When to Upgrade Your Electrical Panel
What Is an Electrical Panel?
An electrical panel is a metal box with a door usually tucked away in a corner in your home. Inside, the box contains all of the breaker switches for your home’s electricity.
You can manually switch breaker switches on and off to kill power in one source of your home. They will also shut off automatically when there’s too great of an electrical current running through them. They are designed to make sure no outlet is overwhelmed with electricity.
The power to your home comes through an electrical meter outside which funnels power to your electrical panel.
Whether it comes from age or flickering lights, rely on these signs to see if your panel needs an upgrade.
See Our Guide: Benefits of Whole-Home Surge Protection
Your Home Has Faulty Wiring
Safety should be your priority when assessing electrical issues at home. Faulty wiring is a lead cause of fire in Texas homes.
If you experienced any of the following, it might be time to upgrade your electrical panel:
You’re sitting in the living room, and the lights keep flickering. Whenever you use a large appliance, the lights dim or flicker. This isn’t a standard lightbulb-gone-bad scenario. If your home’s lights flicker and dim often, it may be a sign of old and faulty wiring.
A smell of burning in your home
There’s an odd burning or electrical smell in your household that you can’t locate. More than likely, the smell is coming from wiring in your electrical panel.
Discoloration near outlets or small shocks when touching appliances
The static shock is standard with appliances, but this isn’t once every blue moon. You will notice the shocks being almost every time you touch an appliance. This is especially dangerous for you or your family with faulty wiring.
Heat, burning or melting near the electrical panel
Once again, this is a sign of faulty wiring. If you notice heat around your electrical panel, cut power and call a trusted electrician immediately.
Your Circuit Breaker Trips Regularly
A circuit breaker sometimes trips when it is overwhelmed with electricity. For your family’s safety, it shuts off the power, and you can go back in and reset your panel. What shouldn’t happen, however, is your circuit breaker tripping so often that it’s noticeable.
Whether you’re installing a new appliance or using the same old electricity you’ve always used, your circuit breaker shouldn’t trip regularly. This means you have an overloaded circuit or a malfunctioning circuit breaker that needs replacement.
Whenever you buy a new appliance like a fridge or oven, go ahead and call your electrician to see if your current electrical panel can handle the load. More often than not, you will need to upgrade your electrical panel to prevent your circuit breaker from getting overwhelmed.
See Our Guide: How to Choose the Right Light Bulb
You Have a Higher Electricity Demand Than Electrical Outlets
If you’re using multiple extension cords or plug-ins, you may be overwhelming your electrical panel. Each outlet should only host power to two plugs at a time.
While using one extension cord won’t overwhelm your system, using multiple and not unplugging them after use can be harmful to your system and can be a sign that you need to call an electrician to add a few more outlets in your home and update your electrical panel.
You Own an Older Home
If your home is approaching its 20th anniversary or even older, you may have an outdated electrical system. The risk of fire is more significant even if you modernize your appliances.
Take the time to call a trusted electrician and adhere to their advice on how you should upgrade your home’s system.
See Our Guide: 6 Ways to Save on Your Electric Bill This Summer
Trust Colvin Electric to Upgrade Your Electrical Panel
At Colvin Electric, our pricing is upfront, and we service your house with master electricians. We offer electrical panel repair, electrical panel upgrades, and an array of upgrades to not only modernize your home but keep you safe.