Your electrical panel has its limitations. It can only produce so much power at once, but when it nears those limits or tries to exceed them, there are some clear and apparent signs that you need to look out for.
Here’s what we don’t want to happen: for anyone to push the limits of their panel only to get stuck Googling “electrician near me” while sitting in the dark. Don’t let your panel get the best of you. Look for these signs instead.
Heat is the byproduct of electricity (sort of, it’s complicated). If you’ve ever felt your phone charger and the wall brick was warm, that’s heat as a result of electricity.
Now think of that on a larger scale in your home. All that power converts to heat, and if the wiring or electrical panel isn’t rated for the current output you’re aiming for, it can result in overheating.
Scorch marks on your circuit breaker, wiring, or around any major electrical area are signs that your breaker is enduring too much. A slight scorch mark on an outlet may just mean that the outlet needs to be inspected and possibly replaced, but that doesn’t point to an entire breaker.
Look for signs near the panel and circuit breaker. If there’s no scorching there, you’re likely good to go.
You Don’t Know When Your House Was Last Rewired
Your home electricity should be inspected (at the very least) every 10-20 years for signs of wear and tear. Safety standards are always improving, so some wires that were previously thought to be okay to use may now be considered obsolete or less safe than they could be.
Rewiring an entire house is a big task. We’re not saying you need to rewire your home every 20 years, but if you have documentation showing that it was rewired before you bought it, say 6 or 7 years ago, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
Crackling or Popping Sounds
Your electrical panel is supposed to make a light buzzing or humming sound. Emphasis on “light.” What it shouldn’t be making is a popping or crackling sound.
This could be because your home electricity is arcing across the house. Essentially, your electricity is peaking beyond where it’s supposed to and causing a potential hazard.
If you smell anything along the lines of burning plastic, basically any scent that doesn’t come across as a kitchen concoction, check your electrical panel.
While uncommon, a burning smell indicates that there’s something wrong with the circuitry. It’s never a small problem: it requires immediate inspection and repair. This is one of the biggest signs that you desperately need to upgrade your electrical panel.
Time for an Upgrade
Your panel could do with an upgrade. Power demands from appliances may be going down, but personal electronic use is going up. If you plan on remodeling or renovating anytime soon, you should make sure your electrical panel is up to the task.
Contact us today to schedule an electrical panel upgrade so you don’t have to worry about your home’s power.