Get Hired Now Read More

Skip navigation

Serving the Buffalo Area since 1995

Scherer Electric Blog

The Story of Federal Pacific Electrical Panel and Why You Want Yours Replaced


Today, we’re diving into a topic that’s critical for the safety of your home—Federal Pacific Electrical panels (FPE). While you may not spend much time thinking about your electrical panel, it plays a crucial role in your home’s electrical system. Unfortunately, if your home was built between the 1950s and 1980s, there’s a chance it might be equipped with a Federal Pacific Electrical panel, which poses serious safety risks. Let’s explore the story of these panels and why you should consider an electrical panel upgrade in Buffalo, NY if you have one.

The Rise of Federal Pacific Electrical Panels

Federal Pacific Electric Company was once a prominent manufacturer of electrical components, including circuit breakers and panels. During the mid-20th century, their products were installed in millions of homes across the US. Initially, FPE panels were a popular choice due to their affordability and wide availability.

The Dangers

However, over time, numerous studies and reports began to reveal a troubling truth about FPE panels: they often fail to function as intended. The primary issue with these panels lies in their breakers. Circuit breakers are designed to “trip” or shut off electrical flow when they detect an overload or short circuit, preventing potential fires. Unfortunately, FPE breakers have a notorious history of failing to trip when necessary.

Independent tests have shown that FPE breakers can fail to trip as much as 25–65% of the time under certain conditions. This alarming failure rate dramatically increases the risk of electrical fires. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), FPE panels pose a significant fire hazard, and while the CPSC did not mandate a recall, they have issued warnings about the dangers associated with these panels, and there have been numerous documented cases of electrical fires directly attributed to malfunctioning FPE panels. 

Why You Should Replace Your FPE Panel

Given the substantial risk associated with Federal Pacific Electrical Panels, replacing them should be a top priority for any homeowner. Here are a few key reasons why:

  • Safety: The most compelling reason to replace your FPE panel is safety. Protect your family and property from the heightened risk of electrical fires by ensuring your home’s electrical system functions as it should.
  • Insurance Concerns: Many insurance companies are aware of the risks posed by FPE panels. Some may increase your premiums or even deny coverage altogether if you have one of these panels installed. 
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that your home is safe from electrical hazards provides invaluable peace of mind. You won’t have to worry every time you plug in a new appliance or run multiple devices simultaneously.

Trust Scherer Electric for Your Panel Replacement

Replacing an electrical panel is not a DIY job. It requires the expertise of a licensed electrician to ensure the work is done safely and up to code. Here at Scherer Electric, we specialize in electrical panel replacements and upgrades. Our team is highly experienced in identifying and safely replacing FPE panels with modern, reliable alternatives.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. If you have a Federal Pacific Electrical Panel in your home, contact Scherer Electric today to schedule an inspection and replacement. Protect your home, your loved ones, and your peace of mind by addressing this critical issue now.

Scherer Electric Is Western New York’s Favorite Electrician! Call us when it’s time to upgrade your old electric panel. 

Comments are closed.