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Safe replacement breaker fo Federal Pacific panel?

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    Safe replacement breaker fo Federal Pacific panel?

    I have a customer with a Federal Pacific panel and they simply don't have the money to hire me to replace the panel. Are there any safe replacement breakers for this situation?

    #2
    Connecticut electric makes UL listed replacements.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Sierrasparky View Post
      Connecticut electric makes UL listed replacements.
      But to buy replacements for the entire panel will probably cost almost as much as to have you replace the panel with a new Square-D Homeline. Ask them if they can afford NOT to hire you to do so.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by NewSilver View Post
        I have a customer with a Federal Pacific panel and they simply don't have the money to hire me to replace the panel. Are there any safe replacement breakers for this situation?
        You need to decide if you want to get involved in trying to save them money while potentially taking on a lot of liability for not just fixing it the right way, which would be a complete replacement.

        in any case, unless your plan is only to replace one or two breakers it will likely not be especially cost effective to replace them all when you can buy a replacement square D QO panel with 20 breakers for < $300.
        Bob

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by NewSilver View Post
          I have a customer with a Federal Pacific panel and they simply don't have the money to hire me to replace the panel. Are there any safe replacement breakers for this situation?
          In addition to the comments above, there is also data that shows that the bus itself has possibly sustained heat- and scoring-damage, so replacing only the breakers is not recommended. Forgive me for not having the reference at my fingertips, but it's out there.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by NewSilver View Post
            I have a customer with a Federal Pacific panel and they simply don't have the money to hire me to replace the panel. Are there any safe replacement breakers for this situation?
            Who is asking for the replacement and why? If the customer is not having any problems leave it alone till the time is right for him or her.
            If Billy Idol is on your playlist go reevaluate your life.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by ActionDave View Post

              Who is asking for the replacement and why? If the customer is not having any problems leave it alone till the time is right for him or her.
              That's at least half the problem right there. Customers never appear to be having problems if they never trip breakers. But how do they know it's not because the breakers are simply not tripping when they're supposed to, and they're unknowingly drawing more amps than their circuits are rated for?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by jeff48356 View Post

                That's at least half the problem right there. Customers never appear to be having problems if they never trip breakers. But how do they know it's not because the breakers are simply not tripping when they're supposed to, and they're unknowingly drawing more amps than their circuits are rated for?
                Because the failure rate of FPE breakers is not any greater than any other brand installed of the same age.
                If Billy Idol is on your playlist go reevaluate your life.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by ActionDave View Post

                  Because the failure rate of FPE breakers is not any greater than any other brand installed of the same age.
                  I make a bunch of money from foolish home inspectors that have no experience in building or electrical. They read a book and think they know everything, and because they have some persuasion over homebuyers, they feel all powerful...

                  They always write up the FPE panels to change out on home inspections. I try to tell the homeowners the breakers work, even go as far as to show them. I had one that already had every breaker replaced to the new ones. The home inspector wrote it up as unsafe. When I asked him to back up his statements, he pointed to a home inspection book.

                  I just give up and up and take their money...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by ActionDave View Post

                    Who is asking for the replacement and why? If the customer is not having any problems leave it alone till the time is right for him or her.
                    I've inspected several FPE & Zinsco panel changes where the EC told me the H/O's insurance told them they won't pay for any problems with FPE or Zinsco.
                    Ron

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by rcarroll View Post

                      I've inspected several FPE & Zinsco panel changes where the EC told me the H/O's insurance told them they won't pay for any problems with FPE or Zinsco.
                      I don’t doubt that. I’ve only had one say the insurance company was involved..

                      I’ve changed out more panels with aluminum bus from other manufacturers though..
                      I would be more worried about that.
                      just sayin...

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by ActionDave View Post

                        Because the failure rate of FPE breakers is not any greater than any other brand installed of the same age.
                        Yup! As I have stated in the past on this forum. There are several large breaker shops in my area. They sell a large number of older/discontinued small breakers for all the business and homes that have Zinsco/FPE/XO/etc. They test all breakers prior to sale. I have asked many times over the years about the failure rate of FPE Stab-Lok breakers. The response is always, the FPE's have a higher pass rate than most of the other brands similar age breakers.

                        FPE had a bad run of some breakers and the company lost it listing over it. Think about the quality control and possible unauthorized factory modifications today with all the stuff that is being manufacture in Mexico, China, etc. including circuit breakers and GFCI's
                        Curt Swartz
                        Electrical Contractor

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by ActionDave View Post

                          Because the failure rate of FPE breakers is not any greater than any other brand installed of the same age.
                          Because the failure rate of FPE breakers is not any greater than any other brand installed of the same age. [/QUOTE]

                          I respectfully disagree with Curt's comment as well as some of the comments that followed. I am in the insurance industry, and the concern with the Stab-loks originated from actual fires, a 2011 Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) notice (83-008), and the independent research at http://www.fpe-info.org/Hazardous%20FPE%20171110.pdf. which was updated in 2017.

