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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
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    574

    Default E.C Sherman Co. Panel w/FPE breakers

    I inspected a large elderly housing project that had 10 buildings with 6 units in each building. It wasn't really a "complete" home inspection but part of an overall assessment for a capital planning project for the state.

    The buildings were fed from a central meter box (didn't have access to it). Each building (10 total) had a 325A. E.C. Sherman Co. main panel with 70A. FPE breakers feeding E.C. Sherman Co. panels in each unit (60 total).

    The panel was manufactured to accommodate FPE type breakers. (see photo's)

    My questions.

    1. The breakers in the main building panel are screw fastened - not stab lock type. Does anyone know of problems with this type of FPE breaker?

    2. The unit panels (also wasn't allowed to open these) appear to be something different than the stab-lock type, due to the center strip holding them in place but I'm not sure? (see pictures) Are these type of breakers a problem?

    3. These have been there since the earth was formed (approx 1959). There has been no history of problems (maintenance guy of 20+years told me). Should I advise that they all be replaced???

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: E.C Sherman Co. Panel w/FPE breakers

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    The buildings were fed from a central meter box (didn't have access to it).

    2. The unit panels (also wasn't allowed to open these)

    Should I advise that they all be replaced???
    I would report that, and tell my client that, you did not inspect those as you were not allowed to access the interior of them, thus, you can only recommend (absolutely true statement - "you can only recommend" - anything you say other than that cannot be backed up because you were not allowed to inspect them) that an electrician come out and be allowed to inspect those items, or, they could simply accept a recommendation to replace all the panels.

    ""part of an overall assessment for a capital planning project for the state"

    You have now given them two choices: a) the cost to have them inspected by an electrician who WILL REQUIRE access; b) budget them into the maintenance cost for replacement

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 12-02-2008 at 06:43 AM. Reason: speelin'
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
    Kevin Barre's Avatar
    Kevin Barre Guest

    Default Re: E.C Sherman Co. Panel w/FPE breakers

    I've never seen E.C. Sherman (might never have been distributed here) and I've not read anything about their panels elsewhere. However, due to the fact that the equipment is pushing 50 years old AND the fact that FPE had defective equipment sold under a different name during the same time period (even without the unique orange markings, those handles look eerily familiar), AND the fact that you couldn't take off the dead front covers to look around...I'd strongly recommend that you tell them to get a qualified electrician to have a look-see.

    In other words, it seems likely to have problems.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    Posts
    574

    Default Re: E.C Sherman Co. Panel w/FPE breakers

    Thanks for the timely input and reinforcement of thoughts!!

    Much appreciated.


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