Most homeowners give little thought to their electrical panels until problems arise. However, the panel is one of a home’s most vital parts, and proper operation is essential. Here, we’ll share a few signs that it may be time for a new electrical panel.
It’s More Than 25 Years Old
The average home electrical panel lasts anywhere from 25 to 40 years, with variances due to:
- Wear and tear
- Manufacturer defects
- Power surges
No matter the reason, panels that are more than 25 years old can be dangerous. Call now to schedule an inspection by an electrician who can determine the need for panel replacement.
The Electrical Panel Smells Bad
If your electrical panel emits a foul smell, it’s a cause for immediate concern. When a breaker panel fails, it creates the potential for electrical fires, injury, and property damage. Typically, the smell will come from burning plastic, as wiring melts and insulation gets scorched. Don’t ignore it when your electrical panel smells bad; replace it right away.
Circuit Breakers Keep Tripping
Circuit breakers have one purpose: to stop the flow of current when a circuit is pulling too much power. If a circuit breaker keeps tripping, though, it may indicate that your panel needs an upgrade.
Not Enough Outlets
Another issue with a panel that doesn’t allow enough current to flow is that there may be too few outlets. While many people work around these electrical problems with power strips, that’s not always the best idea. An electrician can install a new panel with enough circuits for all the outlets you’ll ever need.
New and Power-Hungry Appliances
Adding new appliances such as dryers and dishwashers may create the need for a panel upgrade. Older panels often run at or above capacity in Prescott AZ’s homes, and in many cases, they must be replaced before these high-draw appliances can be used safely.
Old Fuse Boxes
In theory, a panel using fuses may be as safe as one with breakers. However, fuse boxes are often overworked because, once fuses blow, they must be replaced instead of simply flipping the switch back on. Furthermore, fuse boxes don’t have enough circuits to accommodate today’s electrical needs. While there’s nothing wrong with a fuse box if you live in an older home, it’s best to replace them with modern circuit breaker boxes.
A Panel That’s Hot to the Touch
An important function of an electrical panel is its ability to regulate the temperature of a home’s electrical system. If the system overheats, circuit breakers will trip, preventing electrical fires and other electrical problems.
If your panel is hot or warm when touched, though, it indicates a serious problem for which panel replacement is the only real solution. To ensure that the issue indeed lies within the panel, call an electrician for troubleshooting and repair recommendations.
Visible Rust or Corrosion
Another clear sign of panel problems is the presence of corrosion or rust. These visible warning signs show that the panel has been damaged by water, which is a big deal where electricity is concerned.
Along with replacing the old and rusty panel, it’s important to find out why the water damage occurred. Whether it was due to a roof leak or a broken pipe, fixing the underlying cause will protect your new panel from future damage.
Odd Noises Coming From the Panel
An electrical panel should work quietly, only making noise when a breaker trips. If a panel makes hissing or buzzing sounds, however, there’s a problem.
These sounds aren’t normal, and they shouldn’t be ignored, as they usually indicate faulty wiring or a loose connection. If the issue is left unaddressed for too long, the wiring and the panel may become damaged.
Dimming or Flickering Lights
Your home’s lights should not be affected when other appliances are used. If the lights flicker or dim when the microwave or vacuum is used, it may show that the electrical panel can’t handle the load and must be replaced.
Although electrical panels are built for decades of use, they can become damaged by direct impact. If your home’s electrical panel has visible damage, it’s crucial to have it inspected by a licensed electrician who can replace it if necessary.
Benefits of Upgrading to a New Electrical Panel
Upgrading a home’s electrical panel makes life safer and easier for the entire family, but the job requires an electrician’s technical knowledge and experience. DIY electrical repairs can be dangerous, if not deadly, and our team members have the skills to do the job safely.
Arizona requires homeowners to apply for permits for electrical work, and in some cases, they must also schedule inspections through their insurance companies. We will work with you, the state, and the insurer to get things done.
Don’t Wait to Replace Your Electrical Panel
When it’s time to take care of your home’s electrical system, it’s important to have the right team on your side. Allied Electric is Prescott, AZ’s preferred provider of electrical services, and we’re ready to help no matter how big or small your project may be. Call us now at (928) 232- 4028 to schedule a consultation today to see what we can do to make your home’s electrical system safer and more reliable.