The cost to replace federal pacific panels varies depending on the scope of electrical work. Typically, electricians will charge an hourly rate for labor plus parts. The cost can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars depending on the size and complexity of the job.
The cost to replace federal pacific panels is about $1,630-$4070. However, the circuit breaker panel replacement installations often accompany other repairs to meet current electrical codes.
When replacing a Federal Pacific panel, there may be some additional costs. Most Federal Pacific Electric panel replacements may require the following:
- Relocation to an area of the house that meets clearance requirements for local electrical codes
- Installation of arc fault and ground fault breakers (See information on AFCI code requirements and GFCI code requirements)
- Electrical wiring upgrades for some or all branch electrical circuits
- Installation of the main service disconnect
- Upgrading the 3-phase main service entrance wire from the meter base to the panel to 4-phase electrical wiring
Unfortunately, the high cost to replace Federal Pacific panels often discourages homeowners from doing an electrical panel upgrade.
Even worse is circuit breaker panel replacement installations where contractors took shortcuts to save money, which causes more safety problems than leaving the FPE panel alone.
If you have an FPE panel and want to replace it, you need to consult a licensed electrician to get a quote.
Cost to Replace Federal Pacific Electrical Panels
The biggest factor influencing the total cost is the type and size of your current electrical panel. One-time fees, such as permit fees, may also factor in. Here are some items that may increase or decrease your overall cost:
Type and Size of Electrical Panel
Different types and sizes of breaker boxes will have different prices. For example, upgrading from 100 amp service to 200 amp service will be more expensive than upgrading from 150 to 200 amp service because it requires more parts and labor costs.
Labor costs typically account for about half the total bill for replacing an electrical panel. The amount you pay for labor depends on how experienced and experienced your electrician is and how extensive the work is (i.e. if they need to rewire your entire house).
Depending on where you live, you may need to obtain a permit before beginning any kind of electrical work in your home. Permit fees vary by location and are typically charged per job or per hour.
The materials needed to complete a Federal Pacific electrical panel replacement include circuit breakers, wires, electrical conduits, and other components. These materials can add up quickly; if you want higher quality materials or specialty items like GFCI outlets or smart switches, these will also increase your total cost significantly.
If your home also has solid aluminum wiring, you should consider the cost of rewiring a house in your budget.
Estimate the Cost to Replace a Federal Pacific Panel
We’ve created an electrical panel cost calculator to help you estimate the cost of replacing your Federal Pacific electrical panel. All you need to do is enter the size of your current panel, meter replacement, panel relocation, and your state to get an estimated cost range for the job.
Reasons to Replace a Federal Pacific Electric Panel
If you live in an older home, you may have a Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) panel. This type of panel was popular from the 1950s to the 1980s, but it’s now known to be unreliable and dangerous. FPE Stab-Lok panels can cause power outages and potentially start fires in your home, so replacing them as soon as possible is essential for any homeowner.
What Do I Need to Know About Federal Pacific Electrical Panels?
Federal Pacific Electric panels are still commonly found in millions of homes. They often fail, leading to power outages in parts or all of your home. Not only that, but they have also been known to cause sparking and fires due to poor electrical wiring and faulty circuit breakers. Investigations by the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimate that these panels could cause more than 2,800 house fires yearly!
If your home has a Federal Pacific electrical panel, it is important to have it inspected and replaced if necessary. An experienced electrical inspector or licensed electrician can help you evaluate the risks associated with this type of panel and inform you of the necessary steps to take for corrective action.
Why Should I Replace My FPE Stab-Lok Panel?
Replacing your old FPE Stab-Lok breaker panel with a newer model is essential for safety reasons. Newer models are much safer and more reliable than their predecessors, so you won’t have to worry about potential fires or power outages.
Plus, installing a new panel can save you money on energy bills since newer models are more efficient than older ones. You should always hire a professional electrician for this job since it requires specialized knowledge and tools to which the average person may not have access.
How Can I Tell if I Have an FPE Stab-Lok Panel?
Most FPE Stab-Lok electrical panels will have labels stating “Federal Pacific Electric” or “Stab-Lok.” However, some panels may not feature these labels due to age or wear and tear.
If this is the case with your panel, then it’s generally best practice to contact an electrician who can inspect it for you just in case it needs replacing. It’s also important to note that many newer homes also feature FPE Stab-Lok panels – so even if your house isn’t particularly old, yours may be included too!
We recommend Will a Federal Pacific Panel Pass Inspection?
What You Should Know about the Federal Pacific Panel Recall?
In 1983, the CPSC launched an investigation into the safety of FPE electrical breakers. Despite running the investigation for nearly two years, they could not reach a clear conclusion and initiate a recall due to budget and data limitations.
But fast forward to 2012, and the story takes a turn. A study published by the IEEE and various other studies confirmed the fire hazards associated with FPE Stab-Lok equipment. This prompted the CPSC to take action and caution the industry and consumers about the potential dangers.
Do all Federal Pacific Panels Need to be Replaced?
No, not all Federal Pacific Panels need to be replaced. However, homeowners need to have all Federal Pacific panels inspected by a qualified electrician to determine if they are in good condition and safe to use. If there are any safety concerns, the panel should be replaced as soon as possible.
Federal Pacific electrical panels and their faulty breakers have been known for the potential for breaker failure to trip during a power surge or short circuit. Due to these issues, many experts recommend that they be replaced.
FAQs About Replacing a Federal Pacific Electrical Panel
When examining the cost of replacing Federal Pacific panels, you may have more questions. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions.
Should I replace my Federal Pacific panel?
Yes, you should replace your Federal Pacific panel. These panels are known to be unsafe and can cause electrical problems in your home. It is best to replace it with a newer panel box that meets modern safety codes.
Will insurance companies cover Federal Pacific Electric panels?
No, insurance companies do not knowingly insure homes with Federal Pacific panels. Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) panels were deemed a high risk for electrical fires. If you are uncertain about the age of your panel, it is strongly recommended that you have a qualified electrician inspect it. Many insurance companies require inspections on homes over 30 years old to reduce risk.
How can I tell if my Federal Pacific Panel Breaker is unsafe?
You should hire a licensed electrician to inspect your Federal Pacific Stab-Lok breakers for unsafe conditions like breaker discoloration, warping or cracking of the plastic casing, cracks or chips in the metal contacts, and bent or broken trip levers. Faulty breakers are known to fall out when the cover is removed, so it’s important to hire a licensed electrician to assess the breaker and determine whether it needs to be replaced.
Do Federal Pacific panels pass inspection?
Federal Pacific panels generally won’t pass a home inspection. There are safety concerns with these panels, which can affect your chances of getting home insurance. A Federal Pacific panel may still pass an inspection, but the safety concern still exists, and failure can occur without notice.
In conclusion, replacing federal pacific panels can be costly, with an average cost of $1,630 to $4,070. However, given the potential risks involved with these old panels, it is important to get them replaced as soon as possible to ensure proper safety and compliance with current standards.