The Dangers of Federal Pacific Panels
Federal Pacific panels (FPPs) are a type of distribution panel found in many homes built between 1950 and 1980. They have become notorious for their faulty electrical wiring that has caused numerous fires, shocks, electrocutions, and other severe problems. This article will provide an overview of the dangers associated with FPPs and examples of the damage they can cause.
Why are they dangerous?
The primary danger of FPPs is their tendency to overheat due to faulty wiring and connections. In addition, the breakers will often not trip when they are supposed to, resulting in dangerous overloads that lead to fires and shocks. The circuit breakers used in these panels have been known to fail at up to 50% rate, meaning that half of the circuit breakers will not trip when they are supposed to.
Since their introduction, FPPs have caused numerous house fires and other dangerous incidents. In 2012, a family in Wyoming lost their home due to an FPP that failed to trip when it should have. Common failsafes found in other electrical panels are absent in FPPs, allowing dangerously high currents to flow without tripping the breaker. If it’s not caught in time, these high currents can heat up electrical components and spark a fire within your walls.
Many insurance companies will not cover damages resulting from FPPs because they are considered a known hazard.
How did they make it to market in the first place?
FPPs were approved by Underwriter Laboratories (UL) and the National Electric Code (NEC) when they were released in 1950. Unfortunately, UL or NEC did not recognize the dangers of these panels until much later. This led to them being used in millions of homes throughout the country without any safety measures.
When were they banned?
FPPs were eventually banned in the early 1980s after numerous reports and studies indicated their dangerous nature. However, there are still many homes with FPPs installed that have yet to be replaced due to the cost involved.
What should I do if I have an FPP?
The safest option is to replace your FPP with a modern circuit breaker panel as soon as possible. This will help ensure that your home stays safe and minimize the risk of electrical fires or other problems. Due to the hazardous nature of the panels, it is important to hire a qualified electrician to inspect it and ensure that everything is safe. Never attempt to repair an FPP yourself, as the risks are simply too high.
In conclusion, Federal Pacific Panels (FPPs) are a serious safety hazard due to their faulty wiring and connections. They have been known to cause house fires and other dangerous incidents and should be replaced with a modern circuit breaker panel as soon as possible.
Tidal Electrical Services Can Help
At Tidal Electrical Services, we specialize in the removal and replacement of FPPs. Our experienced electricians are trained to safely inspect and remove your FPP so that you can rest assured that your home is safe from electrical hazards. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.