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#7969 - 03/03/02 11:36 AM Federal Pacific circuit breakers
Josh Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/03/02
Posts: 2
Loc: Florida
I’m new to the board so my apologies in advance if I hit on a topic already discussed. I am in the process of helping a friend wire in his Spa when I discovered he had an Federal Pacific electric panel with “stab loc: type circuit breakers. I have seen many articles on the web stating that these circuit breakers fail to trip on over current conditions and are fire hazards. I’d like to solicit your opinions on Federal Pacific breakers. Are they a problem? Should my friend have them replaced?

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#7970 - 03/03/02 01:08 PM Re: Federal Pacific circuit breakers
Tom Offline
Member

Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 1069
Loc: Shinnston, WV USA
FPE breakers, in the opinion of many, are to be avoided at all costs. They should be pounded into dust, preferably using a very large hammer (power off, of course).

I always recommend replacement of the entire panelboard when I run across this brand. Besides, the premium price that you will pay for a couple of breakers, especially 2 pole, will almost buy a new 100 amp panel. I can imagine what you'll pay for a GFI breaker for one of these panels.

Jerk the panel out, junk it and we'll all sleep better knowing that another one has bit the dust.

Tom
_________________________
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.

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#7971 - 03/03/02 01:17 PM Re: Federal Pacific circuit breakers
CTwireman Offline
Member

Registered: 02/07/02
Posts: 839
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Tom said it all. Junk the panel

A 2 pole FPE GFI for a spa will be hideously expensive, if you can find one.
_________________________
Peter

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#7972 - 03/03/02 03:54 PM Re: Federal Pacific circuit breakers
sparky66wv Offline
Member

Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2339
Loc: West Virginia
I "third" the motion...

Trash 'em.
_________________________
-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI

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#7973 - 03/03/02 05:33 PM Re: Federal Pacific circuit breakers
circuit man Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/01
Posts: 287
Loc: saluda,s.c.
i agree with the guys, JUNK IT. i have one in my house , belive it or not they actually trip. real old panel. but my neighbor had one. he wanted to run 230 to his shop, after looking at the price of a new 20 circuit panel& all the brekers we needed to replace,we still come out cheaper.it seems the reason there so high is there was a class action lawsuit against them in the 80's. the reason i say this is because i saw the memo.again just throw that junk away & put in a quality panel, that way both you & your friend can sleep better at night.ERWIN

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#7974 - 03/03/02 05:57 PM Re: Federal Pacific circuit breakers
motor-T Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/01
Posts: 293
Loc: Girard, Ohio, USA
To All:
I agree with all the posts above, but I saw a scary advertisement in either EC&M or CEE. It shows a picture of Air-Force One, and the caption says, and I paraphrase, Protected by Federal Pacific if that isnt down right frightening I dont know what is.
Mark

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#7975 - 03/03/02 06:33 PM Re: Federal Pacific circuit breakers
sparky66wv Offline
Member

Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2339
Loc: West Virginia
I'm not sure, but Federal Pacific Electric and this "new" Federal Pacific may not be the same company, and if they're not, their marketing team needs to be replaced...

Change your name or live with the reputation...

Just MHO
_________________________
-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI

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#7976 - 03/04/02 04:05 AM Re: Federal Pacific circuit breakers
Redsy Offline
Member

Registered: 03/28/01
Posts: 2138
Loc: Bucks County PA
See also link titled "FPE Policy" dated 1-7-02

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#7977 - 03/04/02 06:37 AM Re: Federal Pacific circuit breakers
Josh Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/03/02
Posts: 2
Loc: Florida
Thanks for the info! You guys are right: It is hard as hell to get a FPE GFI circuit breaker. I don’t know the cost yet because I haven’t been able to locate one! I will pass the info on to my friend before he purchases a Pacific Federal circuit breaker.

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#7978 - 03/04/02 08:27 AM Re: Federal Pacific circuit breakers
mamills Offline
Member

Registered: 11/30/01
Posts: 739
Loc: Wharton, Texas, USA
Hi, Josh.
I used to have a Federal Pacific in my house, and I'll admit, never had a moment's trouble with it. I starting reading some of the comments these guys wrote, then began having trouble sleeping at night, worrying about the possibility of a fire. I tossed the Federal Pacific a few months ago and installed a new Square D in its place. Cost not withstanding, it's nice to have something that you can depend on to function when it has to.
You and your friend would be well advised to upgrade to a better panel. In addition to losing the Federal Pacific, I would strongly advise staying away from Zinsco. In my years in the fire service, I have been to several calls related to Zinsco failures.

Glad to have you here!

Mike (mamills)

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