                          The CPSC stated explicitly that they had concern about the Stab-Loks' non-compliance with the UL standard ((1983, re-emphasized in 2011), but could not base their concerns on any data because there weren't' funds available within the CPSC to do the research necessary to check the anecdotal evidence. The CPSC subsequently closed their file despite the fact that FPE had filed fraudulent UL reports and that UL, EXXON, and numerous other principals to the suit advised fraudulent activity.

                          There have been numerous comments citing tests that show acceptable Stab-Lok performance. I would like to see this data. I do not argue with the fact that the frequency of actual fire/loss is low, but that is true for all circuit breakers in the history of circuit beakers. What is known is that there have been fires related to Stab-Loks, and there have been observed conditions of welded contacts, which were fortunate observations in that the need for tripping had not occurred. .

                          Forgive my informal tone, but I'm hearing a bit of, "It never happened to me so it will never happen."
                          FPE Stab-Lok® Calibration Test Report - Failure Rate Summary

                          CPSC-C-81-1429 December 30, 1982
                          Final Report: Contract CPSC-C-81-1429
                          Date: December 30, 1982
                          Submitted by: Jesse Aronstein (original contains signature)
                          WRIGHTVM MALTA CORPORATION. Malta test station, Ballston Spa, New York 12020 518-899-2227 1.0 SUMMARY

                          Calibration tests have been performed on 122 two-pole Federal Pacific Electric circuit breakers. The calibration tests were performed -in accordance with UL Standard 489 except for or a difference in the sequence of calibrations. UL 489 is the applicable standard that the breakers are presumed to meet. In most cases, the calibration tests were repeated after 500 off-on mechanical operations of the toggle handle..

                          The circuit breakers tested were supplied by CPSC and came from several sources. Most were provided to CPSC by Federal Pacific Electric, some were purchased new by CPSC staff members at retail outlets, and a few were removed from existing installations. The breaker ratings tested were 30 A (30 two-pole breakers tested), 40A (35), 50A(20), 60A(7) and 80A (30). The tests include performance at 100%, 135%, and 200% of ratings, and dielectric tests.

                          A substantial number of breakers failed the calibrations testing, both before and after the mechanical toggle operations. Failures were evident with both poles carrying current as well as with one-pole operation. Specifically, the failures are summarized as follows:
                          FAILURE CONDITION FAILURES
                          % (#failed / #tested)
                          Before Mechanical Operations After Mechanical Operations
                          No-trip: 200% of rating, both poles 0% (0/122) 1% (1/107)
                          No-trip: 200% of rating, individual poles 1% (3/244) 10% (21/214)
                          No-trip: 135% of rating, both poles* 25% (31/122) 36% (39/107)
                          No-trip: 135% of rating, individual poles 51% (125/244) 65% (144/220)
                          Trip: 100% of rating, both poles* 3% (4/122) 6% (7/111)
                          Dielectric Breakdown (short)* 0 1% (1/111)
                          TABLE 1 - SUMMARY OF FAILURES

                          *UL 489 Test Conditions
                          The failures appeared. among breakers of all ratings, none were failure-free. Most of the "no-trip' conditions were sustained for four hours well beyond the UL specification. These were not marginal failures with respect to the failure criteria. The data suggests that, on the average, the mechanical operations result in increased failures. This was .'not strictly the case on a sample-to-sample basis.

                          The failures relate to hazardous conditions in at least two ways. First, a fault in the wiring or utilization equipment which causes excessive- current-can result in fire if the circuit is not opened by the breaker -- this is its principal functional requirement.

                          Secondly, it was determined in these tests that some of the breakers overheat to hazardous levels when subjected to overcurrent conditions (due to their own failure to trip) for sustained periods of time.

                          The overheating can result in incapacitation of the breaker (i.e.: it will no longer open under any condition), and the temperature can be high enough to ignite fire in the vicinity of the breaker, as evidenced by charring of the case on some samples.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            https://www.cpsc.gov/search?site=cps...ry=Siemens+ite

                            let’s just change them all out...

                            all the data is in for the stablocs.
                            Anyone got failure rate data for the other breakers?
                            Sure, FPE got caught with their hand in the cookie jar so to speak. Yes, punishment came swift by the company acquiring them.
                            but... how many other breaker types fail that insurance company and home inspectors fail to recognize?

