If you’re lucky, your electrical panel (sometimes called a circuit breaker panel) doesn’t often cross your mind. After all, in an ideal situation, nothing goes wrong and you never need to reset the breakers. But this panel plays a critical role in your home: it regulates the electrical system for your entire home, keeping you safe by shutting off power when necessary to areas where a safety hazard occurs.
An electrical panel can last for a long time. But when it fails, it presents a serious risk. The good news is that before a major failure, there are often warning signs that your electrical panel is struggling to do its job. Here are some important things to keep an eye out for. If you notice any of these issues happening in your home, it’s time to replace your electrical panel.
Your Home Still Has a Fuse Box
Half a century ago, a fuse box was the standard for homes. Circuit breakers were introduced in the mid-sixties and offered a significant advantage: instead of replacing a blown fuse with a brand-new one every time, a circuit breaker can simply be reset. If you’re unsure which you have, take a look. A fuse box has rows of round fuses, and a circuit breaker panel has switches that can be moved from side to side. If you’re still relying on technology from so many decades past, it’s definitely time for an upgrade.
Inside your electrical panel, you should not see scorch marks or discoloration. You should also not smell anything burnt or smoky. If you do, it’s an indication that small electrical fires have occurred in your electrical panel. The affected circuits shut off when this happens, which usually stops the fire. However, it’s a sign that there is a major problem, which puts your home and family at risk of a house fire. Reach out to an electrician in Fredericksburg, TX right away.
Frequent Circuit Breaker Trips
If you find yourself resetting a circuit very often, it means that your panel cannot handle the amount of electricity being used in your home. This can happen simply because of age, which means that a new electrical panel should clear the problem up easily.
When Circuits Won’t Reset
If you try to reset a circuit breaker and it won’t stay in position, or it does but the power is not restored, that is a sign that this particular breaker is overloaded. In some cases, it’s possible to redistribute appliances that are causing the overload. For example, you could rearrange where window air conditioners are located so you don’t have two on the same circuit. But in some cases, such as in a kitchen where the appliances are stationary, it’s simply not possible. Under those circumstances, a new electrical panel is the way to go.
To keep your home and family safe, to be able to use essential appliances (and let’s face it, in Texas, air conditioners can save lives), and to give yourself peace of mind, don’t ignore these indicators that something is amiss.
Contact D’Spain Sales & Service with any questions or concerns about your electrical panel.