Hi all. I want to replace my existing Federal Pacific Stab-Lok Load
Center breaker box because the reports that I've heard about it scare
me, and I want to rewire my whole house because the old wiring scares
me. I have a replacement plan in mind, and before I bring in someone
that knows more than I do, I'd like to get as much lined up as
I plan to install a 100amp breaker into my existing FPE (200 amp
service) box to service a new breaker box (also 200 amp service), then
rewire the house to the new box, and because of other reasons we will
be moving the incoming service to the new box. Note: I say "we" but
in this case "we" means electricians and the electric company as far
as they need to be involved.
Anyway, if anyone is familiar with the FPE Stab-Lok load center, I'd
appreciate some advice about the 100amp breaker. I've found the
NA2100 (Type NA, 2 poles, 100 amp) breakers, but I'm not sure if this
is the one I need for this breaker box or not. My existing breakers
are type NC. Apparently the type NB breakers bolt in ("B" is for
"Bolt" obviously). I have found several of the 30amp or less breakers
as type NC, but anything over that seem to be type NA. I just want to
know if the NA2100 will work in my box...or if you need more
information to make that determination.
I'm not exactly understanding why you want to feed the panel from the
existing FPE panel, if you're moving the service to the new panel, unless
this is just for a temporary setup. I wouldn't replace the FPE equipment out
of fear of fire. I would replace it simply because it's garbage. I believe
the difference between the NA and NC is that the NA, possibly because of
it's 100 amp rating stabs into four places on the buss, as opposed to just
Let me retract that, it appears that the NA breakers are full sized double
pole, and the NC are half sized double pole. My guess is that they don't
make half sized double pole breakers in the larger sizes, like 100 amp. In
any event the 2/100 NA will fit in the panel in a location where you'd
install four full size single pole breakers, two on each side of the buss
Yes, it's only temporary. Rather than replacing everything at once,
it will let me rewire the different circuits as I can, and would
ensure minimal downtime when it comes time to move the service to the
new box. The old FPE is history after that.
Thanks for the response.
I _believe_ all NA and NC are allowed in any FPE panel that takes one or
the other, but the real answer is on the sticker on the inside of your
panel -- it will list the allowable breakers it accepts.
I'm assuming this is intended simply as a temporary feed to the new
panel? Be sure you use adequately-sized cable to feed it -- don't try
to "get by" w/ something too small just because it's temporary and
You're correct that it's listed inside the box...I found that after
I'd sent this question to the group. It accepts NA, NC, & 2B
(whatever that is?) breakers. And yes, I've spoken with an
electrician and will be using 2 gauge 4 conductor (2 hots, 1 common, 1
ground) copper from this breaker to the new breaker box.
Thanks a bunch.
I think it's a waste of time and those FPE breakers are more expensive than
other brands. Many service changes to single family houses are done in a
day. Unless there is some other reason to temporarily feed a new panel I
suggest that you start talking to qualified electrical contractors about
what you are trying to accomplish. If you don't want to swing over the old
circuits to the new 200 amp panel, have the electricians run a feed from the
new panel to the old panel thereby making it a sub panel.
Excellent suggestion! Actually I have spoken with a couple
electricians, but they mostly just agreed that what I had planned
would work and was a good way to approach it. I guess that my idea
was the reverse of what you suggested...make the new panel a sub-
panel, rewire, then switch the service. Moving the service and then
making the old one a sub-panel I think is indeed a better approach.
It'll be much easier to find the appropriate 100amp breaker for the
new panel, and I'd certainly trust it much more than another old Stab-
Lok double-pole breaker in the FPE breaker box.
Thanks for the new approach.
YOU WILL NEED A NEW 200 AM SERVICE DROP and meter can.erhaps its me
but one step is easier.
or install the new main panel and feed each new breaker to a feed in
the old FPE box, after stripping out all the old breakers and
just use the old box as a pass thru.
i have thought about doing that at a home, since the wires are too
short and a garage door track obstructs the area,.
better one pass thru box than 10 or 12 junction boxes.eater smaller
Well, back to plan one.
About your plan to put a 100-amp breaker in the existing box and feed a
200-Amp box from that:
I suspect pulling 100 Amps through one breaker will melt the stab-on bar.
I'd replace the existing box with a new, 200A one. You won't have to splice
Just because it'd be a 100 amp breaker doesn't mean that 100 amps will
be drawn through it...but that's mute at this point anyway.
