If your home was built before the 1990s, then you may have a Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) panel with Stab-Lok circuit breaker. This product has been linked to thousands of electrical fires over the last 60 years. It is a defective product that, despite being off the market for over 20 years, remains in many homes across the country. If you have an older home, it is vital that you check what type of circuit breaker you have at once.
How a Circuit Breaker Should Work
All electricity that comes into your home goes through your circuit breaker box. Here, it is split off to the individual circuits in your home. Each circuit is only able to handle a certain amount of electricity before it becomes overloaded and potentially dangerous. This is where fuses come in handy. When the circuit is overloaded, they are designed to switch off, or “trip,” protecting your circuits and your home.
The problem with Stab-Lok circuit breaker is that they fail to trip. A design flaw in the breaker allows electricity to continue flow long after the fuse should have tripped. When electricity continues to flow like this, it can lead to dangerous and potentially deadly house fires. While other companies other than FPE created Stab-Lok breakers, FPE was by far the most popular and sold the most in the United States.
Federal Pacific Circuit Breaker
By the 1980s, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) had linked FPE breakers with house fires. In fact, they discovered that FPE had been cheating in order to pass federal testing. While they were able to pull them off the market, by this time FPE breakers were in millions of people’s homes. And while they urged homeowners to get rid of these breakers in a total recall, it was nearly impossible.
Because of this, there are still thousands of these breakers in homes today. In fact, the CPSC estimates that there are roughly 2,800 FPE related house fires every year.
Protect Your Home
No one can risk of having a breaker that may malfunction. If your home has a Federal Pacific circuit breaker, you need to have it replaced at once. For the safety of your home and your family, call Mister Sparky today. Our experienced electricians will help you pick a new circuit breaker that meets all the current safety regulations. Give Mister Sparky a call today, or schedule your appointment online.