One item to consider during a home inspection is the electrical panel manufacturer. Specifically, you should be aware of the Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) panel . These panels were typically installed between the 1950s to the 1980s. They have a high failure rate and could be a fire hazard. Most of the failures are not typically visible without dismantling the panel and can’t be seen during a home inspection. PCA Inspections always recommends this type of panel be further evaluated and/or be replaced by a qualified licensed electrician.
How to spot a FPE panel:
- The simplest approach is to open the panel door and look for the manufacturer name.
- If the name has worn off or the information sticker is missing, look for red or orange paint on the handles of the circuit breakers. Below are some example photos.
Cost: Typically, the cost to replace an electrical panel is between $5,000 – $10,000 depending on the size of the panel.