The electrical panel is one of the essential components for daily living in your home. However, you probably don’t give much thought to it except when a breaker trips and you have to go to the panel to reset it. This is about as much interaction as most people have with their electrical panel.
Because people don’t often deal with their home’s electrical panel, it’s easy for them to think the panel will last forever and never need an upgrade. While panels can last for several decades, they often need upgrades earlier than this, and it’s important to know when your panel is ready to be replaced.
We’ll provide you with a guide to when it’s time to call an electrician in Lavonia to upgrade your home’s panel.
Outdated Panel Type
You may not have a standard electrical panel at all, but an older fuse box. With a fuse box, you have to replace a fuse each time one burns out rather than the more convenient resetting of a breaker. Fuse boxes are out-of-date and can be potentially hazardous since they require larger and larger fuses to handle the increased electrical loads for homes. If you have a fuse box, we recommend you schedule a new panel installation as soon as possible.
Another outdated panel type to watch out for is a Federal Pacific Electrical Panel. This brand of panel was installed in millions of homes up until the 1990s. They have a much higher failure rate than other modern electrical panels, and we advise you have yours replaced. You’ll find the Federal Pacific name inside the panel’s door.
Electrical panels can suffer from damage due to fires or stuck breakers. A damage panel will either need repairs or a full replacement—the older the panel, the more likely it will need a replacement.
Look for the following signs of a damaged electrical panel:
- Scorch marks or other discoloration on the breakers
- Acrid odors from the panel
- Breakers tripping too frequently
- Flickering lights in the home
Don’t try to tamper with the panel yourself; only licensed electricians can handle repairs or replacement.
Panel Can’t Keep Up With Demand
An electrical panel can often last for 40 years. However, the modern increase in electrical demand inside a home can overtake the panel years before its time. In the past 20 years, household electrical use has gone up dramatically because of additional appliances and charging stations. The original panel in your home may not be able to handle this level of demand.
If you’ve experienced new appliances in your house causing circuit breakers to trip, or you notice lights flicker each time a powerful appliance like the AC comes on, you likely have an electrical panel that isn’t capable of keeping up with current electrical demands. If you have any doubts about the panel, reach out to a professional electrician to examine the panel and calculate your home’s electrical usage.
JN Electrical Temperature Control, Inc works hard to ensure customer satisfaction with custom comfort solutions. Contact us today for your electrical panel replacement or other electrical needs.