Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Brian E Kelly's Avatar
    Brian E Kelly Guest

    Default Stablock breakers

    I have checked back for past post on Federal Pacific stablock breakers and panels and could not find any info. My question is that I am under the impression that this panel and breakers are not safe or have had some problems. I do know that it was installed in 1966 and there are no double taps and for the most part looks good inside the panel. Is there any info out there that I can research this panel on so I can document my findings for my report. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    Similar Threads:
    NHIE Practice Exam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ft. Myers, FL
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Stablock breakers

    Paul Kondzich
    Ft. Myers, FL.

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,829

    Default Re: Stablock breakers

    FPE Stablok breakers are crap. They can look fine but when overloaded they fail to trip in many instances.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: Stablock breakers

    Brian,

    Dont' forget to use the information you can find on Google.com :-E

    Search Results: 12,500 comments for stablok BREAKERS

    rick

    Last edited by Rick Hurst; 03-02-2008 at 07:42 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    4,112

    Default Re: Stablock breakers

    I just got my State Farm home owners policy today and one of the "important reminders" pages states:
    Utility rating plan
    Under the Utility Rating Plan, premiums may increase when any of the utility systems (electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling) in your dwelling insured by this policy become 40 years old. Your premiums may be reduced if you have:

    (1)Completely replaced all utility systems (electrical,plumbing,heating and cooling) in the last 40 years; or

    (2) Replaced the heating equipment, air conditioning equipment, electrical service entrance and the distribution panel in the last 10 years.

    Most FPE stuff is getting close to 40 years old and just age alone may be enough to flag it.


    There is also a notice that wood shingle or wood shake roof will be charged extra. And a surprise, "Homes with more than one roofing material will be classified based on the top layer of shingle."

    I had heard that many insurers would not cover or charged extra if asphalt shingles were installed on top of wood shingles.
    Of course they don't say they will cover asphalt over wood shingles, but they do hint at it.
    Jim

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Stablock breakers

    It's nice to see the insurance industry starting to communicate to people that old stuff in houses is unsafe. Granted, the communication is in the form of reaching into your wallet but Americans usually hear that louder than just about anything else.

    It seems like for years we HI's have been standing somewhat alone on an island.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    The Treasure Coast
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: Stablock breakers

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    It's nice to see the insurance industry starting to communicate to people that old stuff in houses is unsafe. Granted, the communication is in the form of reaching into your wallet but Americans usually hear that louder than just about anything else.

    It seems like for years we HI's have been standing somewhat alone on an island.

    This is from an insurance company I do 4-point inspections for.

    Eric Van De Ven Magnum Inspections Inc. (772) 214-9929
    www.magnuminspections.com
    I still get paid to be suspicious when I got nothing to be suspicious about!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    4,112

    Default Re: Stablock breakers

    Good info, Eric.

    FPE breakers present?
    Looks like the word is begining to be repeated often enough and loud enough that people are listening.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Reno, Nv. - Now St. Louis, Mo.
    Posts
    369

    Default Re: Stablock breakers

    If all you found to concern you was an old, but still UL listed and perfectly acceptable .... count your blessings.

    Because that's what FPE panels are ... still legal, still allowed, and still UL listed. They're even still manufactured and sold in Canada. Why Canada seems to not have had the problems some in the USA allege them to have is a mystery to me!

    What is of concern is the age of the house - and all that implies. Most problems you find will fall into two categories:
    1) Improper attempts to 'improve,' extend, add to, and modify the original wiring; and,
    2) A wiring design that is inadequate to today's needs.

    For example, it's pretty likely that the kitchen has been re-done. Depending on the date of that remodel, the kitchen might need to have two dedicated circuits and GFI protection. Ditto for the bath.

    Likewise, the furnace needs to be on it's own circuit; over time, these circuits seem to get all manner of basement or garage stuff added to them.

    The house may have been built with only a kitchen range in mind .... it's common to find dryers, water heaters, and even air conditioners all tied into this range circuit.

    I think you can see why I consider the age, and brand, of the panel to be the least of my worries.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,829

    Default Re: Stablock breakers

    Quote Originally Posted by John Steinke View Post
    If all you found to concern you was an old, but still UL listed and perfectly acceptable .... count your blessings.

