FPE and Zinsco electrical breakers
Federal Pacific Electric "Stab-Lok" service panels and breakers are a latent hazard and can fail, leading to electrical fires. The problem is that some double-pole (240-Volt) FPE circuit breakers and possibly also some single-pole units simply may not work. We also have reports that independent of the breaker problems, there have been panel and panel-bus fires and arcing failures in some equipment. The failure rates for these circuit breakers were significant and are documented in the CPSC study.
FPE is not the only problem. Other manufacturers such as the Zinsco brand are also prone to failure. During a typical year, home electrical problems account for 67,800 fires, 485 deaths, and $868 million in property losses. Home electrical wiring causes twice as many fires as electrical appliances. - United States Fire Administration.
Some electrical systems are more dangerous than others depending on age, type of components and overall system maintenance. All electrical systems should be checked regularly to find small problems before they become larger problems or even fail resulting in fire.
It is recommended that routine inspections be performed on electrical equipment to help reduce the possibility of equipment failure
SIGNS OF TROUBLE
Because of the dangers of the electrical system we recommend an inspection of the system every 2 years, we can do this for you at a lower cost that an electrician and let you know if you should spend the money to hire a electrician. An inspection could be even more important if you have a older electrical system.
1. Flickering lights
2. Smell of burning electrical devices such as plastic
receptacles, receptacle covers, circuit breakers, or electrical wiring
3. Overly warm switches or outlets
4. lights dim or go from bright to dim when turned on.
If you have noticed any of the trouble signs, have a qualified electrician determine the cause of the problem.
DO NOT TRY TO DO IT YOURSELF. You could be electrocuted or you could make the electrical equipment
more unsafe by disturbing it.