Federal Pacific Panel Replacement - Inspection? - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-12-2008, 03:13 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1
Rewards Points: 10

Federal Pacific panel replacement - inspection?

I have a 200 amp federal pacific / fpe / stab-lok main panel similar to the ones in the class action lawsuit that is apparently a fire hazard. I have been considering having the panel replaced. However, my question relates to inspection, or lack thereof. I have modified/rebalanced some of the loads and circuits over the course of several small remodel projects without inspections. If I was to have the panel replaced, it would be obvious that some of the wiring is newer than the original box/inspection. Would the panel replacement require the entire house electrical system be inspected or in compliance with code? If so, how would the existing hidden wiring be inspected and verified?

For instance, when we bought the house 4 years ago, the home inspection noted the bathrooms did not have GFCI. Also, a small disconnect box for the 40 amp dryer circuit is not firmly connected to the wall. Would all these things have to be corrected as well?


dcp143 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2008, 03:24 PM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Central MN
Posts: 367
Rewards Points: 266

It depends on how strict the building department is. In my town, of you have your service upgraded, the only thing that gets inspected is the new panel and service, and anything else the permit was pulled for. In a neighboring city, all you do is touch the wiring, and things such as interconnected smoke detectors need to get installed before they will even look at you.


junkcollector is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2008, 04:58 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,294
Rewards Points: 1,000

In AZ you only have to upgrade the bonding/grounding.
220/221 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2008, 07:52 PM   #4
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 948
Rewards Points: 1,274

In some areas, the inspector for your new service/panel will not be aware that the newer circuits were never inspected. Here, the inspector is not permitted to issue violations for items he's not there to inspect. So he could walk through Frankenstein's lab and not be able to acknowledge it, to inspect the duplex receptacle for the auxiliary brain warmer.
LawnGuyLandSparky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2008, 11:23 PM   #5
Registered User
Termite's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 6,520
Rewards Points: 2,000

Chances are that the inspector will only want to look at panel-related issues. He's there for a service change, and in most jurisdictions he doesn't really have the authority to tell you to tear into walls to show concealed wiring unless he sees an incredibly unsafe condition.

As an inspector in a city full of 50-100 year old homes, I often have to put on my blinders and inspect only what I am there to inspect, and look past some of the non-related scary stuff I see. I'll often point out unsafe conditions to people off the record, but the record only shows me inspecting the permitted scope of work. I'd never consider testing someones kitchen GFCI's (for instance) if I were there for a service upgrade in the basement. I'd check to make sure that everything pertaining to the panel is good, and would check the grounds.

You can always say that you didn't do the new work and bought the house as it currently is. How would he know any different? I doubt they'd retroactively punish you for doing minor work without a permit though.

I'd recommend an anonymous (caller ID blocked) call describing the situation and what you want to do. Speak with the inspector regarding your concerns and see what he says. I imagine he'll be reasonable, considering you're doing this due to safety reasons.

Last edited by Termite; 05-12-2008 at 11:25 PM.
Termite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2008, 11:26 PM   #6
Registered User
Termite's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 6,520
Rewards Points: 2,000

Originally Posted by LawnGuyLandSparky View Post
... to inspect the duplex receptacle for the auxiliary brain warmer.
Auxilliary brain warmers have to be on arc-fault breakers if I recall correctly. Its in a deep, dark corner of the NEC somewhere.

Last edited by Termite; 05-12-2008 at 11:29 PM.
Termite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2008, 05:57 PM   #7
Join Date: May 2008
Location: north east
Posts: 728
Rewards Points: 500

next town over from me, guy (condo owner) told me, he called the town inspector in to check some work he had done by a contractor, permit was pulled, inspector tagged him on a couple other things, when owner questioned inspector about it, inspector said that once he enters your dwelling, he can inspect the whole home.
DUDE! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2008, 07:52 PM   #8
Idiot Emeritus
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Fernley, Nevada (near Reno)
Posts: 1,849
Rewards Points: 1,492

Inspections vary widely; I live in Fernley, NV, a small town that grew quickly. It's only been an official city about 3 years now, and the Building department is without question the worst one I've ever worked with in 35 years in the construction trades. For anything done to an existing building, you don't just get one permit, it's at least two. When they come out to inspect, they'll 'notice' something, even if they have to make it up. I'm not kidding, it's that bad. Consequently, the vast majority of work done on existing structures is done without a permit. It's really too bad, I greatly prefer to have my work inspected.

In Reno, they'll only write something up if it is indeed a hazard. Pretty rare. In Sparks and the County, they just look at what is on the permit, but will advise if they see a hazard. Most work here is done with permits, as there's little hassle. What a difference!


P.S. Auxiliary brain warmers are covered in article 666. (Where else?!!? LOL).


Last edited by micromind; 05-13-2008 at 07:56 PM.
micromind is offline   Reply With Quote

remodel code inspection

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Adding a second Electric sub panel TW Lucas Electrical 9 10-05-2008 02:37 AM
Replacement Meter Panel leonard_voet Electrical 19 04-09-2008 10:27 AM
Installing new (service?) breaker panel and generator panel Nhrafan Electrical 6 04-01-2008 03:03 PM
Panel Replacement former33t Electrical 5 02-22-2008 07:50 PM
turn main panel into a sub panel? tikicarver Electrical 2 01-24-2008 07:37 AM

Top of Page | View New Posts


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1