Federal Pacific Panel or F.P.E.
F.P.E. where produced between 1950 - 1980`s.
Why do home inspectors automatically call for a panel replacement when these panels have been in thousands of homes across the Greater Cleveland area for the last 60 years?
1. Current owners who currently reside in the home may not have challenged the older system or overloaded it. When a younger couple moves into the home the younger generation will challenge the older systems with their new and latest electrical gadgets. They may not consider adding outlets were needed and just add an outlet strip. The newer componets run on more voltage and amperage and thus will certainly create situations that may cause the breaker to trip or they may not trip.
2.Once Reliance acquired F.P.E. in 1979, they conducted their own tests of F.P.E. breakers as part of the acquisition and found that the breakers were not performing as designed.
3. Then the CSPC was called in on an independent study of the F.P.E. breakers and did find that their was sufficient evidence that the breakers werent performing as intended on overload.
4. There is no allowable tolerance for safety failure when it comes to life safety.
5. Once you have determined from researching the data that is out there on several web sites and from the CSPC study that the F.P.E. breakers are defective. One starts to research the possibility of replacing the breakers as an less inexpensive alternative.
6. The cost to replace one 15 amp F.P.E. breaker cost around $50.00. A 30 amp double pole replacement breaker cost around $65.00. Once you start adding the cost to just replace the breaker and the possibility of electrical upgrades in most older homes that will need additional spacing for breakers. I think you will come to the conclusion that it is most cost effective to just replace the entire electrical panel. In the Cleveland, Ohio area this could run between $550.00 - $850.00. Really not that much money and piece of mind to boot!
Mark Cassidy (246393) is current owner of Crown Inspection Solutions.