Many homeowners don’t realize just how much danger their home could be in if they have a faulty or outdated electrical panel. This panel is where the main power line from outside the home enters and is routed through the electrical system. It also disconnects circuits if excess electricity flows through them by tripping circuit breakers. However, if a panel starts to malfunction to the point that it can’t operate correctly, then you could be at risk for a major outage or even electrical fires.
If you have an aging service panel, then it is imperative that you pay attention to the signs that it’s time for an upgrade—before it fails completely. If you notice any of the below warning signs, be sure to call a professional electrician to immediately inspect the panel and see if repairs will be sufficient or if an upgrade is necessary.
Tripping Circuit Breakers
As we mentioned, constantly tripping circuit breakers are caused by excess electricity. This is common in aging electrical panels since today’s electrical demands have increased so drastically. If you have circuit breakers that are constantly tripping, then chances are that your panel can no longer handle the demand your home places on it.
Evidence of Electrical Fires
Wires that wear down within your electrical panel can create small fires. Fortunately, these often quickly burn themselves out. However, they will leave behind signs that they’ve occurred, which should never be ignored. If you discover an acrid smell coming from the panel, or if you notice charring or discoloration around the circuit breakers, then electrical fires have probably already occurred, which warrants attention to your electrical panel.
Breakers Won’t Stay Reset
When a circuit breaker trips, you should be able to just reset it and be back in business. However, if you discover that a circuit breaker within your electrical panel won’t stay reset, or it doesn’t restore power, then you likely have a faulty service panel. A professional electrician will be able to determine what the problem is and the best way to fix it.