal Pacific Panels recalled?

Federal Pacific Panels were not officially recalled, as these panels had no official recall process set in place. However, the National Electric Code (NEC) updated the requirements for electrical panels in 1981 and Federal Pacific Panels did not meet these new standards. Since then, many jurisdictions have refused to accept them for use or installation.


What era of building commonly has Federal Pacific Panels?

Many buildings built before 1981 may have a Federal Pacific Panel installed. These panels were commonly used in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings prior to the NEC updating its standards for electrical panels. It is important to note that these panels may still be found in older homes and buildings, so it is important to check for this when buying or selling a property.


How much does it cost to replace a Federal Pacific Panel?

The cost of replacing a Federal Pacific Panel will depend on the size and complexity of the job. Generally, it can range from $600 to over $800 for larger jobs. It is important to hire a licensed electrician for this kind of work, as it needs to be done safely and correctly in order to avoid any potential hazards.


You should never be surprised when your electrician delivers your bill. Before we perform services, we make sure to review your electrical needs and the proposed cost of those repairs. Our customers repeatedly report that our prices are not only competitive but also fair and honest. We never recommend repairs you don’t need, and we guarantee our upfront pricing principles.


FPE Panel Replacement

Though the Federal Pacific Electric Company has gone out of business and these panels are no longer available for purchase or installation, they still may be installed on your property. Like we noted earlier, if your property was constructed prior to the year 2000, it may have an FPE panel in it. And if it does, contact us today to schedule an appointment to have it replaced with a safer, better electric panel. As professional, qualified electricians, we’ll make sure that your old FPE panel is replaced and a new, more efficient one is properly installed. The end result won’t likely just be a better working overall electrical system, but a system that is also much safer as well. We’ll work with you to suggest a replacement panel that fits best within your property.


For more information on the potential dangers of Federal Pacific Electric panels and to learn more about why you should have one replaced immediately if there’s one installed in your property, contact us today. FPE panels are widely believed to be a danger to any property. Contact us today to schedule your appointment to have it replaced.
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