Federal Pacific Electric Stabloc

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Today I discovered that a friend (who I value) lives in a trailer, with a Federal Pacific Electric Stabloc breaker panel. Who can spot why this might be a concern? What is the reccomended course of action?
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
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On 12/24/2011 9:18 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Considering that there are hundreds of thousands of similar panels out there, why should there be a course of action? It's an old and crappy panel, but unless you find any particular defect in it, just leave it alone.
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RBM wrote:

If it's a trailer it shouldn't be a very big panel. I'd bet you could replace it with a top of the line QO panel and breakers for perhaps $100. Cheap peace of mind given just how crappy the bus connection is on those stab-loc panels. Much higher quality breakers as well given the propensity of the stab-loc breakers to fail.
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wrote:

QO breakers fail too. The recommendations I'm getting up here - most electricians are using Seimens
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

When I start seeing failures with my QO installations I'll consider using something else.

They seem to be good but not as readily available around here.
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For sure! Glad someone else knew.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
If it's a trailer it shouldn't be a very big panel. I'd bet you could replace it with a top of the line QO panel and breakers for perhaps $100. Cheap peace of mind given just how crappy the bus connection is on those stab-loc panels. Much higher quality breakers as well given the propensity of the stab-loc breakers to fail.
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They are unsafe. http://www.inspectapedia.com/fpe/fpepanel.htm Need to be taken out, and replaced with a newer, safer panel.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Considering that there are hundreds of thousands of similar panels out there, why should there be a course of action? It's an old and crappy panel, but unless you find any particular defect in it, just leave it alone.
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On 12/25/2011 9:48 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

I'm sure if you search, you'll find similar opinions of many breakers and panels. I'm all for changing any crappy panel including FPE, Frank Adams, Zinsco, Bulldog pushmatic, to name a few. FPE was made in Newark, NJ so my area of downstate NY is crawling with their equipment. I personally have seen more burnouts in Murray panels, a well respected brand then I've seen in crappy FPE panels, in my 40 years as an electrician. I have never seen any fire related to a FPE panel or breaker, including ones that have failed. IMO the primary reason to replace FPE equipment is that their breakers now cost about 5 times what every other manufacturer charges.
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Branch circuit receptacles in mobile homes scare the fsk out of me. One thing I'd never do is use high draw appliances like a space heaters, electric griddles or toasters. And if there is ***any*** flickering on a circuit I'd get it fixed immediately.
On 12/24/2011 9:18 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

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Of course, some people replace the receptacles, and put in better quality ones. The mobile home builders use the cheapest ones they can find.
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On 12/25/2011 09:52 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Are they any worse than the ones typically used in homes? I don't think I've ever seen "spec grade" receps in any house unless I put them in myself.
nate
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On Dec 24, 9:18pm, "Stormin Mormon"

nicknamed the fire starter federal pacific falsified test data to get UL approval and ultimately went out of business.
the panels were poor quality and tended to catch on fire, worse the breakers often dont trip on a overload, or once a breaker trips once is like 30% less likely to EVER trip again.
That panel is a severe fire hazard, and should be replaced immediately.
many homeowners insurance companies refuse to insure homes with FP panels.
if you doubt any of this just google it
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On 12/24/2011 11:25 PM, bob haller wrote:

FPE was sold to Reliance Electric and is still being made (and apparently reliable) in Canada. FPE falsified data to continue UL listing before it was sold to Reliance.

There were problems with some of the breakers FPE made. The CPSC started an investigation which turned up problems but the investigation was dropped (probably not based on merit). Specific problems were some breakers not tripping at 130% of rated load and some 2-pole breakers jamming where the overload was not equal on both legs. Far as I know the problem covered breakers produced in a particular time span - which you can't identify.
There were also problems with screwed together busses.

The usual overstatement. Panels may or may not be OK (other than being "crappy"). If I had one I would replace it. I believe Cutler Hammer used to make replacement 'guts'.
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My friend isn't taking any chances, the panel box is being replaced in the next few days.
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I was trolling, knew all that already. You are so, so right.
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wrote:

FPE still sells (or did up untill about 3 months ago) panels in Canada - there are hundreds of thousands of them in use, and only an VERY few fires caused by them - and their failure rate here is about on par with the Square D breakers. Both can be problematic - but if inspected and found sound, there is no reason to replace the panel. Replacement breakers that DO work reliably are available - and have been for 10 or more years.
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On Sat, 24 Dec 2011 21:18:13 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"

Check for condition. As long as there is no sign of arcing/overheating where the breakers clip on leave well enough alone.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Modern replacement breakers are available to fit the "Stab-loc" boxes. If your friend can't afford a new box + inspection fees for disconnecting/connecting the service, new breakers might be the ticket.
Jon
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On 12/25/2011 3:40 PM, bob haller wrote: ...

There are listed 3rd-party replacemsnts locally for about the same as others I've seen here not terribly long ago...I don't recall the manufacturer otomh, just noticed did have 'em. I've a stash OEM's from before the series that got FPE in trouble so haven't actually need replacements.
The Canadian replacements are pretty dear, granted.
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That could be a labor saver. Do you have a URL? I havn't heard of such.
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