House was built in 1985. On one of the exterior walls, there are two Federal Pacific service disconnects for my outside HVAC units. The label on the first one indicates it's an FPE model R160, which is the service disconnect for a 40A furnace/compressor. The label on the second one says FPE model R130, as the service disconnect for a 25A A/C compressor. There is a pair of fuses inside each pullout, one pair are Bussmann and the other pair is unreadable due to weathering. Both circuits are protected upstream by appropriately sized breakers in a GE panel.

I know Federal Pacific has a well-deserved bad reputation for the flaws with their Stab-Lok panels and breakers, but I'm unsure if that tainted the other product lines they were manufacturing in the mid 80s. Seeing as how neither of these is giving me any trouble, is there anything about having FPE gear on my house that I should be concerned about?

Even if there are no immediate concerns, when the day comes that I want to sell, should I expect an overzealous home inspector to (incorrectly?) call them out as needing replacement?


No you do not need to replace them, their disconnects are fine and also their transformers are good. FPE stablock is what gave them a bad name. It would be like saying your favorite car MFG was judged by that 1 bad model (they all have them). I have several that have been in regular use for decades, so would not worry about the disconnects.

  • Didn't they use the stablock in their fuse panels too? I had a few of them that failed miserably.
    – JACK
    Apr 29 '20 at 21:29
  • 1
    The disconnects I have use standard fuses (the fused ones). The others are knife switches without a name plate they are no different than square D , AB or GE. I haven’t seen the main fail in a FPE but the standard compact breakers yes close to 60% on double pole, the main breakers were bolt to buss that I know of not compact.
    – Ed Beal
    Apr 29 '20 at 21:54
  • I should have added any “stablock” breaker is suspect in my book I don’t even test them I toss them in the trash and I even save old bulldog pushmatics.
    – Ed Beal
    Apr 29 '20 at 22:03

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