Federal Pacific Electric was a company that make circuit panels. They developed a new type of breaker, and applied for approval from the United Laboratories. The UL turned them down.

They then built a different breaker and sought approval for that. That one did get approval.

The problem was, the new one cost more to manufacture, and the first one a lot less. So What did they do? They manufactured millions and millions of the first one, using the UL number from the second breaker! And if a whole bunch of them hadn’t caught fire, they might have gotten away with the swicheroo. But they did, and FPE got caught. And sued. And closed down.

I still see a few FPE panels a year, usually in houses built in the 1950’s. I don’t open them up. Apparently, the breakers have been known to fall out of the panel. Besides, What would I learn? my recommendation is still the same; have the panel replaced by an electrician.

Want to learn more? You can get a lot of information by clicking here.

Share The Story

About the author

Joe has many years of experience as a Home Inspector. Joe is a proud member of ASHI, MAHI, WAHI & SAAR. He follows the Best Practices as described by the American Association of Home Inspectors and the Wisconsin Association of Home Inspectors. He is licensed in Wisconsin and is Radon Certified. Joe also complies with ASHI's Code of Ethics.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *