Indicators It’s Time for an Electrical Panel Upgrade
Electricity is a vital consideration for home and building owners everywhere, and one of the most important components within this realm is the electrical panel. Also known as a breaker box or breaker panel, this element is responsible for a number of important tasks, including housing your vital circuits and protecting them.
At My Buddy the Plumber, we’re happy to provide a wide range of commercial and residential electrical services, including a comprehensive set of electrical panel solutions as needed. What exactly is your electrical panel? What are some possible signs that your panel is wearing down and may need an upgrade? Here’s a rundown.
What is an Electrical Panel?
For those who are just learning about electrical systems and how they work within a home or building, the electrical panel is likely to be a new piece of equipment. Simply put, this is the central hub for all things electrical in your property – it’s where your circuits are housed, it’s where your breaker is located, and it protects your wiring from overloading.
In short, without a functioning electrical panel, your home or business would be left without power.
What Does an Electrical Panel Do?
As we just touched on, the electrical panel is responsible for a few vital tasks:
- Housing circuits – The electrical panel contains all of the property’s electrical circuits. This way, if one particular circuit trips or needs to be shut down, the rest of the property’s electricity isn’t affected.
- Protection against overloading – The electrical panel also has a breaker that will trip if there’s too much electricity running through the system at one time. This prevents your wiring from overheating and potentially starting a fire.
In most cases, your electrical panel will carry out these tasks without much issue. However, if you spot any of the following signs, it could be time to consider an upgrade.
Regularly Dimming or Flickering Lights
If you’ve begun to notice that your lights are regularly dimming or flickering, it’s worth investigating a potential issue with your electrical panel. In some cases, this could be caused by a loose connection in the panel itself. However, it could also indicate that your panel is overloaded and struggling to keep up with demand.
If you’re unsure about the cause of dimming or flickering lights, it’s always best to call in a professional. They’ll be able to take a closer look at your electrical panel and determine whether or not an upgrade is necessary.
Breakers Tripping Regularly
As we mentioned, one of the key functions of an electrical panel is to trip the breaker if there’s too much electricity running through the system. However, if your breaker is tripping on a regular basis – even when you’re not running many appliances or electronics – it could be a sign that your panel is outdated.
Older electrical panels are often unable to keep up with modern demand, meaning they trip the breaker more frequently. If this is something you’re experiencing, an upgrade to a more modern panel could be the solution.
In some cases, you may not need to see any physical signs that your electrical panel is having issues – you may just be able to hear them. If your electrical panel has started making buzzing sounds, it’s definitely worth investigating.
In many cases, this issue is caused by a loose connection within the panel. However, it could also indicate that your breaker is faulty and needs to be replaced.
If you hear any strange noises coming from your electrical panel, don’t hesitate to call in a professional. They’ll be able to quickly diagnose the problem and provide an effective solution.
Burning, Smoking or Sparks
One of the more obvious signs that your electrical panel needs to be replaced is if it starts smoking, burning or sparking. Obviously, this is a major cause for concern and should be addressed as soon as possible.
In most cases, these issues are caused by an overloaded circuit or breaker. However, they could also be indicative of a much more serious problem. If you see any of these signs, it’s important to shut off the power to your property immediately and call in a professional.
Upgrade or Replace?
If you’ve begun to notice some of these signs, it’s time to start considering an electrical panel upgrade. However, in some cases, it may be necessary to replace your panel entirely.
If your electrical panel is more than 20-30 years old, it’s probably not worth upgrading – you’ll likely get more value out of a replacement. Similarly, if your panel is showing signs of major damage, it’s probably not worth trying to repair it.
In most cases, an electrical panel upgrade will be all you need to ensure your property has a reliable supply of electricity. However, if your panel is very old or damaged, a replacement may be the best option.
If you’re unsure about whether you need an upgrade or a replacement, it’s always best to call in a professional. They’ll be able to assess your electrical panel and provide you with expert advice.
If you’re having issues with your electrical panel, or you think it might be time for an upgrade, get in touch with the team at My Buddy the Plumber today to learn more. We’ll walk you through the process and help you find the perfect solution for your needs.
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