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Reasons to Replace Your Old Federal Pacific Electrical Panel

Updated: May 20

Today I noticed an existing Federal Pacific electrical panel while working on a client's project in Roswell. These electrical panels are instantly noticeable by their red breaker style design. It needed to be replaced. These panels are instantly noticeable by their red breaker style design. If you have one of these panels still in your home, contact me today.

Old Federal Pacific Electrical Panel | Knightly Electrical Services
Old Federal Pacific Electrical Panel

What's the Big Deal?

Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) panels have gained notoriety over the years for several safety concerns and issues, which is why they are often considered "bad" and have been the subject of numerous recalls, investigations, and legal actions. The company that made them was shut down in the 1990's due to a class action lawsuit. Here's why:

  • Faulty Circuit Breakers: The primary concern with FPE panels is that their circuit breakers may not reliably trip when there is an overcurrent or short circuit, which is their fundamental safety function. This means that in the event of an electrical fault, the circuit may not disconnect, potentially leading to electrical fires and other hazards.

  • Deficient Testing and Certification: In the 1980s, investigations revealed that FPE conducted fraudulent testing of their circuit breakers, claiming they met safety standards when they did not. This raised significant doubts about the reliability of their products.

  • High Failure Rates: Numerous independent tests and studies conducted over the years have shown that FPE circuit breakers had a much higher failure rate than other brands. This unreliability poses a significant safety risk.

  • Aging and Deterioration: FPE panels installed in homes are often quite old today. As electrical components age, they can become more prone to problems and failures, compounding the inherent safety issues.

  • Lack of Replacement Parts: Finding replacement circuit breakers for FPE panels can be challenging because FPE is no longer in business, and their products are not readily available. This can lead to homeowners resorting to used or refurbished breakers, which may not be reliable.

  • Fire Hazards: There have been documented cases of electrical fires linked to FPE panels and breakers. These fires can be devastating and life-threatening.

  • Failure to Meet Current Safety Standards: FPE panels and breakers do not meet current electrical safety standards, which have evolved and become more stringent over the years. This makes them incompatible with modern electrical systems and safety expectations.

Installing New Electrical Panel | Knightly Electrical Services
Installing New Electrical Panel

How Can a New Electrical Panel Benefit you?

  • Increased Electrical Capacity: One of the primary reasons for upgrading an electrical panel is to increase its capacity. Modern households often have more electrical appliances and devices than older systems can handle. An upgraded panel allows for the safe use of additional appliances without overloading the system.

  • Improved Safety: Older electrical panels may have outdated technology and may not meet current safety standards. Upgrading to a newer panel can reduce the risk of electrical fires, shocks, and other safety hazards.

  • Energy Efficiency: Our Leviton smart capable electrical panels are designed to improve energy efficiency. You can monitor exactly how much electricity each circuit is using at what time, and learn to lower the amount of electricity you use. Over time this will lead to lower energy bills as the system operates more efficiently.

  • Home Value: An upgraded electrical panel can increase the value of your home. Potential buyers are often willing to pay more for a home with a modern electrical system that doesn't require immediate upgrades or repairs.

Finished Electrical Panel | Knightly Electrical Services
Finished Electrical Panel

Need help with your home or business electrical needs? Contact your knight, Ryan Smith with Knightly Electrical Services at 770-243-5706!

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