The amount of electricity a home needs have grown as technology has evolved. We have more appliances now than we did a few decades ago, and those appliances are getting more powerful. All of that electricity runs through your home’s electrical panel and the panel may not be able to safely handle all that electricity. Problems with the electrical panel can cause electrical fires, damage to your home’s wiring, or even power outages in your home. Here are some signs that you need your electrical panel repaired or replaced.
Signs of Electrical Panel Damage
Most signs of damage to your electrical panel will be fairly obvious. Many will be found in the panel itself, while others will be seen in how your electronics and appliances work.
The Panel is Warm
If your electrical panel is warm to the touch, it may be overloaded or have exposed wiring. A burning smell or scorch marks on or around the panel point more specifically toward frayed or exposed wiring, which can cause electrical fires.
You should not be able to hear your electrical panel, either. Keep an ear out for hissing or buzzing noises from your electrical panel. A professional inspection may suggest an electrical panel replacement in order to keep your home safe.
Your Lights Flicker and Dim
Dimming lights can sometimes be caused by brownouts, and flickering lights may just mean a bulb needs replacing, but if dimming or flickering happens often you may need some electrical panel repairs. Noting when issues happen can help you notice patterns, like if the dimming happens specifically while using certain appliances.
The Circuit Breakers Trip
Circuit breakers can trip when they are overloaded, trying to use more electricity than they are built to handle. If your home’s circuit breakers trip regularly, it is likely a sign that your household consumes more electricity than the house was built to handle. Older homes weren’t built with modern appliances in mind, and your electrical panel may only accommodate 60 amps of electricity when many homes today can use between 100-200 amps. Expanding your home’s capabilities will call for an electrical panel replacement
There is Water Damage Near the Panel
Water and electricity don’t mix. If there is water damage near your electrical panel, fix the water issue, then call an electrician. An electrical panel repair may be called for if there is water damage, rusting, or other hardware issues.
The Panel is Outdated
Sometimes your electrical panel is just old and outdated. Federal Pacific Electric, Stab-Loc, and Zinsco were all popular electrical panel brands between 1950-1980. Just seeing those names on your electrical panel doesn’t mean it needs to be replaced, but be careful, as those brands have potential issues, such as overheating, damaged wires, and overloaded breakers. Err on the side of caution and have panels with these names inspected for damage to determine whether an electrical panel replacement is necessary.
It’s also a good idea to get your electrical panel inspected if you’re not sure how old it is. Electrical panels, just like any older hardware or appliance in your house can become worn out over time. An inspection can tell you about how old your electrical panel is and whether it needs repairs.
You Have a Fuse Box
Fuse boxes themselves aren’t an issue – the problem comes when unsafe adjustments are made to them. Replacing a low amp fuse with a higher amp fuse may seem like a great way to increase how much energy a home can use, but it can damage the wiring that was only made to handle a lower number of amps.
It’s also cheaper in the long run to have circuit breakers than fuses – circuit breakers can be reset when they trip, but fuses will need to be replaced every time.
You’re Extending Your Home
Adding an extension to your home requires wiring that extension, and that wiring will need to be connected to your electrical panel. Make sure that your electrical panel is upgraded to handle all the new wiring.
Does your Electrical panel need maintenance?
Contact Stack Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electric in Cleveland, Ohio! We are Cleveland’s experts on all types of heating systems and have an HVAC maintenance program you can join. We want you to know that your family’s safety and comfort are 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!