Holddown screws for backfed main breakers

Regarding the thread above about the C-H electric service panel, I'm now convinced that the holddown screws on the main breakers are required and should be there.
So this is for a new panel; what about older existing ones? F'rinstance, my friend with his old Federal Pacific panel (ugh, yes, I know, but it's working fine); his main breakers are backfed. Should they have holddown screws? Do such panels even have threaded holes for such screws?
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David Nebenzahl wrote: ...

No and no...
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"working fine" means that the breakers trip if there is an overload. You sound like you don't know the FPE problem that lead to thier replacement.
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

The code requires an "additional fastener". It isn't necessarily a screw. SquareD uses a block on the rail.
For the specific FPE panel it depends on when it was installed. The code requirement was probably added in 1990. If the panel was installed under the 1987 or earlier code it is compliant.
I don't know what FPE uses (or if it ever had anything). One of the weak points of FPE is that the breakers come unplugged easily. I don't remember how FPE installs main breakers - I don't remember they had the unplugging problem.
"Working fine" - FPE panels work fine until you need a breaker to trip. Then the breaker probably will (but maybe won't). The problem was probably products manufactured 1965-1980. I expect you have seen plenty of information on FPE.
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On 7/23/2009 8:38 AM bud-- spake thus:

The main breakers are installed just like all the others: held in at the bottom under a metal ledge and clipped to the power buses. And I can attest that these breakers do *not* come unplugged easily. I had a hell of a time removing one to replace it; had to hook something under the top of the breaker and pull hard to remove it.

Yes, I know all about the reported problems with FPE panels.
I've worked on 5 houses on the same block, friends and neighbors. All of them have FPE panels (whoever sold them in Oakland did a hell of a job back in the 50s and 60s). None of them have any serious problems. The breakers in them trip properly on overloads.
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