The electrical control panel, or breaker box, is the heart of your electrical system. It is the home to the system’s main safety devices, the circuit breakers, which protect each circuit from overloads and other hazards. Surprisingly, an electrical control panel is a simple system. Because of this it can be compromised by any number of problems including faulty installation, weather wear, sunlight damage and obsolescence (getting older over time). All problems with a service panel should be diagnosed and remedied by a qualified electrician. Common hazards which may indicate you need electrical panel repair include:
Old Electrical Panel
One reason that you might consider replacing your electrical box is that it is more than 20 years old. There are several reasons for this. First of all, homes today have more electrical needs than in years past. Most homes have more television sets, kitchen appliances, and other gadgets that require electricity. Because of this, your home’s electrical system might not be set up to handle your electricity needs. Old Panels are also a problem because they are often outdated, which brings us to our second reason.
A Fuse Box
Decades ago, homes were built with the fuse box system. This type of electrical box has fuses that burn out when they become too hot. These fuses then need to be replaced. With circuit breakers, the breaker will flip off if it cannot handle the amount of electricity that is flowing through it, so you can usually just flip it back on.
If the lights in your home are flickering, this is a sign that your current electrical panel cannot meet the needs of your home. The lights are not receiving enough power. You might also notice that many of your appliances cannot run at full power.
Electrical Panel Has a Burnt Smell or Burn Marks
If your panel is warm, has a burnt smell, or burn marks, these are all signs of a prehistoric panel that is not equipped to handle the amount of power that is flowing through it. This can cause a server issue of a house fire and other home issues. If this is the case with you, be sure to call your trusted electrician immediately.
Electrical Panel Trips Frequently
If you have a circuit breaker that you are needing to reset a lot, this is another sign that your current breaker box is not equipped to handle your electricity needs. Therefore can cause a lot of damage to your appliances and can even cause them to stop working.
A Home Addition
When you add to your home, your electricity needs will increase. This is another good time to assess your circuit breaker. You will need to find out if you need a new electrical panel, sub panel, or both.
If you find that you are using many power strips in your home, you are also using more electricity. You should assess your electrical system and make sure that it is equipped to handle your electrical needs.
Most of the time, there will be multiple signs that you need to replace your electrical panel. For instance, if your electrical panel is old, it’s also more likely that you are having problems with flickering lights or a burnt smell. Similarly, if you’ve been using more power strips, it’s even more likely that you’ve noticed that you have to reset the breakers more often. If you think that you might need a new electrical panel, you should know that this is not a DIY project. Instead, you should call your local licensed electrician so that you know that the job will be done right.
No matter the age of a panel, having it inspected by Mister Sparky OKC will give you peace of mind regarding the safety of your system and your home. Electrical panel repair is dangerous and should only be performed by trained and experienced electricians.