Replacing or repairing your electrical panels might not be the first thing on your mind. After all, if it’s working fine now, there’s no need to worry, right? Unfortunately, “out of sight, out of mind” is a dangerous perspective to have with electrical panels. There are all kinds of risks and safety hazards involved with having outdated electrical panels in your home. We know that they control the electricity in your home, but how can you tell when they’re not working? What kind of hazards come with outdated panels, and when are they considered “outdated” in the first place?

When Is An Electrical Panel Considered Outdated?

Electrical panels actually have fairly long lives. The average electrical panel lasts 20-30 years. So if your home was built in 2000 or earlier, you may need to pay extra attention to your electrical panel to make sure you don’t end up having a problem with it. Especially if you have an older home, you should check the age of your electrical panel and keep track of when it needs to be replaced.

Electrical Panels to Watch Out For

There are a few electrical panels that have been proven unsafe or been recalled over the past several years. One of them is any Federal Pacific Electric panel. From the 1950s to the 1980s, these panels were installed in many homes, but they are now known to be dangerous and should be removed from homes as soon as possible. Their circuit breakers fail to trip when the panel is overloaded, which has led to thousands of fires. Zinsco panels, installed in homes during the 1970s, have parts inside them that will melt and cause fires. Both of these brands had class-action lawsuits filed against them due to these risks. In addition to these two brands, you should also watch out for a few different types of electrical panels. Fuse boxes aren’t inherently dangerous, but most of them have been modified in order to keep up with today’s electricity demands. These modifications can make the fuse box unsafe. For example, using too big of a fuse can create a fire hazard. Similarly, split-bus panels aren’t automatically unsafe, but they haven’t been made in about 40 years. Since the average life of an electrical panel is 20-30 years, chances are that if you still have a split-bus electrical panel, it’s time to replace it. 

What Are The Risks of Having An Outdated Electrical Panel?

There are quite a few risks with having an outdated or otherwise unsafe electrical panel in your home. First off, as discussed previously, outdated electrical panels can cause fires due to melting parts inside. Secondly, if you try to work on an electrical panel by yourself, especially an older one, you can suffer mild to serious electrical shocks. If your breaker does not trip when there are power surges or electrical overloads, that puts your home at risk for fires as well. Overall, having an outdated electrical panel in your home carries a lot of risks and you’d do better to replace it with a newer circuit breaker. 

Does Your Home’s Electrical Panel Need to Be Replaced?

When your home needs fast, high-quality service, you can count on Stack Heating, Cooling, & Electric!  We are Cleveland’s leading experts on electrical panels and we can replace yours with no problem. We want you to know that your family’s safety and comfort is our number one priority, as it always has been. We are taking all necessary precautions and following CDC guidelines to keep our customers and employees healthy. We’ve been serving the Cleveland area for over 40 years, and we’re not going anywhere. Give us a call at (440) 937-9134 or visit us on our website today and find out what we can do for you!

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