Most people don’t think about their electrical use, they simply pay the bill each month and move on. But as your family grows and your electrical use increases for various reasons, it’s important to consider how that use is affecting your electrical panel. So when is the right time to replace your electrical panel, and how should you go about it?
What Your Electrical Panel Does
Don’t take your electrical panel for granted. It’s a very important part of any home. It brings power into the home from the main grid and distributes that power where appropriate through all your outlets and light fixtures.
It’s the circuit breakers that keep your home from overloading. When there is a power surge, your electrical panel will trip the circuit breakers so that the surge does not burn out your plugged-in appliances. If your electrical panel is too old, is not functioning properly, or is no longer suited for the power required, you run the risk of blackouts, tripping breakers, appliance burnout, electrocution, and even electrical fires. You definitely want to call Red Deer electrical contractors before any of this happens.
Signs You Need to Replace Your Electrical Panel
Keep an eye out for these clues about the status of your electrical panel:
- Tripping Circuit Breakers- These may trip as a result of power surges that your panel cannot handle. The same results can come from your electrical needs exceeding the panel’s capacity. Having to reset your breakers more often than you used to is a sure sign that the panel should be replaced.
- Breakers Will Not Reset- Ordinarily, once a breaker is reset, the problem is solved, but if the breaker keeps tripping, that signifies a deeper issue that will likely continue.
- Burnt Out Wires- If you find that the internal exposed wires in the electrical panel show signs of fire, charring, or burn marks around the breakers, treat it as an emergency and call a certified electrical expert.
- You Have Fuses Instead of Breakers- Older homes may have a fuse box rather than an electrical panel with breakers. These should be replaced right away as a safety concern. Fuses cannot trip when overloaded, forcing power to appliances that can lead to a fire.
- Flickering Lights- If you find that your lights dim or flicker as you use different appliances, your electrical panel is signaling that it is overloaded. Updating the panel can improve the load throughout your home.
What You Should Know About Updating Your Electrical Panel
Have a licensed electrical professional check your old or malfunctioning electrical panel, or the home or detached garage, whether you live in an older home or you have not updated your panel is many years. Upon inspection, they will be able to advise you accordingly about what needs to happen and when.
If you are experiencing any of the signs noted above, take immediate action to bring in a professional. Neglecting to do so could result in severe and costly damage to your home, personal injury, or even death. That makes your electrical panel an important home feature to think about.