Federal Pacific Breakers and Zinsco Panels – Beware of Fire!

If your business or home is 30 to 65 years old and equipped with a Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) circuit breaker panel with Stab-Lok breakers, you may be at risk of breaker malfunctions and possibly a home fire! These breakers have a fire potential and it is critical that home owners change these if they have them in their home.

The FPE was one of the most popular electric panels from the 50s that were eventually installed in millions of buildings across the country. However, testing in the 80s showed that one of every four Stab-Lok breakers are defective. In 2005, a ruling in New Jersey determined the Federal Pacific to have committed fraud due to failure to meet testing standards.

An estimated 2,800 fires each year result directly from the Federal Pacific panel breaker failures.


The general purpose of a circuit breaker is to cut the flow of electricity when electric wires have too much current flowing. This is something that these breakers fail to do properly. During testing, both these models failed 25% of the time. Yikes!

It’s important to note if your buildings have an FPE breaker or a Zinsco panel, both being extremely prone to malfunctions. If so, it is extremely recommended to replace your breaker considering the hazard. Contact Blackbelt AC and Electrical today at (210) 749-3242! We’re a fully licensed and insured AC and electric company serving San Antonio and surrounding areas. We can replace your outdated electrical panel and eliminate those risks for you.