By Robin Shapiro
The licensed electrician which I use is Rockaway resident Dominick DiMaiolo, telephone: 917-939-3049. Dominick recently advised me about a faulty circuit breaker panel which was common in the 1950s through the 1980s. The Federal Pacific circuit breaker panel often installed in those days has been recommended for replacement by many sources. These panels were investigated by the Consumer Products Safety Commission in the early 1980s. They didn’t have enough evidence to recommend replacement of them at that time. As the years progressed, more evidence became available which showed that the breakers would not “trip” (turn off) as designed under “fault” and could cause fires and electrical failures. A New Jersey class action lawsuit was settled against Federal Pacific in 2007. Some original owners were entitled to $500 at that time. The National Electric Code has banned these panels, and insurance companies may refuse to insure your house if they are discovered – until you remedy the situation. The replacement cost can be reasonable.
Many Rockaway homes were built a long time ago. Even though many homes have been renovated, it is possible that some homes still have the old Federal Pacific panels. It’s worth a thought to double check your home. Call my electrician, Dominick, if you need advice (phone number above). Call me. Love, Robin.