Electrical advice from our master electricians on our blog
Electrical advice from our master electricians on our blog
Minneapolis 612-587-2777
Lic. EA005137

Archive for the ‘Circuit Panel Repair’ Category

Did You Know Your Circuit Breakers Need Exercise?

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Blog Bullet-e 50Our electricians advise our customers to exercise the circuit breakers in their electrical panels at least once per year by turning them off and on three to four times (unplug your computers and flat screens)! This is very important to ensuring the circuit breaker won’t jam if called upon to trip during an electrical problem. Circuit breakers are electromechanical devices that need exercise to get the grease flowing… Jammed circuit breakers = Fires!

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Get Acquainted With Your Wiring

Monday, February 17th, 2014

e 200It is a good idea to have an electrician trained in residential electrical service help you get acquainted with your electrical system. Good things to know would be: “What size electrical service do I have? What kind of wiring do I have throughout the house? How many circuits do I have left in my panel? What are some of the good things and some of the bad things about my home wiring? What sort of things I should look out for going forward? How could I make my home safer and more energy efficient?”

Familiarity and basic knowledge about your wiring can help keep you and your family safe. If you would like to know more about your electrical system, schedule one of our professionals for a service visit to inspect your electrical panel and tune-up the connections. We can answer your questions and help you make decisions about prioritizing your electrical needs. We perform whole house safety inspections and have valued member protection plans available for additional peace of mind and savings.

While we are there, we can take a look at your electrical wish list and provide some pricing for you. Providing prices for your electrical needs is fast and easy! We provide flat rate, itemized pricing for all electrical tasks which would be performed in a home. Dimmer switch upgrades, ground-fault protection and whole house surge protectors are some of the most common requests from new home owners looking to improve safety and savings. Make sure to ask your electrician about our Value Memberships for additional savings and benefits. Give us a call and get to know your system, 651.587.5512

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Is Your Electrical Panel A Ticking Time Bomb?

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Blog Bullet-e 50If you have a Federal Pacific Electrical Panel, it may not be a ticking time bomb literally, but it definitely is a fire hazard and a potential death trap.

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Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) Panel  020714-Federal Pacific Electrical Panels

Federal Pacific Electrical Panels were installed in thousands of Twin Cities homes between the 1960’s-1980. In general, a circuit breaker’s main purpose is to protect you and your family from harm by discontinuing the flow of electricity when there is a problem. It is well documented; Federal Pacific circuit breakers fail to do this.

Fire investigators, home inspectors, insurance companies and residential electricians are well aware of this hazard. With blogs like this and informational websites, the general public is becoming more aware.

The challenge with this entire conversation is getting people to understand that the danger exists even though their Federal Pacific electrical panel has been working fine for 30 years. Most people can’t believe that a government agency or some type of consumer authority in the United States hasn’t done more to prevent or rectify this dangerous problem. Although there was a class action lawsuit awarded in New Jersey, nothing substantial by the way of protecting the American public has formally been done.

To learn more, watch the informative video on our Circuit Panels information page (click here).

If you have a Federal Pacific Electrical Panel, protect yourself and your family; schedule a service visit with one of our electricians to replace your electrical panel. Your family will be much safer.  651.587.5512.

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Seeing Is Believing (Part 2)

Monday, January 27th, 2014

e 200Good electricians are trained to use their sense of sight, touch, hear and smell to help uncover electrical issues in the home. In the previous blog we talked about how the homeowner can use sight to observe some basic safety issues in the home. You can also use your sense of sight to make some safety observations about your electrical panel. I must remind you to never remove the cover from the electrical panel. Here are some tips:

  • Always keep a clear path and workspace around the electrical panel.
  • Make sure the area where the electrical panel is located is dry.
  • If remodeling: avoid running plumbing pipes directly above the panel.
  • Observe if there are circuit breakers missing and that the cover is fastened in place correctly
  • Observe that there are no unused openings where rodents could get into the panel

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Another important thing to observe is the brand of the electrical panel. You should be able to determine this by looking on the cover. Electrical panels are just like anything else, there are some good quality panels and there are some not so good electrical panels. Brands to watch out for are Sylvania Zinsco, Federal Pacific Stab Lok and Wadsworth. These electrical panels have been linked to electrical failures in the past and we recommend immediate replacement. Knowing that you have a dangerous electrical panel is the first step in having a safer home. If you are having trouble determining the safety of your electrical panel, schedule a service visit with Edison Electric and have one of our trained experts come take a look 651.587.5512.

