Rather than purchasing a new panel, you can find Federal Pacific breakers for sale. Before you buy replacement breakers, decide whether the new breakers are worth the price. If you only need a few, you won’t spend much. But if you have to replace them all, you might want to update your panel instead.
Federal Pacific Electric Company has gone out of business, so finding new breakers can be challenging. There are replacement brands with UL approval, and they don’t have the same fire hazard problems as the original brand. Federal Pacific breakers had a tripping rate of 50%, which is why the Consumer Product Safety Commission found when they determined that the brand was a fire hazard. If you choose an alternative brand, you can choose single-pole, double-pole, or alternative amperage breakers.
Because Federal Pacific panels are dangerous, most electricians do not use them. Instead, they use the Connecticut Electric product list to find replacement breakers. The ultimate goal is to provide electricity in a safe and efficient manner, so many electricians will recommend replacing the box rather than refilling it with new breakers.
The last Federal Pacific panels were made in the 1980s, so they are considered outdated by today’s standards. If you have a 40-year old breaker box, it might be time for an update simply because of wear and tear. Because it’s tough to find new Federal Pacific breakers, replacing your panel will save you money and make your home safer. The obsolete brand is still considered dangerous, even when using replacement breakers from reputable brands.
Your electrician can replace your panel so it meets all safety standards. You’ll reduce the chance that your electrical panel will catch fire and destroy your home. You’ll also reduce the chance that you could be electrocuted when you check your panel when the breakers are tripped.
If you cannot replace the panel, then hire an electrician who understands the nuances of the older Federal Pacific boxes. They will be vigilant with the replacement breaker, and they can look for signs of damage that could increase your home’s fire risk. If you see scorch marks or blackening around the breakers, then you should replace your panel immediately. If your panel is loaded with breakers, watch the temperature as the excessive heat could start a fire.
Before you decide to replace old breakers, consider why the breaker is damaged. The busbar could have been damaged by the heat from your panel. So, if you replace the breakers, the broken panel will continue to damage the new breakers. You’ll keep spending money on new breakers, only to replace them again. Replacing breakers is rarely the best solution, and most electricians will recommend getting a new, efficient panel that won’t destroy breakers. Your safety and the safety of your family should be your top concern.
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