The electrical panel (or circuit breaker box) is like the nervous system of your home. It directs all the electrical traffic and makes sure energy gets where it needs to go. It also lets you know when there’s a problem, and tries to prevent disasters in your home, the way your nervous system sends pain signals to tell you that something’s wrong.
All of the work that your electrical panel does is critical, so you need it to be working properly. How can you tell when that system needs to be replaced? Here are some signs that you shouldn’t ignore. If you notice any of these things, it’s time for an electrical panel upgrade.
You Don’t Have a Circuit Breaker Box
If you look at your electrical panel and see round fuses that must be pulled out and replaced when they blow, you don’t have a circuit breaker box at all. What you have is an old fuse box, a system that started to be phased out in the 1960s. As electrical equipment that old is at greater risk of malfunctioning, it should definitely be replaced with a new circuit breaker. The biggest risk that your fuse box poses is an electrical fire, which is a hazard you definitely don’t want to face.
Your Electrical Panel Is Old
Again, aging electrical equipment has a much higher risk of causing problems. If you think your home’s electrical panel is at least 25 years old, you would be safer with a new one. Additionally, electrical panels that age were designed to handle about 60-100 amps of voltage. New ones can handle much more, about 200 amps, because of the increase in electrical equipment used in modern homes, such as computers and chargers. With a new panel, you won’t have to worry about capacity problems, like whether you can vacuum while the air conditioner is running.
You Frequently Overload Circuits
How often do you have to reset a tripped breaker? It’s meant to be an emergency shutoff measure, not a regular occurrence. If various circuits around your home are often overloading, you’ve got an electrical panel problem. Either the panel itself has worn out and isn’t doing the job the way it used to, or your needs exceed the capacity it was built for. Either way, it’s time to call the electrician in Fair Oaks Ranch, TX.
However, if the breaker that trips is always the same one, it may be that you simply have too many appliances calling for a lot of power from the same circuit. Perhaps you can rearrange where you plug things in to avoid the problem. But this could also be caused by damaged or degraded wiring in that section of your home, so it’s best to consult an electrician anyway.
Your Lights Flicker
Do your guests often ask if your home is haunted? Do the lights dim every time the air conditioner’s cooling cycle begins or when you use the clothes dryer? When large appliances call for a lot of electricity at once, they can create a demand that overwhelms the electrical panel and interrupts the flow of electricity to other things, like your lights. While rearranging where things are plugged in might help, in most homes, the systems that draw the greatest power (like heat and air conditioning) are on their own circuits. If those are overwhelmed, what you need is a new electrical panel.
Contact D’Spain Sales & Service with all your electrical questions.