Federal Pacific panel box with Stab-Lok breakers


Old 05-10-07, 08:37 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3
Federal Pacific panel box with Stab-Lok breakers

I just got a home inspection and the guy noted Federal Pacific panel box with Stab-Lok breakers. Stab-Lok breakers have a history of latent safety defects.

I am going to call our electrician for some advice too but was wondering what the opinion of this was with everyone.

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Old 05-10-07, 08:42 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Replace it.
Old 05-10-07, 09:07 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3
Wow, ok ... any other opinions or more details as to why?

I believe it's 150 amp with about 12-15 lines running out of it and looking around this board, if I feel it's unsafe, it looks like it'd probably run $1500 - $2000 to replace the panel box for parts and labor (Southwest Virginia ~ $75/hr labor) or would I be way off in this guesstimate?
Old 05-10-07, 09:12 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Tustin
Posts: 90
Sounds about right as for the price. Federal Pacific has a high failure rate, and parts are very hard to find as they are no longer in business, hmmmm wonder why. Anyway, replace it, your price might actually be on the high side, considering that is about what we charge in california.
Old 05-10-07, 09:23 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Use Google on "Federal Pacific " or stab-lok" and you will find more than enough information as to why this recommendation is made.

If you are buying the house you can use this as a negotiating point for a lower price, insist that it be done, or do nothing. I would certainly get it replaced BEFORE I moved in no matter what.
Old 05-10-07, 09:43 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,541
Without question, you should have or negotiate to have the FPE breaker panel replaced.

Field tests have shown that Federal Pacific Stab-lok breakers have between 50% and 80% failure rate. There are numerous legal, engineering and safety problems with this line of panels and breakers.

Old 05-10-07, 12:05 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,305
If you're looking to save a bit of $$, there are conversion kits that you (or an electrican) basically removes the guts out of your panel, but keeps the metal box. You then get new innards, (main breaker, bus bars, breakers, etc) that comprise your new panel. I believe there are manufacturer links off the links that ibpooks mentioned.

It's a little easier and cheaper since you don't have to worry about replacing the box.

But - that said, if it were my house, I'd spend the extra few hundred dollars and replace the whole thing. Just wanted to provide options.

I'd agree with the others - have it done now - before you even move in. Scary, scary stories about those boxes.

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