Obvious (and Not-So-Obvious) Signs You Need to Upgrade Your Breaker Panel

December 24, 2019 9:56 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The majority of home circuit breakers are hidden behind a cabinet door inside the house, in the basement or in a locked box on the exterior. They’re generally out of sight and out of mind, which makes it all the more important to understand that your breaker won’t last forever. Eventually, it will have to be replaced or upgraded to better accommodate your household’s power load. Truth be told, seasoned electricians see the need for panel upgrades in North Scottsdale, AZ on a regular basis. We often respond to a homeowner’s electrical concern only to discover that the electrical panel is either failing, overloaded or not working at all due to a power surge.

Here’s a guide to identifying the most obvious and not-so-obvious signs you need to upgrade your residential breaker panel.

Obvious signs

There are many red flags that point to the need for a breaker panel replacement or upgrade. Take note of the following information:

  • Constant breaker tripping: Although there are numerous reasons for a circuit breaker trip, you may have a big problem if it’s tripping frequently. Your home may have an older electrical panel that needs to be replaced, or your current breaker panel may not be able to keep up with your day-to-day energy needs.
  • Aging fuse boxes: Older fuse boxes are responsible for a host of electrical issues. If your house still has a fuse box rather than a breaker panel—regardless of its physical condition—then you need to seriously consider investing in an upgrade. Fuse boxes are generally less safe these days, and many homeowner’s insurance companies know this. As such, they are going to have a problem insuring a home still connected to older fuse boxes and electrical wiring. Most older breaker panels are also a problem.
  • Clear damage: If you open your panel and see discoloration, corrosion and melted components or charring, or smell soot, fire or burning, it’s likely your wires are starting tiny fires. Call an electrician to upgrade your panel as soon as possible.

Not-so-obvious signs

You might not know you need a breaker panel upgrade, repair or replacement. Some signs of panel issues go unnoticed for one reason or another, and others you just get used to. Here are a few things that aren’t normal:

  • Dimming lights: The lights in your house shouldn’t briefly dim when other electric appliances are on—such as vacuum cleaners, heaters and air conditioners. While this is not always something to worry about, it’s best to investigate the breaker panel anyway.
  • Tripping the breaker: You should be able to use things like the hair dryer or toaster while the clothes dryer is running. In short, your breaker panel should be okay with multiple electrical devices being in use at the same time.
  • Weak appliances: Appliances big and small, old or new will operate weakly when the breaker is not updated. If they are not receiving enough power, they cannot function properly.

For more information about residential panel upgrades in North Scottsdale, AZ, don’t hesitate to contact the knowledgeable team at Eavenson Electric Co.

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