Your home’s electrical system relies heavily on the electrical panel. The circuit breakers inside ensure that the right amount of power goes to every room and outlet. You expect to flip the breakers every now and then when you overload them. However, doing this daily or on a regular basis isn’t expected and is a sign you need a replacement panel. Discover other signs you need a new electrical panel this fall.
1. Dimming or Flickering Lights
One sign you can’t miss is that your lights dim or flicker. They normally only change when your power goes out and comes back or when a bulb isn’t screwed in all of the way. If your lamps or overhead lights keep flickering, it indicates a power surge. Frequent surges are a sign the panel can’t meet your home’s electrical demands.
2. Fire Odors and Sights
Electrical fires are very dangerous and can happen at any moment. If you think you need a new electrical panel, look for signs of a past fire. Open the panel door and check for scorch marks inside. You may see similar marks around your outlets. Also, use your nose. You may smell a fire before you see it. Electrical fires produce a unique odor. Even if the fire goes out, you’ll still detect this odor.
3. Strange Sounds
Use your ears in addition to your nose. A faulty electrical panel will often produce some noises you don’t normally hear. These noises include pops and cracks. They let you know that electricity tried to jump across wires or that the wires are loose. It can go along with sparks coming from the panel and/or outlets, too.
4. Rust Spots
If you check the panel and see corrosion on the door or notice rust inside, call a professional as soon as possible. Corrosion can only happen from exposure to water. You risk shocking yourself with just one touch. Finding the source of the water is important to protect both you and your family. In many cases, you’ll need to replace the panel due to the rust.
5. It’s Old
Another sign you need an upgrade is when you have an old electrical panel. While they can last for up to 40 years, many start wearing down in half that time. Older panels may also use fuses instead of circuit breakers. You need to remove and replace the fuse every time it wears out instead of just flipping a breaker. If you bought your house and aren’t sure of the panel’s age, it’s better to replace it than to be sorry.
A faulty or bad electrical panel increases your risk of a fire breaking out. In addition to seeing signs of a past fire, you might notice dimming or flickering lights, rust spots on the panel, or strange noises. If you experience any of these signs or have an old system, call Economy when you’re ready for an electrical panel replacement in Camarillo, CA.