Sometimes referred to as the breaker box, the electrical panel contains a series of individual switches, or breakers, that power different parts of your home. Also inside is a main breaker responsible for delivering electricity to the entire property. When too much current runs through a circuit, the corresponding switch will toggle off to prevent it from shorting or overloading. Panels have a life span of about 60 years, and eventually you may need to replace it. Here are three signs of when that needs to happen.
When Should You Call an Electrician for a Breaker Panel Upgrade?
1. Breakers Trip Frequently
Breakers should only trip when they detect an issue like a short or overloaded circuit. In these cases, they disrupt electricity flow right away by toggling off. All you have to do is flip the switch and the power will be restored to that circuit.
If this happens too frequently, however, it could be a sign of a damaged electrical panel. Sometimes, the box loses the capacity to promote sufficient electrical flow through the home, causing the breakers to trip more often.
2. Lights Flicker Regularly
Unless there’s a storm, your lights should never flicker. If they tend to dim or flash on and off more often, particularly when you plug in or turn on a small appliance, it might be indicative of an issue with the panel. In these cases, the box can no longer supply the amount of power required by the respective circuits for the lights.
3. Panel Feels Warm
People often mistakenly think that all electrical fixtures should feel warm to the touch. That may apply to the lights, but the breaker box should never feel warm. If it does, that could indicate damaged wiring behind the panel.
Because the purpose of wires is to contain the heat, the sensation of warmth could mean they’re compromised in some way and no longer doing their job. What’s more, that could increase the risk of an electrical fire.
If you suspect you may need to upgrade the electrical panel, turn to the professionals at Loveland Home Solutions. Proudly serving clients throughout St. Charles, MO, since 1972, they offer a variety of solutions to ensure your comfort and safety in the home. Rely on them for everything from wiring upgrades to emergency electrical repairs. They even offer free home safety inspections. Visit the website for more information, and call (636) 734-2745 to request an estimate.