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Fed Pac Panels

by Brian Maecker

Have you heard about Federal Pacific Electric Panels? Do you own a home that was built between 1950-1980? If your home was built during this time, it’s highly likely that your home has a Federal Pacific Electric Panel.

           Why should this concern you? It has been determined that these electric panels may fail and cause a fire. The issue seems to be the “Stab Lok” technology used in these panels. This Stab Lok technology utilizes an aluminum “pole” stuck into an aluminum bracket. It was quick and cheap. The problem is because the aluminum melts before it trips and thus can cause a fire. Today’s electric panels are copper connections screwed into and around copper connections. This system trips before overheating. Some of these Stab Lok systems were installed safely and continue to operate safely as long as they are not overloaded.

           In summary, there is enough “Bad” reports about Federal Pacific Panels that you need to take the warnings seriously. If you have one of these panels, have a licensed electrician take a look and evaluate. A typical replacement runs between $1500.00-$2000.00. It’s expensive, but it could be lifesaving. According to the Consumer Protection Agency, 2800 house fires per year are linked to Federal Pacific Panels. Be Safe.

Brian

           

Poly Butylene Piping

by Brian Maecker

Have you heard of polybutylene piping? Polybutylene (PB) piping was used in the 1970’s and 1980’s. It’s a flexible, grey plastic type plumbing that was used because it was inexpensive to install. It bends and fits anywhere and is used to connect with brass or metal fittings. The reason it’s become famous is for bad reasons. Many PB plumbed homes have experienced leaks. The leaks have been mostly at the fittings which have failed. The failure was due to chemical breakdown or bad crimping. In summary bad installation

           From my experience, I have only seen 1 home in Colorado Springs experience failure. I’m sure there are more. However it’s not always bad. One could assume if it’s lasted this long, installation was good. However the connections could crack over time.

           The better solution is PEX piping. It’s usually blue or red and has shown for years to be a good alternative. PEX has been used in Europe for decades.

           Generally speaking if you see the grey piping running from your water heater and a manifold system, you probably have PB piping. Today’s inspectors will make a big deal out of it. If you are concerned have a licensed plumber look and evaluate you system. A company called Replumb Specialists http://replumbs.com  is great to work with if you have replacement needs. Please let me know if you need help or have concerns.

Brian

 

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The Brian Maecker Team
RE/MAX Advantage
5590 N. Academy Blvd.
Colorado Springs CO 80918
719-593-2963
Toll Free: 888-593-2963
Fax: 719-599-7777