Stab-Lok is a brand name for a type of electrical panel and circuit breaker produced by Federal Pacific Electric (FPE), a now-defunct company. These panels were commonly used in residential and commercial electrical systems in the United States from the 1950s through the early 1980s. Stab-Lok panels were known for their distinctive, brightly colored breakers and their compact design.
The issue with Stab-Lok panels is that they have a controversial and troubled history. Over the years, they have been associated with a higher-than-average rate of circuit breaker failures and fires. The problems with Stab-Lok circuit breakers included a tendency to not trip in response to overcurrent or short-circuit conditions, which could potentially lead to electrical fires. Additionally, FPE was accused of fraudulent testing practices, which further eroded confidence in their products.
Because of these safety concerns, Stab-Lok panels are no longer manufactured, and there have been numerous reports and investigations regarding their safety. It is generally recommended to replace Stab-Lok panels with modern, safer electrical panels to ensure the safety of the electrical system in a building. If you suspect that you have a Stab-Lok panel in your home or property, it’s advisable to have it inspected and replaced by a qualified electrical contractor to reduce the associated risks.
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