                            will the insurance company stop insuring panels with aluminum bus? Bulldog or challenger breakers?
                            Pushmatics??SquareD?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by twm22 View Post
                              I respectfully disagree with Curt's comment as well as some of the comments that followed. I am in the insurance industry, and the concern with the Stab-loks originated from actual fires, a 2011 Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) notice (83-008), and the independent research at http://www.fpe-info.org/Hazardous%20FPE%20171110.pdf. which was updated in 2017.

                              The CPSC stated explicitly that they had concern about the Stab-Loks' non-compliance with the UL standard ((1983, re-emphasized in 2011), but could not base their concerns on any data because there weren't' funds available within the CPSC to do the research necessary to check the anecdotal evidence. The CPSC subsequently closed their file despite the fact that FPE had filed fraudulent UL reports and that UL, EXXON, and numerous other principals to the suit advised fraudulent activity.

                              There have been numerous comments citing tests that show acceptable Stab-Lok performance. I would like to see this data. I do not argue with the fact that the frequency of actual fire/loss is low, but that is true for all circuit breakers in the history of circuit beakers. What is known is that there have been fires related to Stab-Loks, and there have been observed conditions of welded contacts, which were fortunate observations in that the need for tripping had not occurred. .

                              Forgive my informal tone, but I'm hearing a bit of, "It never happened to me so it will never happen."
                              FPE Stab-Lok® Calibration Test Report - Failure Rate Summary


                              CPSC-C-81-1429 December 30, 1982
                              Final Report: Contract CPSC-C-81-1429
                              Date: December 30, 1982
                              Submitted by: Jesse Aronstein (original contains signature)
                              WRIGHTVM MALTA CORPORATION. Malta test station, Ballston Spa, New York 12020 518-899-2227 1.0 SUMMARY


                              Calibration tests have been performed on 122 two-pole Federal Pacific Electric circuit breakers. The calibration tests were performed -in accordance with UL Standard 489 except for or a difference in the sequence of calibrations. UL 489 is the applicable standard that the breakers are presumed to meet. In most cases, the calibration tests were repeated after 500 off-on mechanical operations of the toggle handle..

                              The circuit breakers tested were supplied by CPSC and came from several sources. Most were provided to CPSC by Federal Pacific Electric, some were purchased new by CPSC staff members at retail outlets, and a few were removed from existing installations. The breaker ratings tested were 30 A (30 two-pole breakers tested), 40A (35), 50A(20), 60A(7) and 80A (30). The tests include performance at 100%, 135%, and 200% of ratings, and dielectric tests.

                              A substantial number of breakers failed the calibrations testing, both before and after the mechanical toggle operations. Failures were evident with both poles carrying current as well as with one-pole operation. Specifically, the failures are summarized as follows:
                              FAILURE CONDITION FAILURES
                              % (#failed / #tested)
                              Before Mechanical Operations After Mechanical Operations
                              No-trip: 200% of rating, both poles 0% (0/122) 1% (1/107)
                              No-trip: 200% of rating, individual poles 1% (3/244) 10% (21/214)
                              No-trip: 135% of rating, both poles* 25% (31/122) 36% (39/107)
                              No-trip: 135% of rating, individual poles 51% (125/244) 65% (144/220)
                              Trip: 100% of rating, both poles* 3% (4/122) 6% (7/111)
                              Dielectric Breakdown (short)* 0 1% (1/111)
                              TABLE 1 - SUMMARY OF FAILURES

                              *UL 489 Test Conditions
                              The failures appeared. among breakers of all ratings, none were failure-free. Most of the "no-trip' conditions were sustained for four hours well beyond the UL specification. These were not marginal failures with respect to the failure criteria. The data suggests that, on the average, the mechanical operations result in increased failures. This was .'not strictly the case on a sample-to-sample basis.

                              The failures relate to hazardous conditions in at least two ways. First, a fault in the wiring or utilization equipment which causes excessive- current-can result in fire if the circuit is not opened by the breaker -- this is its principal functional requirement.

                              Secondly, it was determined in these tests that some of the breakers overheat to hazardous levels when subjected to overcurrent conditions (due to their own failure to trip) for sustained periods of time.

                              The overheating can result in incapacitation of the breaker (i.e.: it will no longer open under any condition), and the temperature can be high enough to ignite fire in the vicinity of the breaker, as evidenced by charring of the case on some samples.
                              You don't have anything that compares failures of other breakers of the same vintage. On top of that all you really got is a whole lot of stuff that says not very much about actual fires in houses.
                              If Billy Idol is on your playlist go reevaluate your life.

                              Comment

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