Most homeowners don’t give their electrical panel in Wichita a second thought. Other than checking for an occasional tripped breaker, you might not even look at your panel. But it’s actually one of the most important parts of your home, and it could be in dire need of attention. Learn the signs your electrical panel is in trouble, and be ready to call your favorite residential electricians for a replacement.
What Does the Electrical Panel Do?
Before you become familiar with the signs of electrical panel failure, you should know what it does and how it works. The panel is the connection between the electricity that comes from your utility provider and your home’s electrical system.
Without a working electrical panel, electricity won’t go to the places that need it. Your appliances won’t work, your lights won’t turn on, and your outlets won’t charge your phone. And, sadly, an electrical panel won’t always work. It could fail you at any moment. In extreme cases, a malfunctioning electrical panel could result in a fire.
What Causes Panels to Fail
There are many reasons electrical panels stop working. However, the most common reason for failure is age. The electrical panel in your home was made to withstand the needs of the average homeowner. So, a home built in the 1970s has a panel made to meet the limited needs of someone during the ’70s. Back then, there were no household computers, 60″ televisions, and powerful dishwashers.
If you have an old electrical panel, it may not be able to meet your technological demands. You’ll experience problems and, eventually, will have a complete failure of the panel.
When homeowners wait too long to replace their panels, they have one of two issues. They either need to deal with the inconvenience of not having any power, or they live in danger. An old panel with DIY wiring could be a fire hazard, which may go unnoticed until it’s too late. Fortunately, you can avoid waiting too long by calling electrical contractors in Wichita, KS at the first sign of trouble.
When Should You Upgrade Your Panel?All of the following are signs it’s time to upgrade your electrical panel:
Your Home is Older
Old homes have a certain charm to them. However, that charm comes at an expense. If you have an older property, you may need to overhaul your electrical system. The work starts with an upgrade to your electrical panel.
It all comes down to numbers. If you were a homeowner decades ago, one 60-amp panel could keep everything in your home running. But today, most homeowners need a minimum of 100-amps. In fact, many homes require a 200-amp panel.
If you’re not sure how old your home’s panel is, pay attention to your electricity. Do your appliances work well? Have you noticed flickering lights? Other signs of trouble include breakers that trip and corrosion on the panel.
You Have Boxes Full of Extension Cords
While it’s normal for homeowners to need extension cords, there should be a limit to the madness. If you have permanent extension cords inside or outside of your home, it’s time to upgrade your electrical panel. Extension cords can be dangerous and are best saved for special occasions.
When you use extension cords, you open yourself up to two dangers. First, there’s the tripping hazard. Anyone could trip and fall over your cables, and that opens you up to injuries and even lawsuits. Secondly, there’s a fire hazard. The wires could experience damage, which may eventually result in frayed wires and a fire.
If you install a new electrical panel, you can also add some outlets to your home. This means you can put those extension cords back in storage and save them for your holiday decorating.
You Don’t Have Fuses
Homes built before the 1970s often had fuses in the electrical system. Instead of using breakers on the panel, people used fuses. Both components work in similar ways, but fuses are outdated.
When a breaker is overloaded, it trips to prevent further issues. However, fuses have no fail-safe and melt, short-circuit, or blow when they have overloads. If your home uses fuses, you could be in for some issues. The danger is so apparent that some insurance companies refuse to insure homes with fuse-based panels.
Your Breakers Trip All the Time
Is flipping the circuit breaker becoming a regular habit? If so, it’s time to call the top electrical contractors in Wichita, KS, for an upgrade. A breaker trips to prevent a fire, but it’s not something that should occur on a regular basis.
When a breaker trips frequently, there’s a problem with your electrical draw. Your panel can’t keep up with your electrical needs, so the breakers trip. To keep this from happening again, you need to upgrade the system.
You Plan on Upgrading Your Appliances
If you want new appliances or to add more appliances to your home, you should take a close look at your electrical panel. There’s a good chance your current panel won’t be able to meet your new electrical needs.
New appliances won’t do you any good if they won’t run. Before making a big purchase, speak with an electrician to learn more about what you need to do to upgrade your system.
You Plan on Adding a Room
A major renovation puts added stress on your electrical system. For instance, you might be adding a bedroom to your home. The extra room will probably have outlets, lights, and fans. If you don’t upgrade your electrical panel, it may not be able to handle the extra load.
Call Residential Electricians for Help
On your own, it can be hard to tell when it’s time to upgrade an electrical panel. For that reason, you should leave the decision up to the experts. Whether you suspect a problem or you just want to put your mind at ease, call the best residential electricians.
Here at Eck Services, we can examine your electrical panel and assess your other electrical needs. If you need a new panel, we can handle the replacement and walk you through the process. Call us today for more information.