    Because that's what FPE panels are ... still legal, still allowed, and still UL listed.
    The UL listing of FPE was an issue with CSPC as FPE used deceptive practices to obtain the UL listings. Lets not forget about Zinsco who's UL listing has been questioned!
    Zinsco Electrical Panel and Circuit Breaker Hazards, Failures, Inspection, Detection, Repair, Replacement - Sylvania Zinsco circuit breakers and panel hazards

    Federal Pacific Electric FPE Stab-Lok Fraudulent UL Listing - SEC Documents Securities and Exchange Commission 1982

    Federal Pacific Electric FPE Panel/Breaker Hazards - CPSC Closing Statement Drops Research on Stab-Lok Hazard Research

    IMO, a ZINSCO panel is worse than an FPE.

    Last edited by Scott Patterson; 03-07-2008 at 07:46 AM. Reason: clarification of information
    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  12. #12
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
    Aaron Miller Guest

    Default Re: Stablock breakers

    John:

    The fact that FPE breakers perform differently in Canada is not at all surprising. Let's look at some of the reasons:

    (1) It's much colder there and the breakers freeze to the bus bar so that they make a better connection. NoArk may be a true statement there, at least until Spring.

    (2) The Canadian accents they are subjected to confuse them so that they don't know whether or not to jump at you when you remove the panel cover. They're not quite sure if they are in France, England or Wisconsin.

    Aaron


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Reno, Nv. - Now St. Louis, Mo.
    Posts
    369

    Default Re: Stablock breakers

    The CPSC has absolutely nothing to do with the UL listing of a product. The allegations made by New York state were limited to 2-pole breakers alone, and there were difficulties repeating the test results.

    The allegation of falsified test data came up years later in a lawsuit, and also had nothing to to do with the UL listings. UL does not depend upon the manufacturer for test results; the UL rep goes to the plant, selects the samples at random, and testing is done by UL at UL's facilities.

    I have never heard about Zinsco having lost it's listing .... any links?


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,829

    Default Re: Stablock breakers

    Quote Originally Posted by John Steinke View Post
    The CPSC has absolutely nothing to do with the UL listing of a product. The allegations made by New York state were limited to 2-pole breakers alone, and there were difficulties repeating the test results.

    The allegation of falsified test data came up years later in a lawsuit, and also had nothing to to do with the UL listings. UL does not depend upon the manufacturer for test results; the UL rep goes to the plant, selects the samples at random, and testing is done by UL at UL's facilities.

    I have never heard about Zinsco having lost it's listing .... any links?
    John just Google and you will find a good deal of information on Zinsco/Sylvania.

    As for the UL information, I'm reading it a little different than you. I also have had a garage go up in flames from an FPE breaker, I guess my personal experience might make me a little bias.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Reno, Nv. - Now St. Louis, Mo.
    Posts
    369

    Default Re: Stablock breakers

    That's just the problem, Scott ... I've read the original CPSC and New York State reports ... and they actually say very little. I've also read that NJ lawsuit's documents.

    I've also read the IAEI article that vindicated FPE. I've directly questioned UL on the issue.

    The end result: FPE has been subject, IMO, to an extreme amount of hysterical innuendo, claims that are not supported by the actual data. It's OK to not like FPE- just don't toss the baby out with the bath water.

    IMO, an FPE panel presents a situation similar to that presented by knob and tube wiring .... and as elucidated so well by Ontario ... it's the OTHER stuff, done over time by unqualified persons, that poses the greater danger.

    Npw .. as for Zinsco .... sure, it's also OK to not like them. I've certainly seen a lot of folks say just that! Yet, a specific claim was made - that the lost their UL listing. THAT is what I am asking a link for, as it's news to me. Maybe it's true; I just don't know.


  16. #16
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
    Aaron Miller Guest

    Default Re: Stablock breakers

    I'm reading it a little different than you. I also have had a garage go up in flames from an FPE breaker, I guess my personal experience might make me a little bias.
    Scott:

    I hear you. I've had three (3) clients' houses catch fire due to these panels though I strongly urged them that they should replace them in my reports. The agents and electricians referred by the agents are quick to make light of the issues in order to facilitate the closing and commission receipt.

    I cannot count the number of times that they have sparked, arced and spat electricity in my face as the cheap-**** breakers fall from the bus bar upon removal of the panel cover. No panel has even come close to housing the number of smoldering or red-hot breakers that I've found in FPE arc-welders-in-a-box.

    Many inspectors in my area refuse to remove the panel covers from these monsters. Sure, some of them sit there for years with no problems. A lack of problems with any isolated system is not evidence that the system itself is not inherently defective.

    Aaron


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •