Federal Pacific, Stab-loc panels are famous for being problematic in removing the cover. Some of this is justified, some is not. I hear all the time about breakers falling out or being tripped off in the process of removal.
There is a technique to removal that can minimize these concerns.
When surveying the panel, if one notices breakers that protrude more than others, it may not be fully snapped in place. If the inspector is not comfortable pushing these back in place prior to removing the cover, perhaps removal should not be done, and further evaluation by a licensed electrical contractor would be warranted.
In the video below, I will attempt to show the “process” that will give the idea of how it is done, but there is still no substitute for practice removing these covers.
Removal is important because a host of issues can be discovered that would support your recommendation of replacement and forego further evaluation by other parties.
Be safe out there, and only do what you are comfortable doing.
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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