older Federal Pioneer panels (fire hazard ?)

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Old 04-07-09, 09:10 PM
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older Federal Pioneer panels (fire hazard ?)

A while back, via some odd connections from a web search, I was reading about how Federal Pioneer electrical panels can be a fire hazard.
Something about probs with the breakers (main or circuit ?) that would 'trip' but not actually cut the power in some cases. In lab tests, they would fail at a hugely higher rate than the industry standard.

Anyone know about this ? My subpanel (used to be main before the reno's..) panel is a "FPE" (a couple of site refer to them as "Fire Prone Equipment" lol) StabLoc, 100a from 1977ish.

Should I be looking for a replacement for this panel ?

Did have one real odd situation during reno's.. the carpenter was laying up some drywall and somehow stuck his screwdriver into a switch outlet. Neither the 15a breaker feeding that switch, nor the 100a main breaker in the FPE subpanel tripped.. instead the (new) 60a breaker in the MAIN panel tripped.

At the time, I thought maybe the new breakers were just a little speedier off the mark. That's probably the case anyhow.. (i hope ?)
 
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Old 04-07-09, 10:11 PM
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Ihave said it in the other post, but Canadian FPE panels are not really affected in the notice or recall that is sometimes brought up.

If you want to feel safe, you can replace the old breakers with new ones. I bet your breakers have the red/orange paint on the end of the panel. Those are the ones I'd worry most about replacing. Any of the white body breakers are perfectly safe.
 
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Old 04-08-09, 11:50 AM
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Here's a site you might what to check out on the Breakers & Panel.

Federal Pacific Electric Panels: Fires Waiting to Happen, Debate Waiting to Be Ended

Jim
 
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Old 04-09-09, 12:28 PM
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As I have said, that only applies to FPE panels/breakers sold in the USA, and might or might not apply to similar vintage FPE panels sold/installed in Canada. AFAIK, it was a faulty design/manufacture of the breakers themselves at fault, which a changeout to new breakers will fix.

Reading that site, it seems to be cautiosly ambivolent about the safety of newer FPE equipment sold by Schneder.
 
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Old 04-09-09, 04:13 PM
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Ya, that site was one of the ones I read. They dont seem to go into detail about exactly this type of breaker or that.. more or less a get-rid-of-your-FPE type writeup. Certainly the new owners of the PFE line arent gonna say anything even if they did know.. no point taking liability if ya dont have to.

Im not sure what you mean about 'red/orange paint at the end of the panel' ? End of the breaker ? Ill have to pull the cover off and looksee. The bodies sticking out are all black except for one white one.
 
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