Knowing when to upgrade an electrical panel can be tricky, but maintenance is necessary as outdated electrical panels pose significant risk of housefires. Below are some questions to ask yourself about your aging electrical system before you decide to call in a technician.
Are The Circuit Breakers Shutting Off Often?
An electrical panel works by distributing power to circuits throughout the building, including lights and appliances. Your electrical system is doing its job properly if the circuit breakers are shutting the power off at regular intervals. But if power is shutting off too often, there may be a problem with how the circuits and panel are communicating with one another.
Are the lights in certain rooms of your house flickering? Invest in an appointment to have your electrical panel refreshed. Technical issues will be alleviated, and the value of your home and your overall quality of life will increase.
How Old Is The Home Itself?
Many modern appliances require more power than older models, which older electrical panels are not well equipped to provide. Moreover, with personal virtual assistants, “smart” appliances, hot tubs, gaming consoles, and other electricity-slurping devices on the rise, the fused-based systems of most older models of electrical panel strain to keep up with the demands of modern living.
Electrical panels can last a solid 30 years without needing to be replaced. The older the home is, the less likely the breaker panel will have been updated significantly recently. Be sure to check the branding on the panel as well and research the company who created it; if said company is now defunct, it’s safe to say the panel is too.
How Does The Panel Look?
Dust and rust are signs that the outside of your panel – and likely the inside as well – has been affected by moisture and time. Another sign of an out-of-date electrical panel is loose, unkempt wires; modern electrical panels are unlikely to have visible wires at all. Do not risk dismantling the panel by yourself with your bare hands. All components of your panel should be neatly contained to avoid your panel becoming a fire hazard, and if they aren’t, arrange an appointment with an electrician to safely tidy them up.
As the literal powerhouse of your building, your electrical panel requires maintenance just as much as, if not more than, everything that’s plugged into it. Remember to show it some love.