If your home is over twenty five years of age you may unknowingly have a defective breaker panel. Federal Pacific Electric is one company that is widely known to be defective. Defects include breakers that fail to trip when overloaded. If a breaker fails to trip an electrical fire can start anywhere in the home including inside a wall or up in the attic. These types of fires are dangerous because they can go unnoticed for a long period of time.
Sometimes not until it’s too late and a total loss is eminent or worse yet injury or loss of life. Homeowner’s with older homes should check to see what kind of breaker panel they have. The manufacturer’s name is typically inside the panel on a paper label or embossed on the cover if the label is damaged or missing.
If you are buying a home this is a must check item before making an offer. Federal Pacific Electric panels can also affect insurability. In other words you may not be able to find insurance which can keep you from being able to close on your new home. If you can find insurance it will cost you more.
Sometimes updating your panel can save you enough in insurance costs to pay for the update work within a few years. In the end you can’t put a price on safety and should replace any breaker panel known to be defective.