For the past 20 years or so, a substantial part of our business has been replacing Federal Pacific circuit breaker panels, a brand widely installed in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, particularly their “Stab-Lok” line.
These panels are widely regarded as a fire and electrical safety hazard, dangerous for a number of reasons. Over the years We have personally seen Federal Pacific breakers fail to trip when they had a solid short circuit, and we’ve seen handles in the off position and found the breaker was actually on, with the circuit live. Either condition can kill a person or start a house fire. In addition, the breakers simply fail, sometimes catastrophically, as in the picture to the right.
It’s hard to overstate how serious a problem these panels and breakers can be. If you own one, replacing it is one of the biggest safety improvements you can make. And we would never, under any circumstances, connect an EV charging circuit to one of these panels.
Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection
Angie’s List: Is your Federal Pacific circuit breaker panel safe?
Lake Highlands Advocate: Hazardous electrical panel in your home?
NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit: Federal Pacific Circuit Breakers: Investigation Finds Decades of Danger