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Snap, Crackle, Pop…Time To Call Edison

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

e 200Some of our past blog posts talk about using the human senses to detect electrical issues in your home. Hearing your electrical system may sound strange, but it is definitely a technique good electrician’s use.

When our electricians go to your home, they listen closely to your electrical panel. We are listening for a faint crackle or a low sizzling sound. When these sounds are detected it usually indicates a struggle is taking place behind your circuit breakers, inside your electrical panel. This unique sound is the struggle of metal parts trying to make a solid electrical connection. Most times when we hear the sizzle, we recommend an in depth panel inspection where we remove the circuit breakers and closely examine the bus that delivers power to each breaker. Poor electrical connections inside of a panel are contagious to the other surrounding connections, so it is important to have an expert examine your electrical panel.

As a homeowner, you may experience hearing a crackling sound when you use a receptacle, light switch or a light fixture that is going bad. Don’t ignore what you are hearing; there could be a serious problem. If you are experiencing crackling noises and the light switch or receptacle still works, it doesn’t mean it is safe. Let our expert electricians take care of these issues for you. We provide fast, on-time service visits hundreds of times every year for these types of repairs. Give us a call today! 651.587.5512

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Awareness About Federal Pacific Electrical Panels Is Starting To Catch Fire…

Monday, December 16th, 2013

e 200If you watch the evening news, from time to time you hear a report about a product recall for a safety defect. In our society, recalls have become routine and we consumers have become accustomed to being told through the media about specific recalls. Imagine if there was a serious risk with the brakes on your car, you would want to know about it, right? Federal Pacific Electrical Panels (or FPE) also have a serious safety defect and have been installed in millions of homes; however a recall has never been issued. Why?

The full story of Federal Pacific Electrical Corporation is a corporate yarn filled with fraud, deception and legal battles, but in the end the Consumer Product Safety Commission ran out of money while pursuing the investigation back in 1983. The CPSC’s final position says “that the matter is closed without making a determination of safety.” Reassuring huh?

Many independent tests have been conducted since then which tell of 70% failure rates in many of the 2 pole circuit breakers. The Federal Pacific Electrical company is now defunct and replacement parts are hard to find except on the internet.

Who Cares? 
Between 1950 and 1980 FPE “Stab-Lok” electrical panels were installed in millions of new homes across the entire United States and are still being used in thousands of homes in the Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs. These electrical panels are considered a latent fire hazard which means the circuit breakers pose a high risk when your electrical system acts up or you have an overloaded circuit.

The danger posed by the high failure rate of these circuit breakers is the main reason most electricians, home inspectors, realtors, insurance companies and local fire chiefs are recommending immediate replacement of the entire electrical panel. Although a class action suit was awarded in New Jersey in 2002 to homeowners who were original to the home, most homeowners who are replacing their panel have had paid out of pocket for the expense.

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Do you have an FPE in your home?
Here are a few ways to tell by just looking at your electrical panel:

  • Red or orange handles on the circuit breakers
  • “Federal Pacific” or “FPE” will be on the panel cover
  • “Stab-Lok” will be on the panel cover

WARNING! DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TAKE THE COVER OFF OF THE PANEL.

Even experienced electricians have a hard time safely getting the cover off of a FPE Stab-Lok panel.

Do your Homework
If you think you have an FPE panel in your home or know someone who does, we encourage you to read about this topic online and give us a call. These panels have been described as ticking time bombs. We will be able to consult with you on replacement and complete the work necessary to remove your old panel and install a new one backed by a lifetime warranty. We have replaced hundreds of FPE panels and perform panel replacements routinely. 651.587.5512.

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