Is the Electrical Panel Ready for an Upgrade?
3 Key Signs It’s Time To Update the Electrical Panel
A home’s electrical panel is the hub of electrical activity in the house. Electrical panels are made of a series of circuits and fuses that distribute electricity throughout the home to power appliances. A circuit breaker protects each circuit from overload and short-circuiting, but over time all electrical panels and their components will need replacing to keep the home safe and electricity running smoothly.
Here are three key signs that the electrical panel is due for an update.
Faulty Wiring Is a Red Flag
Flickering lights and strange smells are fine in a horror movie, but not in the house. Burning smells, hot outlets, scorch marks, or shocks when touching appliances, are also a sign homeowners should have their wiring checked immediately. Faulty wiring is a dangerous risk to a family and home’s safety and is one of the leading causes of a residential fire in the U.S.
Keep in mind that the older a house is, the more likely these issues are to arise. Wiring insulation and materials degrade over time, and older homes often need updating to pass modern safety code rules. An electrician can inspect the panel for any wiring issues, and a good rule of thumb is to have the electrical panel inspected every three years. They can also do it safely, as they’ve been rained to avoid wiring dangers.
Check Capacity Before Installing New Appliances
Those planning on installing a redoing a kitchen with commercial upgrades, air conditioning, or any other large electrical appliances should plan on adding new electrical too. Any installed panel is designed to handle only a certain load. Overworking the panel with new or larger appliances will lead to circuits overloading.
Older homes will especially face issues when installing large electrical appliances. Homeowners should check if the panel has enough capacity to handle new appliances before installation. If it doesn’t, a panel upgrade will be needed to avoid having a circuit break every time the new appliances run.
Say Farewell To Fuses, Add Circuit Breakers
Fuses and circuit breakers play the same role in the electrical panel. Fuses, however, are the old model and are unfortunately a one-time-only component. When a fuse breaks, it breaks the circuit of energy, keeping it safe from an electrical overload or fire. But, if fuses are breaking all the time, homeowners may want to add circuit breakers to the panel and ditch the fuses.
Circuit breakers will do the same thing as a fuse, but they won’t need replacement each time the circuit blows. Older fuse boxes can also be a fire hazard, and fuses, in general, are no longer installed in homes for that reason. Upgrading to a circuit breaker will modernize the home and keep the electrical panel safe and easier to maintain.
Maintenance is essential to maintaining a healthy, safe home. Knowing when to replace the electrical panel doesn’t have to be a guessing game. Homeowners can keep an eye out for these warning signs and contact a local electrician at the first sign of trouble.
Call an Experienced Electrician for Your Electrical Needs
JDV Electric has over a decade of experience in the electrical industry. Their focus on honesty through up-front prices, hiring highly trained and family-oriented individuals, and a devotion to providing an excellent experience for all customers has made them a well-known and trusted electrical company in Lansdowne.
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