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  1. #1
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    Default Federal Pacific equipment in multi unit building

    I discovered some rather large Federal Pacific electrical equipment in a dormitory style building built in the late 60s.
    Attachment 31964Attachment 31965
    There are four panels within the same building similar to the one in the first photo serviced by the huge panel in the next photo. The panels do not appear to have a main over-current protection device. Have any of you came across something like this before? Thoughts?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Federal Pacific equipment in multi unit building

    Based on your description, the second photo shows what is likely the service equipment (but nothing was labeled or I could not read the labels from the photo ... at least not on my phone).

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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Federal Pacific equipment in multi unit building

    Quote Originally Posted by David Miller View Post
    I discovered some rather large Federal Pacific electrical equipment in a dormitory style building built in the late 60s.
    Attachment 31964Attachment 31965
    There are four panels within the same building similar to the one in the first photo serviced by the huge panel in the next photo. The panels do not appear to have a main over-current protection device. Have any of you came across something like this before? Thoughts?
    Typically there will be fuses inside the panels at the main switches. Trouble is those are likely designed to be turned off before accessing the fuses so you won't know unless you kill power to the whole shebang.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  4. #4
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    Carbondale, IL
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    Default Re: Federal Pacific equipment in multi unit building

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Typically there will be fuses inside the panels at the main switches. Trouble is those are likely designed to be turned off before accessing the fuses so you won't know unless you kill power to the whole shebang.
    Thanks. Are the covers on the main switches designed to be opened only when the switch is in the off position? I was unable to remove the covers.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Federal Pacific equipment in multi unit building

    Quote Originally Posted by David Miller View Post
    Thanks. Are the covers on the main switches designed to be opened only when the switch is in the off position? I was unable to remove the covers.
    As I said: "Trouble is those are likely designed to be turned off before accessing..."
    Those look familiar and if I am correct, the switch has to be in the "off" position and the latch on the right released before the panel cover hinges open toward the hinge on the left.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Federal Pacific equipment in multi unit building

    Yes those big switches are the service disconnects. They are not Stab-lok breakers, so just because they came from a Federal Pacific factory does not make them faulty. They have no known history of failure.

    You can say the old Stab-Lok breaker panels should be replaced.

    A Home Inspector should not normally mess with equipment that size. 400 amps or more, the risk of an arc flash is that much greater. If there is melted insulation or scorching, it is a job for an electrician.

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

  7. #7
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    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    Default Re: Federal Pacific equipment in multi unit building

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    They are not Stab-lok breakers, so just because they came from a Federal Pacific factory does not make them faulty. They have no known history of failure.

    You can say the old Stab-Lok breaker panels should be replaced.
    FPE breakers not labelled as "Stab-lok" have similar design and presumably similar failure rate as the Stab-lok labeled breakers and the panels should be replaced.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Federal Pacific equipment in multi unit building

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    FPE breakers not labelled as "Stab-lok" have similar design and presumably similar failure rate as the Stab-lok labeled breakers and the panels should be replaced.
    Thanks Lon, by 'they', I was meaning the big commercial disconnects are not a concern, just the breakers.

    I was in Washington state recently and passed by some huge Federal Pacific transformers that are probably 40 years old, doing good service.

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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Chico,Ca
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    Default Re: Federal Pacific equipment in multi unit building

    The only Federal Pacific product line that has issues is the Stab-Lok load centers & circuit breakers, other products like the fusible panelboard shown are fine, just old.


  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Federal Pacific equipment in multi unit building

    Thanks everybody for your responses. Much appreciated.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks everybody for your responses. Much appreciated.


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