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Canadian FPE Panels


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Hi Guys,

Does anyone have any information on Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok panels and breakers here in Canada? All the issues with these seem to be from the US only, and nothing with any Canadian panels. The panel was installed in 1986 and all was good inside, no arcing or anything else. I have read almost everything on InspectApedia on this, however it all states there's not much Canadian issues reported. Anyone have anything?

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Marc,

It's my understanding that Canadian installations are manufactured here in Canada. There is a recall on '97 Stab-Lok breakers as they renamed the company "Federal Pioneer" here and just re-labeled US FPE breakers... however this is an older generation panel.

Has anyone had any personal experience with these panels?

When I mention the problems with FPE I'm looked at like an alien by agents and electricians. I don't want to stick my neck out too much on this as I'm relatively new to this still. I already have the reputation of being "too picky" and have been blacklisted here in my hometown... Last week I had a 4 way conference call with my client, myself, the selling agent and the electrician that went to verify a Federal Pioneer panel at the seller's expense because of what I had mentioned (and the rust on the connector screws) They were livid when it cost them $316 to have an electrician tell them there's no issue here in Canada with these...

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Canadian Federal Pioneer breaker panels - no problems, no history of problems, cheapest panel and therefore the most plentiful. Owned by Schneider Electric, who also own and market Square D and their own Schneider brand.

Sorry you had to learn the hard way.

Stab-Lok breakers - no problem. They stay in tight and the covers are the easiest of all to remove and replace. And there were never any New York or New Jersey breakers used in Canada that I know of. The breakers came from a factory in Toronto right from day one. That was when we had real manufacturing in Canada. Yes there was a recall of one batch of breakers. Some of the other brands have had recalls. I see several FP panels every week and I've got one in this house. I don't like them but I don't hate them either.

I will call out the older panels as being antiquated and suspect. They will be labeled Federal Pacific. FPE No-Ark are old but a lot of them have nice copper bus bars. There is one model Federal panel that to remove the panel cover for the main breaker area is a real grunt. The cover catches on the breaker and the guard part jams in the box. I hate it when it trips the main breaker like that. One time the owner was on his PC when I did that. Another time it triggered an alarm when I turned the power back on. [:(]

You should also know that there are literally hundreds of differences in the Canadian Electrical code from the NEC rules that you see here on these boards. Learn the Canadian code rules or you will get more than just bad vibes.

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  • 1 month later...

Here's a Canadian Federal Pioneer Stab-lok panel I found in the back of a cupboard.

As you can see, the breakers are nice and snug after about 30 years without a cover. The original panel cover showed up in a nearby closet. It is amazing how nonchalant people and rodents can be around deadly voltages.

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