Replacing your electrical panel might not be the first thing on your mind when it comes to home improvement upgrades, but your home’s electrical system is vital to living comfortably. If you want to operate your home appliances effectively and prevent electrical fires, consider these signs that you should replace your electrical panel:
Your Electrical Panel Is Old
If your electrical panel is aging, it might be time for a fresh start. Your home’s electrical panel can last as much as 50 years, but they typically start to show wear and tear after 20 years or less. This rings especially true if the panel has been a part of your home from its inception and should be inspected as it approaches the 20-year mark.
Homes built in years as early as the 1950s are starting to experience the effects of weakened panels, and certain panels have been recalled due to instability and fires breaking out. Zinsco, Federal Pacific Breakers, and Challenger/GTE-Sylvania are panel brands that were recalled due to electrical issues, and your insurance may not cover any damages if they aren’t replaced. If your electrical panel is a part of an older home or made by one of these brands, get them inspected or replaced immediately.
Your Circuit Breaker Is Constantly Tripping
Circuit breakers that are constantly tripping can be dangerous, so don’t ignore any issues you have with these vital components. When the panel starts to wear out, it will lack the ability to effectively distribute and contain electricity. You’ll begin experiencing frequent energy surges that trip your panel, which occur more frequently as time goes on. If your circuit breaker trips repeatedly, it’s a sign that your electrical panel can’t handle the demands of your home, and it’s time to replace it.
Burning or Smoky Smells From Your Panel
Beware of any burning wire smells in your house — especially not from your electrical panel. Electrical panels regulate the temperature of your electrical system, keeping it stable and preventing overheating. Is your panel warm to the touch? Are there damages and scorches on your outlets? In addition to burning smells, these can be signs that you’ve had small electrical fires which are extremely dangerous and demand an emergency electrical service ASAP.
Your Electrical Panel Is Undersized
Energy demands have done nothing but increase lately, and more homeowners are dealing with the effects of electrical panels that can’t keep up with their needs. Intense summer heat can be a culprit that slowly wears down your panel. Visual inspections that show any frayed electrical wires or burns around the area are warning signs that your panel is not strong enough to handle the load. If your lights are flickering and dimming when using appliances or if you purchased something that draws a ton of electricity, it might be time for an electrical panel upgrade before it’s too late.
You Still Use an Old Fuse Box
Even if your breakers are tripping, at least you know that you are protected by the benefits of a modern electrical system. Modern circuit breakers trip when the power overload gets too high to prevent heat and fires from damaging the system; older electrical systems don’t trip, meaning they are extreme fire hazards to your home.
In addition, panels with fuses need to be replaced once the fuse blows, which is an inconvenience for many. Because of this, people often turn to fuses that can handle heavier loads, which increases the risk of electrical fires. It’s best to turn to a modern circuit breaker to safely handle your electrical needs.
An Expert Electrical Panel Replacement Is One Call Away
Electricity is the backbone of your home’s functionality, and calling an electrician to come to replace electrical panels ensures that your circuit breaker box can handle the loads you place on it. Are you looking to replace your electrical panel? Turn to The Wire Doctors to assess the condition of your electrical panel, and our expert contractors will determine if a replacement might be right for you.