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Electrical Question:

September 2018

Question:
What's the best advise on Stab-Lok breakers and breaker boxes. A few years ago during training with Carson Dunlop, I was advised these were a fire hazard. I have read several articles on the net saying the same. Does this apply to ALL Stab-Lok manufactured by Federal Pioneer? I inspect in a sub-division where all the homes have Stab-Lok so this is of great concern.

Answer:
The Stab-lok breakers have been certified to meet the Part 2 safety standards for Canada and when installed correctly and maintained do not pose any safety concern. With any aging electrical equipment, over time can become a safety concern when not properly maintained. There was a recall for the following and more information on the link provided

The affected circuit breakers are Federal Pioneer NC015 and NC015CP, Single Pole Rated 15A, Stab-Lok Circuit Breakers - Manufactured between August 1, 1996 and June 11, 1997. Click here for the recall notice.


Question asked by Steve Schroeder.

I just inspected an older home with signs of knob + tube (although no K+T wire was actually seen). The BX cable from the furnace (2003) to the panel (relatively new 100A) did not have a ground wire. Under what circumstances can the casing serve as grounding?

Answer:

Armoured cable before they had bond wire had an aluminum strip that was bent over and secured under the connector. This was an acceptable means of bonding at the time of the original installation and the code is not retroactive. It’s difficult to determine when the cable was originally installed.

Regards ,

Trevor Tremblay

Technical Advisor, Northern Region

Electrical Safety Authority