If I trusted the wiring AND didn't want to move the service entrance,
I would indeed do a simple breaker box replacement. The new plan as
per John's suggestion is to install the new 200Amp breaker box, have
the service moved to the new breaker box, install a 100Amp breaker in
the NEW breaker box (instead of the old one), and use that breaker to
feed the old Federal Pacific breaker box until I can rewire everything
to the new box.
As a benefit of doing this, when I remove the old FPE breaker box,
I'll replace it with a 100Amp sub panel and feed it with the same
100Amp breaker that temporarily fed the old FPE box. Because some of
my heavier wires feeding ranges, dryers, etc are already there and are
somewhat more recent wires than the rest of the house, I'll just
connect those to the 100Amp sub panel and won't have to rewire those.
The rest of the house can be rewired room by room as I get time (it's
definitely a priority!).
I'll definitely consult with an electrician(s) as for the components
to use and how to load each circuit & leg in the box, but I'll also
save a few $$$ by breaking my own back and dropping my own wires.
Thanks again everyone for their suggestions!
Replacing just the circuit breaker in a Stab-Loc panel will not solve the latent
fire/electrical hazard of the equipment. The Stab-Loc equipment is "LISTED"
with Stab-Loc breakers only. Replacing the Stab-Loc breakers with any other
make of breaker results in a combination "NEVER" evaluated by the Listing
Agency. In fact, the result could be worse than the already existing latent
I think what the OP wants to do is install a new, non-fpe panel and
TEMPORARILY feed it from the old panel with a 100 amp breaker. There
is no 100 amp stab-lock breaker made to fit the load side of that
panel. There is no 100 amp breaker PERIOD made to fit the load side of
that panel. The 100 amp bolt-in is for the service side of the panel.
An electrican would likely temporaitly feed the service breaker of the
new panel directly from the service breaker of the old panel. I assume
this is to allow the old circuitry to continue to run untill the new
circuitry is installed and connected to the new panel... Might
actually be better to install the new panel FIRST, and connect the
service to it - and feed the old panel temporarilly from the new - 50
amps shuld do it for the short term if you are carefull - and move the
heavy loads to the new panel first - - -
There are at least the UBI replacements available 3rd-party that are
certified to have met the applicable ANSI Standard altho these
particular ones' manufacturer has not expended the bucks to get the UL
It seems I recall at least one other outfit in Canada but it may be that
the two are the same parent just the one dealing w/ US and the other
Canadian markets; won't swear one way or t'other.
The unfortunate thing w/ the UBI is that they are quite expensive in
comparison to alternatives for other manufacturers so it may be more
economical in the long run to go ahead and swap out the panel anyway.
According to NEC, a listed device is considered "PROTECTED" when applied in
accordance with it's listing and/or labeling requirements.
Any alteration to a "LISTED" device voids it's protection (ref: NEC paragraph
Which raises an interesting fact. Most homes and office buildings I've
inspected have 20 ampere circuit breakers providing branch circuit protection to
wall outlets, switch, listed cord and direct connected equipment. If the listed
cord connected equipment utilizes a NEMA 5-15 plug, it's not protected, and
because it cannot be applied to such branch circuit protection and still be
considered "PROTECTED" (Ref: NEC paragraph 240.5(B) (1)). This also explains
the fires caused by "overloaded" extension cord you hear about every X-mas
season, and couldn't happen if branch circuit protection were done in accordance
with NEC (ref: NEC paragraph 110.3(A)(8)).
On 12/13/2013 11:44 AM, Let's get it right! wrote:
(B-1 is protection of the cord of a listed device)
Also B-3 (protection of listed extension cords).
15A receptacles are allowed on 20A circuits. You are saying that the
listing requirements of devices and extension cords with a 15A plug do
not allow them on 20A circuits? I see no reason to believe that is true
(and it would be absurd). Perhaps a cite?
Try 110.2 (approved). "Listed" apparatus is normally "approved" and
110.3-A (examination) would not normally be done.
But 110.3-B (used in accordance with listing) is applicable. Fires are
likely from not using according to the instructions.
I guess this device should be unlisted:
It appears that it accepts both 15 and 20 amp plugs. I wonder why that is?
I have shopped at many stores and have yet to see an appliance with a true
twenty amp plug. I am so confused...
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