Federal Pacific Electrical PanelSometimes things seem to come in waves, and this last week the waves that found me seemed to all be about unsafe electrical panels in homes which are either risky or potentially risky.  I read a home inspection report for a house with a Federal Pacific Electric Company (FPE) panel that encouraged home owners to replace that type because of the risk of fire.  Then I met with a potential seller client who was aware of a fire on his block due to a panel failure and was experiencing issues with his Zinsco electrical panel which seemed dangerous. Having two of these red flags thrown down at once did get my attention.

Tonight I did some research on these two panels to see what I could glean, and happened to find a website which discussed both the Zinsco and FPE panels.  This site includes photos of what happens if an electrical panel fails. I found it exceedingly helpful, and think it’s worth sharing widely.

http://www.ismypanelsafe.com/fpe.aspx

For safety’s sake, please go check the type of panel you have, and sub panel too, if there is one. DO NOT attempt to pull off the dead front (the part which is gray in the image to the right) – only a licensed, qualified electrician should do that.

If you have an older panel, or Federal Pacific Electric Company or Zinsco panel, you may want to investigate replacing it.  Ditto that for an outdated panel.  Please do some research on this topic if you have one of these panels in your home, especially. It may not be universally believed that they should be replaced but this is something to check out, at the very least, if you have one of these in your home.  Buying a home?  Ask your property inspector about the reputation of the panel.  Sometimes home inspectors won’t mention it one way or the other unless they see symptoms of overheating or something similar.  Perhaps it’s fine now, but should be on your list of things to replace over time for an added measure of peace of mind.

  1. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 2,988 sq ft
    Lot size: 11,251 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,862 sq ft
    Lot size: 12,218 sqft
  3. 5 beds, 7 baths
    Home size: 8,085 sq ft
    Lot size: 4.79 ac
  4. 8 beds, 10 baths
    Home size: 11,000 sq ft
    Lot size: 51.34 ac
  5. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 4,308 sq ft
    Lot size: 40,001 sqft
  6. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,718 sq ft
    Lot size: 28,801 sqft
  7. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 947 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,599 sqft
  8. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,372 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,969 sqft
  9. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,414 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,220 sqft
  10. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,153 sq ft
    Lot size: 3.12 ac

See all Real estate in the Los Gatos/Monte Sereno community.
(all data current as of 9/20/2017)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

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Mary Pope-Handy
Realtor
ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
License# 01153805


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