So what breakers are compatible with Federal Pacific? I recommend you check out this list provided by Connecticut Electric. They are all UL-approved alternatives, after all, so you won’t need to worry about both safety and their compatibility with the panel.
Do take note that you may end up paying as much, if not more, if you decide to choose Federal Pacific replacement breakers over replacing the entire panel. You’ll most likely only save on costs if you have to only change one or two breakers. I’ll explain these points further below.
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Official Replacement Breakers for Federal Pacific Are Few for a Reason
You don’t see many breakers compatible with Federal Pacific Stab Lok anymore nowadays simply because they’ve since gained a reputation for being a big fire hazard. Imagine having a breaker with only a tripping rate of 50%! That’s the exact figure that the Consumer Product Safety Commission arrived at when they performed thorough testing on this brand’s breakers back in the day.
Unsurprisingly, the Federal Pacific Electric Company has since gone out of business. For this reason, the only reliable Federal Pacific breaker cross reference I can recommend is the list that Connecticut Electric has provided, which I’ve linked to. They are the only Federal Pacific breakers compatible with today’s safety standards and are, ironically, no longer manufactured by the said brand.
You also won’t run out of options since there are various single-pole and double-pole and different amperage options you can choose from. Still, that doesn’t erase the fact that it’s pretty much considered taboo nowadays to still be using a Federal Pacific electric panel.
Please Consider Replacing Your Old Panel If Possible
To me and for most electricians, opting for a relatively safe Federal Pacific replacement circuit breaker doesn’t erase the risk tied to this obsolete brand’s panel.
Replacing and upgrading your panel to one that meets all modern safety standards is the smartest move, especially if we look at the potential damage that a fire can cause to any property. Not to mention the possibility of electrocution as well.
Check out this video if you want to be taken through the step-by-step procedure of replacing and installing new electric panels:
If you don’t have the budget to replace the whole panel, I suggest you perform the Federal Pacific breaker replacement then be extra vigilant with how it’s performing. Be on the lookout for sounds typically produced by arcing and the tell-tale signs of damage (e.g. scorch marks and blackening) it may cause. You may also want to watch out for breakers in the panel that get too hot, especially when it’s running close to full capacity.
Please think about these possible factors, too, especially when deciding whether replacing the breakers will actually be beneficial:
- Are you sure that only the old breaker is the issue? Try to check the busbar for damage caused by heat first. Simply put, it won’t do to install new breakers on an already busted panel since it may only end up malfunctioning again, essentially putting your money to waste.
- Many professional electricians rarely consider replacing breakers as a permanent, efficient, and safe solution.
Most of today’s electricians shun Federal Pacific panels because using them outweigh the With that in mind, these are the best parting suggestions I can give:
- Only use Connecticut Electric’s list as a reference when deciding which replacement breaker you should
- Check the panel’s performance and overall state. If it’s already showing signs of wear and tear or has been tripping sporadically for a while now, it’s best to replace it. In fact, considering the latest panels were made way back in the 1980’s, it would be somewhat surprising if your property’s old panel is still structurally sound and good function-wise.
Hope you find this information about “what breakers are compatible with Federal Pacific?” useful. Please let me know if you want me to write anything else. I look forward to hearing from you!
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I am Edwin Jones, in charge of designing content for Galvinpower. I aspire to use my experiences in marketing to create reliable and necessary information to help our readers. It has been fun to work with Andrew and apply his incredible knowledge to our content.