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Old 11-14-2012, 03:49 PM   #1
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Should I replace my Federal Pacific Breaker Panel?


Hi,
I have a Federal Pacific panel and am looking into getting it replaced based on all the talk I am hearing about their being a hazard. However, after a closer look, I am not seeing anywhere on the panel that the words Stab Loc appear. Everything I read says that StabLoc panels and breakers are a problem, but I can not find any definitive source that says to replace ALL FPE panels. I've spoken to two electricians who say to replace it, but I need a more impartial opinion as their interests would obviously be served by making that recommendation. As well I would feel they would be reluctant to declare it safe and to say not to replace it given the obvious liability involved.
So My question to everyone is this. Are ANY FPE panels safe? I'm being quoted $2700 to replace my panel with a 200A Square D Along with a generator transfer switch and outdoor interconnect receptacle for my generator. Roughly broken down as $1500 for labor and $1200 for parts. I'd like to know if this is reasonable. But most of all, is this really necessary?
I appreciate any help I can get.
Thanks,
Scott
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:16 PM   #2
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Should I replace my Federal Pacific Breaker Panel?


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Old 11-14-2012, 05:24 PM   #3
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Should I replace my Federal Pacific Breaker Panel?


Its really hard to convince someone to replace something that is "working" until it fails to do its job. $2700 for all of that isnt a bad price IMO.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:39 PM   #4
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Should I replace my Federal Pacific Breaker Panel?


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Its really hard to convince someone to replace something that is "working" until it fails to do its job. $2700 for all of that isnt a bad price IMO.
I think the OP is willing to spend the $2700 if necessary. The question is, are ALL FPE panels fire hazards or just the StabLoc panels?
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:44 PM   #5
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Should I replace my Federal Pacific Breaker Panel?


Beyond the safety issues, those breakers are no longer manufactured and replacements are very expensive. I had a FPE panel in my house and I had it replaced as a negotiation during the purchase.

If your area allows and you feel comfortable with it, you could do it yourself. It's not as bad a job as it seems. Just need to cut power at the meter/disconnect.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:49 PM   #6
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Should I replace my Federal Pacific Breaker Panel?


It's obviously bothering you, so much so you are asking a bunch of strangers on the internet. If you can afford it, I say go for it. Nothing mandates you to change it.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:41 PM   #7
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Should I replace my Federal Pacific Breaker Panel?


While you may not find the wording on the panel cover, rest assured you do indeed have a Stab-Lok panel there.

Here is one link to start on your research.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:50 AM   #8
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Should I replace my Federal Pacific Breaker Panel?


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Originally Posted by k_buz
It's obviously bothering you, so much so you are asking a bunch of strangers on the internet. If you can afford it, I say go for it. Nothing mandates you to change it.
It's only bothering me to the extent that I believe it's an issue. I'm asking here hoping I can find anyone who may have first hand knowledge of these panels. I realize I don't have to change it but I certainly will of it is a hazard. I just want to know if what I have is a problem and not replace it simply out of FUD.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:52 AM   #9
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Should I replace my Federal Pacific Breaker Panel?


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Originally Posted by tylernt
I think the OP is willing to spend the $2700 if necessary. The question is, are ALL FPE panels fire hazards or just the StabLoc panels?
Agreed.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:48 PM   #10
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Should I replace my Federal Pacific Breaker Panel?


Don't know where you are located, but in the State of Florida no insurance company will write a policy for a home with an FPE panel. In addition, many companies are performing inspections and are requiring homeowners who have FPE panels to have them replaced in order to continue with their current insurance. You might have a similar situation where you live.

FPE panels and breakers have been a problem for a long time. My recommendation to anyone is to change the panel before (not if) a problem occurs.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:42 PM   #11
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Should I replace my Federal Pacific Breaker Panel?


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Originally Posted by czars
Don't know where you are located, but in the State of Florida no insurance company will write a policy for a home with an FPE panel. In addition, many companies are performing inspections and are requiring homeowners who have FPE panels to have them replaced in order to continue with their current insurance. You might have a similar situation where you live.

FPE panels and breakers have been a problem for a long time. My recommendation to anyone is to change the panel before (not if) a problem occurs.
Thanks for the information. I am proceeding with the repair and comparing 2 quotes I have. Average is around $2600.
If the fact is that all FPE breaker panels are an issue then I would encourage everyone to stop calling out the StabLoc breakers by name and instead warn about FPE as a whole. Seems to be misleading otherwise and could cause someone like myself who isn't sure to second guess something that is important to remedy.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:44 PM   #12
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Should I replace my Federal Pacific Breaker Panel?


Where are you located?
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:21 PM   #13
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Should I replace my Federal Pacific Breaker Panel?


Opinion as a homeowner who replaced my old FPE panel - yes. I had heard from trusted friends with electrical skills that even if not a fire hazard per say that those old breakers are suspect to not tripping/responding as timely as they should.
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:46 PM   #14
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Should I replace my Federal Pacific Breaker Panel?


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Old 11-18-2012, 06:55 PM   #15
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Should I replace my Federal Pacific Breaker Panel?


Well, I managed to answer my own question. I decided to go ahead with the replacement and in preparation I removed an extra panel that was no longer in use which was in place for an electric hot water heater. Upon opening it up, right away I saw that the breakers were marked StabLoc.
(before I get a lecture, know that I tested for voltage using a meter and took every precaution)
So just because it doesn't say StabLoc on the outside it doesn't mean anything. I got the quote down to $2570 for a square D panel with space for around 30 circuits. Around 20 breakers are included, a generator interlock and outdoor interconnect socket. Will have it in place in a couple weeks.

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