How do you know when it is time to upgrade electrical wiring or breaker panels in your home? It pays to hire qualified South Shore electrical services to provide you with an inspection and overall assessment of your home’s electrical system. However, there are also a few tell-tale signs that can help you determine on your own how urgent the situation may be to hire electrical services in Boston and the surrounding area. The age of your home can be a major indication, but the first thing you need to do right now is to take a look at your electrical panel. The brand of the panel could be a safety and fire hazard that needs to be replaced right away.

Federal Pacific Panels
Did you know that studies reveal nearly 3,000 fires a year are caused by this particular brand of breaker panels? It’s true. Homes that were built prior to 1990 are most likely to have Federal Pacific Panels unless the homeowner before you already replaced it on their own. To find your electrical panel, check the garage, basement, or even the laundry room and take a look at what’s there. It isn’t always obvious what the brand name is, as the label or sticker could wear off over time. Federal Pacific Panels are extremely defective and was even investigated in the 1980s due to safety concerns. However, the Consumer Product Safety Commission failed to recall the product due to a lack of funding, in spite of a lengthy two-year investigation.

The average build year of homes in Southeastern Massachusetts is 1980-1989, making homes within our region very likely to have this type of breaker panel. If your home was built prior to 1990, hire a South Shore electrician to take a look at your panel if you are not sure. It is important to find out as soon as possible if your home still has this type of breaker panel, as it is a proven safety risk. If you can identify that you do indeed have a Federal Pacific Panel in your home, contact South Shore electrical services right away to find out what you need to do to upgrade electrical wiring and breaker panels to improve the safety of your home. Quality electrical services in Boston and the surrounding area can help you to upgrade your electrical system before it becomes a serious safety and fire hazard.

Why the Breaker Panels are Bad
Millions of homes nationwide were built with Federal Pacific Panels installed from the 1950s through the 1980s, including right here in Southeastern Massachusetts. An electrical panel is designed to distribute electricity throughout your home. If you were to open up the breaker box, you would see that there are circuit breakers that are labeled for every appliance and room in your home. Each breaker that is inside the box is designed to protect a specific outlet or appliance. What that means is that the breaker monitors the flow of electricity as it makes its way to the appliance or outlet. If there is a power surge or current overload, the breaker is designed to shut off or “trip” to stop the flow of electricity.

The flow of electricity is stopped to prevent the electrical wires from causing a fire due to overheating. The panel is responsible for ensuring the electrical safety of your home, which is why it is so important. The individual circuit breakers can be checked to find out where an issue is with the electrical load on a specific outlet or in a certain area of your home to prevent fires from occurring. The reason why Federal Pacific Panels are so dangerous is that they can cause fires instead of stopping them. Independent testing has revealed that many of the breakers that are installed on this type of panel will not trip when there is a surge or overload in the electrical current. What this does is to allow unsafe levels of electricity to make their way through your home, which can cause damage to the appliances that are plugged into the outlet or allow the wires to overheat and possibly cause a fire.

Do You Have Federal Pacific Panels?
Check your breaker panel and see if it has the name “Federal Pacific” written across the front. The circuit breakers for this type of panel will have the label “Stab-Lok” written on them and are usually completely black or have a combination of orange and black. However, the best way to determine the safety of your residential wiring and breaker panel is to contact electrical services in Boston. Call M. Foley Electric by calling 857-829-0516 and speak with one of our technicians. We offer a broad range of South Shore electrical services in the Greater Boston area. Call today and get a FREE estimate for any of the electrical services that we provide.