The electrical panel is often overlooked in many homes but plays a significant role in the electrical system.
Generally, the electrical panel or circuit breaker panel is responsible for distributing the electricity from the main source and into your home. All the circuits in your home connect back to the electrical panel via a series of wires.
Electrical panels are usually safe and dependable, but they’ll likely show signs of deterioration over time. If there’s something wrong with your electrical panel, it can affect various equipment and wiring throughout your home.
Similar to any other piece of equipment in your home, a time will come when your electrical panel will require an upgrade or replacement. Unable to replace it promptly may increase the risk of an electrical fire, so it’s crucial to be vigilant.
You may want to check out a reputable and authorized electrician and other similar providers to ensure a head start with an electrical panel replacement. Here are some red flags that clearly show your electrical panel needs an upgrade or replacement.
1. Continuous Tripping of the Circuit Breakers
One of the indications of an issue with your circuit breaker panel is continuous tripping. In most cases, it happens if the electrical system can no longer accommodate the load.
If you believe switching the circuit breakers off and on again will help, it’s only a quick fix. However, if the issue continues, it may be a serious problem that can put your home at risk for an electrical fire. You should contact a qualified electrician specializing in electrical panel replacement.
2. Aging Electrical Panel
If you’re living in an old house, there’s a high chance that your electrical panel needs replacement. Generally, you need to replace an old unit with a new one every 25–30 years.
An electrical panel in a house built in the late 1980s is already worn out. If you want to maintain the safety of your home, hire an electrician to inspect the condition of the panel thoroughly.
3. Melted Wiring
In most cases, you’re likely to notice a burning odor if the electrical wiring melts. Once the wiring in the electrical panel has melted, it doesn’t always indicate an issue with your panel.
Remember that it’s normal for the wiring insulation to deteriorate over time due to constant warming and cooling. However, significant damage to the wire insulation is a serious concern since it allows the electricity to arc, potentially increasing the risk of an electrical fire.
4. Rusted Panel
If the electrical panel starts to form rust, it indicates that it was exposed to moisture, such as roofing or plumbing leaks. Remember that the combination of water and electricity is risky, and the outcome is hazardous. Consider replacing your electrical panel, but also determine how the water damage happened to prevent the issue from happening again.
5. Plugging In a Specific Appliance Causes Tripping
In most cases, you’re likely to worry if constant tripping happens. However, if it happens every time you plug in a specific appliance or device, it indicates that your electrical system can no longer accommodate it.
When you recently bought a modern appliance, your electrical system might not have the right amp wiring. In such scenarios, it’s best to replace the electrical panel due to the high fire risk. Some of the wiring in your house also needs to be replaced.
6. Undersized Electrical Panel
Some houses have an undersized electrical panel. Sadly, it might not be able to meet the electrical demands of today.
In the past, an average home usually had a power rating of around 50 amps. But this number has steadily increased over the years. Modern houses now have an electrical panel capable of 200 amps or higher to cater to power-hungry appliances.
If you have an upcoming home remodel, it may be best to consider the installation of a new electrical panel. You should also consider determining the electrical load capacity of your home. The approach ensures that your home will be ready to accommodate the growing needs of your household.
7. Burn Or Scorch Marks on The Electrical Panel
Once you spot a burn or scorch mark on your electrical panel, it requires immediate replacement. It indicates that your panel is aging or no longer working properly, which increases the risk of an electrical fire. Additionally, if the outlets have burns or black spots, the electrical wiring system has a problem.
An electrical panel is a crucial component of your home’s electrical system. Once you notice any of these warning signs, don’t hesitate to get an upgrade or replacement. One of the main benefits of switching to a new one is ensuring your home stays safe from fire and other hazards.