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Heimer Engineering New York pre-purchase home, building, condo, and co‑op inspection

800.605.1500
Home, Building, Condo, And
Co-op Engineering Inspections
:-)We Are Happy To Help You

Federal Pacific Electric (FPE)
Stab-Lok Circuit Breaker Panels

Pre-Purchase Inspection
Insight Only An Engineer Offers

Home, Building, Condo, and Co-op Inspections
in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx,
Staten Island, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland,
Putnam, and Westchester

An Engineer's inspection, a home and building inspection, and a termite inspection.  You receive four reports: an onsite verbal report, an onsite written report, an emailed written report, and a termite report.  Call 800.605.1500 if you have questions.  We are happy to help you.Smile

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Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok circuit breakers received a lot of bad press because of their failure to meet certain Underwriter's Laboratories (UL) test  requirementsFederal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok circuit breakers received a lot of bad press because of their failure to meet certain Underwriter's Laboratories (UL) test  requirements.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) investigated the claims, and determined that it had insufficient data to make a determination.  Federal Pacific Electric (which is now out of business)  acknowledged that the circuit breakers do not meet all of the UL standards, but stated that the circuit breakers would only fail under conditions considered abusive.

➜ CPSC Press Release Regarding Federal Pacific Circuit Breaker Panels

There are a lot of websites that talk about serious hazards associated with Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok circuit breaker panels.  Many are alarmists who exaggerate the CPSC's findings.  Some of the websites appear to be electricians trying to create work, while others are home inspectors who exaggerate the claims.

There has been renewed interest in the risks of Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok circuit breaker panels because of recent news reports of fires.  What is not included in the news stories is a comparison with electrical fires caused by non-Federal Pacific Electric circuit breakers.  Electrical fires happen every day, and they are not all caused by Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok circuit breakers. It is the history of false test reports that condemns Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok circuit breakers.

Many home inspectors fail to look at the age of the circuit breaker panel as the cause of recent fires attributed to Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok circuit breaker panelsAs Licensed Engineers, it is our responsibility to help protect the public.  In addition, a Licensed Engineer has the responsibility not to be an alarmist or overstate a hazard.  Given this need for balance, it is our recommendation that an old Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok circuit breaker panel be treated as old electric wiring.

Old circuit breaker panels in homes, buildings, condos, and co-ops are outdated by today's standards.  Circuit breakers can deteriorate over time.  The fact that the panel was manufactured by a Federal Pacific Electric, along with other aspects of the electrical system, should be taken into account when deciding if a circuit breaker panel needs to be replaced.

Old circuit breaker panels are
outdated by today's standards

Unfortunately, some home inspectors have decided that all Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok circuit breaker panel needs to be replaced, and have ignored other old circuit breaker panels.  These home inspectors accuse the now-defunct manufacturer of these panels of wrongdoing, and recommend panel replacement based only on that accusation.

Many home inspectors fail to look at the age of the circuit breaker panel as the cause of recent fires attributed to Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok circuit breaker panels.  It is vital that the age and not just the manufacturer of the circuit breaker panels be assessed in determining the risk.  Be careful of any home inspector who only looks only at the manufacturer when assessing a circuit breaker panel.  A hazardous condition could be missed.

Only a Licensed Electrician should open a circuit breaker or fuse panel because of the associated risks.  An Inspector or anyone else who is not a Licensed Electrician should never open a circuit breaker or fuse panel.

A Licensed Electrician is in the position to correct hazardous conditions created by opening electrical panels.  Someone who is not a Licensed Electrician lacks the experience to deal with these hazardous conditions.  If a problem develops because of opening the panel (for example, a circuit breaker becomes loose), the Inspector is not in a position to resolve the problem.  Thus, a responsible will not generally open an electrical panel.

Home, building, condo, and co-op inspections and electrical system inspectionsMost communities require electricians to be licensed, and prohibit anyone other than a Licensed Electrician from performing electrical work.  (Exceptions are made for homeowners wiring their own home.)  So a home inspector who is not a Licensed Electrician is not permitted to open an electrical panel.

An experienced Engineer can determine the condition of the wiring by visual examination.  The question you should ask is why do some home inspectors insist on opening the circuit breaker panel when it could create a hazard?  Can't these home inspectors find risks and hazards by examining the way the building is wired?  Are these home Inspectors missing problems because of their limited abilities?  Are these home inspectors missing serious wiring problems because of their narrow focus?

Pre-Purchase Inspections

During the inspection, the Licensed Engineer examines, analyzes, and/or reports on (as appropriate based on the building):

Structural
System
The
Foundation
Heating
System
Electrical
System
Plumbing
System
Hot Water
System
Roofing
System
Leaders &
Gutters
The
Siding
Termites
 
Carpenter
Ants
Exterior
Trim
Basement
Water
Rotted
Wood
Appliances
 
Air
Conditioning
Windows
And Doors
The
Interior
Carbon
Monoxide
Mold
 
Asbestos
 

Contact Heimer Engineering 24/7

Heimer Engineering New York pre-purchase home, building, condo, and co‑op inspectionsWe are happy to help you.  To set up an appointment for a pre-purchase inspection, or to find out about Engineering services or expert court testimony, click below for a contact form, send us an email, text us at 6602 0091 55, or call 800.605.1500.  If no staff member is in the office, leave a message. Remember to ask about a web discount. 

➜ 24/7 Contact Information

Heimer Engineering serves the Metro New York area, including New York City (Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island), Long Island (Nassau County, Suffolk County), and Upstate New York (Rockland County, Putnam County, and Westchester County).

Heimer Engineering respects your privacy.  Some inspection firms share information with insurance, landscaping, home maintenance, moving, cable, mortgage, and other companies.  Some inspection firms sell their client lists.  These practices are unethical.  You will not receive phone calls or solicitation emails from third parties as a result of providing personal information.

In the event of a life-threatening emergency (fire, building in danger of collapse, facade with loose bricks, debris falling from a building, gas leak, etc.) do not call Heimer Engineering.  If there is a life-threatening emergency or other hazardous condition, call 911.  Emergency situations need to be handled immediately by first-responders who can evacuate buildings, have utilities shut off, and take other steps necessary to preserve life.

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Heimer Engineering New York pre-purchase home, building, condo, and co‑op inspectionInspections are performed only after the client signs a pre-inspection agreement.  The use of this website is governed by our Terms of Use.  This website is made available for informational purposes, and does not represent a professional opinion of your particular situation.

➜ Download A Pre-Inspection Agreement

Heimer Engineering performs home inspections, building inspections, condominium inspections, and co-op inspections in the State of New York.  We do not perform inspections or recommend Inspectors or Engineers in the areas outside of the State of New York.  We also provide Licensed Professional Engineer consultation services including hurricane and storm damage and damage from adjoining constructionExpert witness services are provided regarding playground injuries, parking lot, walkway, and stairway slip, trip, and fall.

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Heimer Engineering PC f/k/a Richard L Heimer PE PC
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Commack, New York, USA 11725-2947

New York Metro Area800.605.1500
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International Standard of Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC) Revision 4 Classification: 71
North American Industry Classification System (SAISC) Classification: 541330, 541350