Your electrical panel is a critical part of your home’s electrical system. How to know when it’s time to upgrade your control panel? If your control panel is old or malfunctioning, there is a fire risk in your house, and the whole system could fail. Updating and maintaining your electrical panel should be one of your first considerations when looking for ways to improve your comfort and safety. Look for signs that your panel needs repair, replacement, or an upgrade.
Types of Electrical Panels
Depending on where you live and your electrical needs, you may have different types of electrical panels. Homes built before the 1960s that never updated their panel may have a fuse box. A fuse box works similarly to a circuit breaker but contains fuses that blow and must be replaced with every surge. Fuse boxes are generally considered obsolete and can pose a greater risk of an electrical fire.
Most modern homes contain a breaker panel. These panels are either the main switch panel, the main patch panel, or a switch. Main switchboards have a circuit breaker on the panel that shuts off the electricity in the house. In contrast, main miter panels usually have a circuit breaker conveniently located next to the meter for easy access in an emergency. Switches toggle between power sources manually or automatically during a power outage.
Reasons Why You Might Need an Electrician’s Help
- The house is over 20 years old.
While an older home may not need an electrical panel upgrade if you’ve upgraded your current fixture, it’s always a good idea to have an electrician do an inspection.
These inspections will ensure that your electrical system complies and show what improvements (if any) need to be made, particularly if you are considering a renovation or installing new equipment.
- A warm panel
Unlike light bulbs or a laptop, a panel should not generate heat when functioning properly. Gently place your hand on the outside of the panel. If you notice heat coming out of the panel, it’s a sign that your panel is not working properly or is too small for the home’s electrical consumption. You may also notice an odor that smells hot, which could be a sign of faulty wiring. Any heat on or around the panel should call your electrician immediately as there may be a risk of sparks or fire.
- Excessive use of power strip
Having one or two power strips in the house is not a big deal, but too many power strips or extension cords can overwhelm the electrical system and the panel. If you use a lot of extension cords, it might be time to consider panel upgrades to support the number of devices you use in your home.
- Breakers trip repeatedly
Circuit breakers can trip for a variety of reasons: problems with your home’s electrical panel, faulty wiring, or a faulty circuit breaker. Once all of the simple fixes are taken care of, and especially if you notice any burn marks or rust on the switch, it’s probably time to replace the electrical panel.
- A new family member
Adding a new family member or additional occupant to the home can result in higher electricity consumption. Even a newborn can create the need for a service upgrade. While they don’t take up a lot of space, the cumulative effect of the bottle warmer, baby monitor, and extra laundry can be reason enough to get a new electrical panel.
Have you noticed your lights getting exceptionally bright or very dim? Do you hear unusual noises emanating from your light bulbs? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it’s time to consult a commercial electrician for an assessment of your electrical system. In most cases, this can be a bad neutral connection. Left unchecked, this can lead to the death of household appliances and other electrical equipment, which can be highly costly for your business.
7. Burning scents
If you smell burning, there may be something wrong with your electrical system. An emergency electrician should be contacted immediately to assess the situation. In most cases, this results from an overloaded circuit or a damaged wire. To ensure the safety of your business, turn off the main power source at the fuse box and do not turn it back on until the electrician indicates it is safe to do so. In the event of a fire, never use water on an electric fire. Use a class C fire extinguisher instead.
Why Choose Our Electrician Services?
There are many reasons why we continue to be the electrician of choice for many homes and business owners. Our electricians receive extensive training and are highly experienced in providing a broad range of electrical services for residential and commercial properties. No matter what your electrical needs are, our team can help.
We understand that you want the best for electrical repairs, maintenance, and installation. Get peace of mind and hassle-free service from our licensed, bonded, and insured team of experts that can handle all of your electrical needs.