An electrical panel is a crucial component of the electrical system, and it works to provide electricity and enhance safety. But, It’s usually the last thing you would think of since you only turn on or switch off the lights then resume your daily activities.
The average lifespan of electrical panels is about 40 to 60 years, but corrosion due to humid conditions and dust may shorten its lifespan. Age should not always be a determining factor to know when to hire electrical contractors to make replacements. Some electrical panel models may be faulty, and you may need to replace them with modern ones that comply with the current safety guidelines.
If your electrical panel is undersized, cannot handle your energy demands, or lacks safety standards, you need a replacement, regardless of the age. Whichever the case, electrical panels may not serve you forever. You will need to replace them eventually. In most cases, you may never know the perfect time to contact an electrical professional to update faulty or failed panels. But, if you notice any of the following signs, you should consider replacing your current electrical panel.
Frequent Circuit Breaker Trips
The most common sign your electrical panel is faulty and needs a replacement is when you constantly experience breaker trips. Circuit breakers are designed to trip on detecting a difference in the flow of current, thereby protecting the system from overheating or damaging your appliances.
The breaker only trips if the energy demands in your home are higher. If this happens, you can reset it to restore the power in your home. But, if you notice that the breakers trip frequently, it could be a sign that you need to upgrade your electrical panel.
It could also indicate that your current household appliances demand more volts than the capacity the existing electrical panel can handle. So, if you have issues with circuit breakers, consider consulting with professional electrical contractors in Arlington, TX, to inspect the electrical system. An expert can identify the cause of the problem and make necessary upgrades to ensure your home gets sufficient electricity.
The Panel Feels Hot or Warm to Touch
You do not need to see a burning fire to know you have an electrical problem. Some homeowners take the issue lightly. Most of them think that just as the bulbs often feel warm, it makes sense to have an electrical panel that feels hot to touch.
But you should be aware that light bulbs are not similar to electrical panels. Excessive heat can turn into a big flame. So, if the system feels hot, consider that a red flag, and you may need to seek help from an electrical contractor near you.
With a system that’s up to its task, you can never have hot electric switches, panels, and receptacles. Your electrical panel should handle the energy needs of your home. If it fails, heat may build up and can melt the wiring insulation. When that happens, it can put your home at risk for electrical fires. Consult electrical contractors to troubleshoot the issue right away.
Dimming or Flickering Lights
Unless you have a dimmer switch, you should never have an issue with dimming lights in your home. When you have dimming or flickering lights, it could indicate a problem with the electrical panel or the utility company. It can happen when there is a lightning storm or heavy rain, but the problem can go away once the rain or storms stop.
However, if the lights dim when you plug in some appliances such as TV, microwave, or a toaster, that’s a sign of a faulty electrical panel that needs an upgrade. Ignoring the issue can result in overheating and may even cause fires.
Also, when the lights flicker, check to confirm if it’s a single bulb or multiple bulbs. If it happens in all rooms, then you’re dealing with a severe problem. In any case, you notice flickering or dimming lights in your home, do not ignore it. Get in touch with an experienced electrician to rectify the issue.
Reliance on Extension Cords
Extension cords are common in most, if not all, homes in Arlington, TX. Although they are convenient, they are not always safe. They can scatter all over the room, especially when you have too many energy users. Also, it can create a safety hazard if you have children around.
Over-reliance on extension cords to power many appliances can overload the system, resulting in breaker trips. Consider asking electrical contractors to upgrade your home’s current electrical panel.
Electrical contractors can also install extra sockets and circuit breaks in areas that require more power. By doing so, you can minimize the risks associated with power strips and excessive use of extension cords.
Rust or Corrosion on The Electrical Panel
Another sign you may need to contact electrical contractors is when you spot rust or corrosion outside the electrical panel. The presence of rust in the system can disrupt the current flow and may even result in overheating.
In worst scenarios, overheating can occur inside the electrical panel and can cause fires. So if the system has rust on the outside, be sure to reach out to electrical contractors to inspect the interior parts of the electrical panel. Corrosion can make the system inefficient, so it would be wise to seek help sooner.
Burning Odors and Sparks
Burning smell or sparks is never a good sign, especially if it concerns electricity. Therefore, do not delay if you can see sparks or notice a burning smell coming from the panel; that’s a red flag.
Experienced electrical contractors in Arlington, TX, can offer you a remedy. A malfunctioning electrical panel can cause fire, putting your family, property, and your neighbors at risk. A burning smell can also be a sign of melting wire insulation behind the walls. Talk to a certified electrician to replace your electrical panel.
Get an Electrical Panel Upgrade Today
If left unresolved, electrical issues may not just be inconvenient but can also put you and your family at risk. Don’t ignore if you observe any of the above signs in your home.
For your electrical upgrades, work with electrical contractors at Tioga Plumbing & Electric. We are a family-owned company that’s been operating since 1953. If you ever need to upgrade your electrical panel, our trained technicians can help you. In addition, we provide prompt, 24/7 emergency electrical services. Get in touch with us.
Photo By wibs24 at istock