I know Federal Pacific is infamous for their American Stab-Lok panels which should be replaced on sight. However, this panel is Cutler-Hammer CH type (the narrow 3/4" breakers).

It's the 240V electric baseboard heaters that are Federal Pacific. There's a 2000W heater, and three 1000W heaters (all sharing a 30A breaker).

Is this something I should be worried about?


1 Answer 1


The only problem I have ever had with FPE base board heaters is the thermostat. I am not saying there was a flaw. The contacts fail after many years of service and have required replacement. Your total of 5000 watts would be 20.8A so a 30 Amp breaker would be normal with #10 wire supplying them. If you cannot find a replacement thermostat (for the ones in the base board) I have added a wall mounted thermostat for the room and bypassed the thermostat but not the over temp sensor that is a safety if the contacts weld closed in the thermostat. Added Today I just did a power survey on an older 25kva 480 to 240-120v transformer that has been in use for? It wal lightly loaded at 54A at 240. I increased its load to 91A at 240 even ballanced loads (120) and it is still running cool on a hot day here (mid 90's) so I would still say FPE products other than "stab lock" are good.

  • Well, none of them seem to work (the thermostat clicks but they don't get warm) so that would certainly explain it. I'd be tempted to go with 24V thermostat (adding a contactor) for better regulation and future-proofing. Also they are secondary heat, there's a gas furnace too, so it's perfect for the Nest's auxiliary heat feature. Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 19:34
  • You will would need more than just a contactor. A 240v to 24v transformer seems like an oddity to me, especially not having a neutral. I think I'd just buy new baseboard heaters.
    – Kris
    Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 22:00
  • @Kris -- 208/240 to 24VAC transformers are common in industrial control panel applications (I have a used 208/240/480 to 24VAC transformer myself, got it at a junk-giveaway) Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 22:19
  • @ThreephaseEel, and no neutral required?
    – Kris
    Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 22:24
  • 1
    The FPE Baseboards I have repaired were all 240. If you have maybe a newer model, The ones I remember were from the late 60's or early 70's. I have FPE Transformers at my plant 480/240 at 3 or 4 places from 15-25 KVA and these work as well as any other units. I check all the transformers regularly and we have IR scans done yearly so other than the "stab lock" breakers/ panels I have not had any issues with there products.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 2:55

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