Your electrical panel is often the least of your worries as a homeowner. You might just turn on your lights and carry on your business, not thinking about the status of the electrical panel in the slightest.
Unfortunately, this out of sight and out of mind equipment is the most important electrical component in your home and there might come a time when an upgrade is necessary.
When is that time to upgrade your electrical panel? Find out below.
- Following frequently tripping breakers
Circuit breakers are designed to protect your home from electrical fires. It is normal for them to trip to stop the flow of electricity when circuits are overloaded or a short circuit occurs. This helps to prevent overheating or damage to your appliances. When this normal trip happens, you can reset the breaker and go back to enjoying your electricity. However, if the circuit breaker trips often there is a problem with your electrical system that likely involves upgrading your electrical panel.
In the same way, if the circuit breaker fails to stop circuit overload, then it means the breaker has a problem.
- Dimming or flickering lights
It is impossible to miss lights flickering because they are simply not normal. Your lights should only dim when they are connected to a dimmer switch. Lights that flicker or dim regularly with no obvious cause signify problems in your electrical panel – and not ghosts, really. If the lights dim or flicker constantly when you plug in an appliance, that’s even worse and a sign your electrical panel needs a replacement.
- Evidence of burning or melting
There’s nothing more dangerous than seeing evidence of burning or melting in your electrical components. Any such signs indicate that electrical fires are not far away. Call an electrician immediately you notice these signs either by smell or appearance on any of your electrical components such as outlets or the circuit breaker itself.
- Old or faulty wiring
It’s possible to have old or faulty wiring if you live in an old home. The common signs of this are electrical shocks, discoloration, burning smell, and flickering lights. You can first call for an inspection and an upgrade of your electrical panel to re-wire your home.
- You still have fuses
Having fuses is yet another indicator of living in an old home. Fuses and a fuse panel are outdated and not up to current electrical codes. They served homes in the past that didn’t need as much power as modern homes and are now unsafe for use. When you notice you have a fuse-based electrical system, then it’s time to upgrade your electrical panel.
- More power
From planning a home remodel to adding a new appliance and anything that demands more power – than your current electrical panel can provide – are reasons that indicate the need for an upgrade. Ignoring this can lead to overloading your panel and dangerous electrical situations.
If you think it’s time for a panel upgrade in your home, call an experienced and licensed electrician immediately.