For the most part, your home’s electrical panel is out of sight and out of mind. You turn lights on and off and run appliances without a care in the world. But just like everything in your home, electrical panels can begin to show signs of wear over time. Sometimes, those signs are obvious, like total loss of power to a room or area of your home. Other times, they’re more subtle and can easily be missed.
Browse through this list of common warning signs that signal your electrical panel may be due for an upgrade. And remember, an electrical panel upgrade should only be performed by a licensed electrician.
Breakers Trip Frequently
When an area of a home tries to draw too much power, the breaker responsible for delivering electricity to that area may trip. When this happens, you simply flip the switch to get electricity flowing again. However, if it seems that this is becoming a more frequent occurrence, it may be time to have your panel inspected for breaker issues and your household’s usage evaluated.
Flickering or Dimming Lights
Flickering or dimming lights are often an indication that too much power is being drawn from a circuit. If your panel cannot handle additional circuits, a panel replacement may be your best option.
Not Enough Electrical Outlets
If you find yourself relying on power strips or extension cords to compensate for the lack of electrical outlets throughout your home, contact an electrician. If the panel can handle additional circuits, and electrician should be able to add outlets where you need them most. But if it can’t, you’ll probably need to upgrade the panel.
You Have a Fuse Box
In homes built before 1960, electricity was directed by fuse panels or boxes. While revolutionary for their time, fuses are now considered to be a fire hazard. If you are still switching out fuses anytime one blows, it’s time for a panel upgrade.
Damage or Rust
Open your electrical panel and if you see corrosion, damage, or signs of water intrusion, contact a licensed electrician right away. A rusted or otherwise damaged panel poses a serious safety risk and should be replaced promptly to prevent an electrical fire.
A burning smell coming from an electrical panel requires swift action. If the smell is subtle or disappears, a repair may fix the problem. If, however, the smell is strong and intensifying, or you have reason to believe a fire has started within your walls, evacuate your home immediately and call 911 from a safe location.
Electrical Panel Warm to the Touch
A tripped circuit breaker should be cool to the touch when you reset it. If it’s warm, you may be dealing with a more serious malfunction that requires immediate attention.
Age of Panel
The average life expectancy of an electrical panel is 25 to 40 years. Even if you don’t notice any obvious signs of trouble, it may be worth having the panel inspected to evaluate your current electrical system for performance and signs of wear and tear.
When remodeling your home, consult an electrician about updating some or all of the electrical system, including the panel. Replacing old wiring and panels will provide peace of mind knowing you have an electrical system that’s safer, more efficient, and up to code.
At Blau Sudden Service, your family’s safety is our top priority. Whether you need an electrical panel upgrade, repair, or inspection, you can count on Blau to get the job done safely, skillfully, and to your complete satisfaction. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an electrical safety inspection.