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  1. #1
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    Feb 2011
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    Default 1987 Federal Pacific Panel


    I ran across this Fed Pac panel today in a home built in 1987.
    This is a 200amp rated panel with an odd looking 125amp, main disconnect.
    It does not have the typical "red/orange" tipped breakers that aretypically
    seen in the "Federal Pacific" panels. The breakers read "Challenger"but also say "Stab Lok" on the breakers stickers.
    Is this one of the "bad federal pac" panels?
    Are these breakers also the problem ones?

    Thanks in advance.


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Default Re: 1987 Federal Pacific Panel

    my guess

    a sparky just replaced the stab lok--with the new breakers--and don't know if that is allowed

    cvf


  3. #3
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    Default Re: 1987 Federal Pacific Panel

    That was waht I thought, that these were "replaced" with non- "Fed Pac" breakers. But in the fine print of the breaker sticker it reads "Stab Lok"
    so I'm thinking these are perhaps, Fed Pac made, Or does someone know if these were made as "replacement" breakers?
    Still puzzled!


  4. #4
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    Default Re: 1987 Federal Pacific Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Sumen View Post
    Is this one of the "bad federal pac" panels?
    Yep.

    A rose by any other name is still a rose ... or, in the case of FPE panels ... a piece of crap by any other name is still a piece of crap.

    If it looks like a duck ...
    If it walks like a duck ...
    If it quacks like a duck ...
    ... it's a duck.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, FL
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    180

    Default Re: 1987 Federal Pacific Panel

    In past research I did read that there was a kit that replaced the original problematic stab-lock breakers with ones that were acceptable, never seen it in practice. A 125 Amp main in a 200 Amp. box looks like a problem. Must agree with Jerry it looks like a "duck".


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
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    Default Re: 1987 Federal Pacific Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas McKay View Post
    A 125 Amp main in a 200 Amp. box looks like a problem.
    There is no problem using a main breaker with a lower rating. The breaker should be sized correctly to protect the service entry cables. The box is simply a box.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Parksville B.C Canada
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: 1987 Federal Pacific Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Sumen View Post
    I ran across this Fed Pac panel today in a home built in 1987.
    This is a 200amp rated panel with an odd looking 125amp, main disconnect.
    It does not have the typical "red/orange" tipped breakers that aretypically
    seen in the "Federal Pacific" panels. The breakers read "Challenger"but also say "Stab Lok" on the breakers stickers.
    Is this one of the "bad federal pac" panels?
    Are these breakers also the problem ones?

    Thanks in advance.
    Hey Rich

    That looks like Federal Pioneer panel to me. 1987 is too recent to have a Fed Pac panel. Hard to tell with the photographs. If is a Federal Pioneer panel, I believe that the Stab Loc breakers are compatible, as they are made by Federal Pioneer - would need a bit more info


  8. #8
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    Aug 2011
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    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    Default Re: 1987 Federal Pacific Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Klassen View Post
    Hey Rich

    That looks like Federal Pioneer panel to me. 1987 is too recent to have a Fed Pac panel. Hard to tell with the photographs. If is a Federal Pioneer panel, I believe that the Stab Loc breakers are compatible, as they are made by Federal Pioneer - would need a bit more info
    Doesn't matter since Stab Loc breakers have problems independent of the box design. Write it up!!

    Quack, quack


  9. #9
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    Aug 2012
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    Parksville B.C Canada
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    Default Re: 1987 Federal Pacific Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    Doesn't matter since Stab Loc breakers have problems independent of the box design. Write it up!!

    Quack, quack
    Only if their Fed Pacific Lon. Fed Pioneer still makes Stab Loc breakers that have had no problem to my knowledge.
    If you have additional info or articles regarding Federal Pioneer (not Federal Pacific) equipment I would welcome it.

    Thanks


  10. #10
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    Default Re: 1987 Federal Pacific Panel

    Here is one place that lumps all Stab Lok breakers into the same dirty pile.

    How to Identify Recognize Federal Pacific Electric FPE Stab Lok Stablok Stab-LokŪ circuit breakers and electrical panels - Product Identification photos and advice

    It's been several years since I did extensive research into the various incarnations of Federal boxes and Stab Lok breakers, but I have never seen anything that says any Stab Lok breaker is considered acceptable, nor have I seen anything recommending aftermarket replacement breakers. As far as I know, no independent testing has been done on aftermarket "stab lok" type breakers, but since there are other problems with this overall design, my two cents is that you step onto thin ice if you don't write up some kind of advisory for these boxes and breakers.

    My understanding is that there are some very old pre Stab Lok FPE boxes that are not considered a safety issue. Maybe some others will have more info about those.


  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
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    4,086

    Default Re: 1987 Federal Pacific Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Klassen View Post
    Hey Rich

    That looks like Federal Pioneer panel to me. 1987 is too recent to have a Fed Pac panel. Hard to tell with the photographs. If is a Federal Pioneer panel, I believe that the Stab Loc breakers are compatible, as they are made by Federal Pioneer - would need a bit more info
    WRONG! It is NOT too recent. The purchaser of FPE in 1980 sold off (armatage) and broke up the assets.

    Challenger bought the stab-lok breaker and panel assets in 1986 and sold them in 1988 to the eventual (after a corporate name change) establishment of the current trademark rights ABC in the USof A.

    Stab-lok breakers esp. the 2-P were US made by and under the ownership of challenge electric. - As was the continued panel production.

    Neither the panel nor the breakers are "aftermarket". They are all as expected and likely manufactured between early 1986 and mid 1988.
    2-pole breakers of that vintage do not have the issue of only half (one pole) opening not tripping the "other" pole.

    AFAIK Aronsen et. al. have not tested or identified any issues of the post 84/85 products outside of their objection to the stab design and adjustable fronts (as many of the vintage not just FPE successors did).


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