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Old 11-29-2009, 12:18 PM   #1
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Federal Pacific stab-lock circuit breaker

I know the reputation of FPE here and everyone is going to want me to replace this panel and someday I will. What I have is this panel on the outside of my house. Top half feeds a newer circuit breaker panel just behind it and the bottom portion feeds a detached garage. I need to add a 40 amp circuit in place of an existing 30 amp that is currently not used (second from the bottom). I can find used fuse blocks/holders but was wondering if this FPE "stab-lock" circuit breaker would fit in this panel. The breakers are much cheaper than than the fuse blocks used. Pictures show my panel and front/back views of the circuit breaker in question. Anyone know. Thanks
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Federal Pacific stab-lock circuit breaker-outside-opened.jpg   Federal Pacific stab-lock circuit breaker-fpe-front.jpg   Federal Pacific stab-lock circuit breaker-fpe-back.jpg  


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Old 11-29-2009, 12:24 PM   #2
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Look in the panel label for a list of acceptable breakers that can be used in the panel. If your breaker is on the list you are good to install it. If it is not on the list be prepared for a hefty price for the correct breaker.

Like you already know you will not find many fans of FPE panels.


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Old 11-29-2009, 12:52 PM   #3
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You can tell simply by looking at it that the busing will not accept that breaker.
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Old 11-29-2009, 01:18 PM   #4
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Old 11-29-2009, 09:07 PM   #5
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Typical old style split-bus panel there. Look carefully at the exposed bus bar section in the middle, and you can plainly see a gap separating the top half from the bottom.

While there were not any UL issues associated with the FPE fuse panels, it is still a fuse box and as such may be considered obsolete.

Many insurance companies are now surcharging policy holders who have such equipment in their houses, due to the ease of using the wrong sized fuse when replacing a blown one.

The other issue with these is one of safety: Replacing a fuse can expose one to live "hot" connections and one slip up can be lethal.

Life is uncertain -- eat dessert first!!
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