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  • Writer's pictureDavid Darrah

Federal Pacific Electric Panels (FPE) WARNING

Federal Pacific Electric Company was one of the most common manufacturers of circuit breaker panels from the 1950’-1980’s. MIllions were installed in homes all over the country. Over the years, these panels have failed inspections and failed to protect homeowners and their families. Experts say, they work fine for years, but after one over-current or short circuit they overheat and become fire hazards.

In a class action lawsuit, a New Jersey Court ruled that the Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) Company “violated the Consumer Fraud Act because FPE knowingly and purposefully distributed circuit breakers which were not tested to meet UL standards…” An expert who investigated the potential hazards of FPE panels stated under *UL 489 test conditions, that FPE panels fail to trip at a much higher rate than standard panels. ( *See UL 489 Circuit Breaker Standards at

FPE panels have consequently lost the industry standard Underwriter Laboratories (UL) rating. This is a rating you will see stamped on compliant fixtures and appliances that are built to high standards.

FPE panel failure is a known issue across the electrical engineering industry and known amongst builders and tradesmen alike. It is a flagged issue in inspections for home buyers of older homes.

It is of key importance to replace the Federal Pacific Electrical Panel in your home as soon as possible, the potential for fires is great, and may become an insurability issue for the homeowner. Open up your circuit breaker panel and see if this is what is in your home.

If you find you have a Federal Pacific Electrical panel in your home, please contact Gringo Dave’s Electric, Inc. today at or 719-290-1484 to discuss your panel upgrade needs and receive individualized home recommendations.

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