The electrical panel is the big gray box that is likely located in the corner of a bedroom, tucked away in a closet, or in the basement. The primary job of the electrical panel is to supply power to all areas of the home. It also houses the breakers, which are the security mechanisms that control the flow of power to certain areas and flip themselves off when they sense danger from any specific are. Here are six tell tale signs that you may need a new residential electrical panel.
- Flickering Lights – Lights often dim when the electrical load increases. For example, when the dishwasher starts or the HVAC unit kicks on, the lights may dim momentarily. If they dim for seemingly no reason there could be an issue with the electrical panel.
- Tripped Breakers – Breakers trip when the circuit is overloaded, but it shouldn’t happen very often or on a regular basis. If the breakers trip regularly when you turn on a specific appliance, you should request an inspection of the electrical system.
- Appliance Roulette – You should never be required to turn one appliance off or unplug it to use another. This could mean that the wiring is not up to code or there is some other problem with the electrical system.
- Hot Electrical Wiring – Electricity naturally creates heat, but the wiring should be well-insulated enough that it never feels hot to the touch. Overheated wiring is a sign of something wrong with the electrical system.
- Smelly Electrical Outlets – Outlets should never get so hot that you smell burning plastic. This indicates a serious problem with the electrical system. Inspect the outlets in every room from time to time to make sure you don’t see any odd coloration or smell any odd odors from them.
- Electrical Panel Corrosion or Rust – The electrical panel should be located in an area with little moisture – electricity and water don’t mix, after all. There should be no corrosion or rust anywhere on the panel. This is an sign that you do absolutely need a new electrical panel.
All of these signs could also point to other things, so don’t assume that you need a new electrical panel if the lights flicker often or if you trip a breaker a few times a year. These issues could be caused by any one of several different things. We do always recommend a full inspection of the electrical panel if you run into issues, though. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Authorized Construction Group, LLC is located in Essex, Maryland and provides electrical services to all businesses and homeowners in the surrounding areas. We gladly work with homeowners to ensure that power runs smoothly and uninterrupted from area to area. Call us at 443-579-5701 to discuss your electrical needs with us.