Three Signs That an Electrical Panel Needs to Be Inspected by Professionals

Is Your Electrical Panel Failing?

Electrical panels are essential for ensuring the safety of a home. They provide the necessary protection against fire, damaged electronics, and other hazards associated with electricity. A well-functioning panel is also important for the optimization of electricity usage in the home. 

Electrical panels can help to prevent damage to electrical devices and the home by tripping the circuit breakers when the circuit is overloaded. However, a malfunctioning electrical panel cannot provide the same protection, so it’s important to get them serviced by an electrician. This blog will share some signs of a faulty electrical panel in need of repair or replacement to alert homeowners when to call professionals. 

Dim or Flickering Lights

lightIf homeowners notice that some of the lights in their homes are flickering or not as bright as they used to be, it is important to assess what could be causing the issue. In many cases, this problem can be solved by replacing an old lightbulb with a new one. However, it could also indicate a larger problem within the electrical system of the home.

If the flicking and decreased brightness are happening for multiple different lights in the home or if the lights begin to dim or flicker when another appliance is plugged in, it could be a sign of an issue with the electrical panel. This problem can occur when too many appliances are drawing power from the same circuit, meaning that certain appliances may be using more power than can be provided by the circuit it’s on.

Burning Smell 

When homeowners smell something burning, particularly if it comes from the electrical panel, it is never a good sign. This usually means that the electrical panel is overheating, arcing, or experiencing an electrical malfunction, most likely caused by overloaded circuits, old components, or defective wiring. 

In cases like this, the circuit breaker may have to be replaced since it can no longer handle the power requirements of the home, and allowing it to continue as is, could lead to serious problems, like the possibility of an electrical fire. A burning smell should be taken as an urgent warning that the existing panel is no longer safe and that a qualified electrician must be called in to handle the problem immediately.

The Electrical Panel is Old and Outdated

panelWhile homeowners may be happy to know that a standard electrical panel is built to last, most professionals agree that 25 to 40 years is the average lifespan of a panel before it becomes old enough to be considered obsolete and should be replaced to adhere to current safety standards. Electrical panels should also be inspected as a part of routine electrical system inspections to ensure it’s in good condition. 

Most homeowners probably won’t have to upgrade their electrical panel more than a handful of times in their lives, but for those who are moving into older homes, it is imperative to check the age of the panel. If a home is over 20 years old and has an original electrical panel that has never been replaced, it typically needs to be upgraded. Doing so will give homeowners the peace of mind of knowing that their homes are powered safely by an electrical panel that can handle their modern appliances.

About Elite Electric, Plumbing & Air

Elite Electric, Plumbing & Air has over three decades of experience serving Port St. Lucie, FL, and the surrounding areas. They provide upfront pricing, emergency service, and personal attention. Call them today for electrical panel repair and installation services in Port St. Lucie, FL.

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How to Tell When It's Time to Replace Your Electrical Panel

If you own a home, you know how important it is to have a reliable electrical system. Your electrical panel is the central hub of your electrical system and is responsible for distributing electricity throughout your home. It’s vital that your electrical panel is up-to-date and functioning correctly to ensure the safety of your family and your home. However, it can be difficult to determine when it’s time to replace your electrical panel. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with useful tips and information to help you identify when it’s time.

Flickering or Dimming Lights

flickering lightsIf your lights are flickering or dimming, it could be a sign that your electrical panel needs to be replaced. Flickering lights can be caused by several issues, including a faulty breaker, overloaded circuits, and outdated wiring. If you have multiple light bulbs flickering in the same room, this is a sure sign that your electrical panel needs to be upgraded. Flickering and dimming lights could also indicate an overloaded circuit, which is when too many appliances or electronics are plugged into one outlet. This can cause the power to fluctuate and the lights to flicker. If this is the case, you will need to move some of your electronics to other outlets in order to prevent further damage to your electrical system.

Frequent Circuit Breaker Trips

If your circuit breaker is tripping frequently, this could be a sign that it's time to replace your electrical panel. Circuit breakers are designed to protect your home’s electrical system from overloads and shorts. If your circuit breaker trips repeatedly, it could be because it is overburdened, or you have a wiring issue in the home. This can cause a serious safety hazard, as it could lead to electrical fires. When you have a circuit breaker that is tripping too often, you should investigate why it is happening. Is there an appliance on the same circuit that is drawing too much power? Are the other devices in the house properly grounded and connected to the circuit breaker? If any of these questions cannot be answered or fixed, then you should consider replacing the electrical panel altogether. A professional electrician will be able to help you determine if this is the best solution.

Discoloration on Outlets or Switches

discolorationOne of the most obvious signs that your electrical panel needs to be replaced is discoloration on outlets or switches. If you notice any darkening, scorch marks, or even burning smells near outlets or switches, this could be a sign that there is an electrical overload in the system. In these cases, it’s important to shut off power to the affected area immediately and call an electrician to inspect and replace the panel if necessary. This can prevent a potentially hazardous situation from occurring. It’s important to note that some discoloration may be natural over time, as wires and other parts in the panel age and wear down. If this is the case, your electrician should be able to identify it and explain why it’s not an issue. However, if there is any additional discoloration that appears suspicious, it’s best to err on the side of caution and have it checked out right away.

Humming or Crackling Sounds From the Electrical Panel

If you ever hear a humming or crackling noise coming from your electrical panel, it could be a sign that it’s time to replace your electrical panel. This could mean that something is wrong with the wiring or connections inside the panel, and it’s not able to properly support the load it was designed for. Humming can be caused by improper wiring, loose connections, or corrosion within the panel while crackling noises are usually a result of loose connections or high levels of current running through the system. If you notice these sounds when you turn on an appliance or flip a light switch, you should have a licensed electrician inspect the panel right away. In many cases, an old or outdated panel may need to be replaced in order to ensure your home’s electrical system is safe and functioning correctly.

Burning Smells Near the Electrical Panel

burning smellIf you notice a burning smell near your electrical panel, it could be a sign that it is time to replace it. This could be caused by either overloaded circuits or faulty wiring. If the burning smell is accompanied by sparking or smoke, it is an indication of a dangerous situation and you should turn off the power immediately. When the power is off, it is important to inspect the electrical panel carefully for signs of overheating, such as discoloration on the metal panels or wires, melted insulation, charred components, or even burned plastic. It is always best to contact a professional electrician in this situation, as they will be able to assess the situation and advise on the best course of action. In some cases, it may be possible to repair the existing electrical panel and avoid replacing it altogether. However, if the damage is extensive, it is likely to be more cost-effective in the long run to replace the entire panel. This will ensure that all of the wiring and components are up to current safety standards and reduce the risk of fire or other hazardous situations in the future.

Older Homes With Outdated Electrical Panels

outdated panelIf you live in an older home, it is likely that your electrical panel is outdated. Electrical panels that were installed before the mid-1990s may not be able to handle the power demands of today's homes. Outdated electrical panels can be dangerous, as they are more prone to overload and fire. If your home was built before the mid-1990s, you should strongly consider replacing the electrical panel. When replacing an old electrical panel, it is important to make sure that the new one is designed to meet the current power needs of your home. It is also important to ensure that the new panel is installed by a qualified electrician who is familiar with the specific requirements of your home. Installing an old panel can be dangerous and can potentially result in fire or electrical shock. If you are unsure whether your home has an outdated electrical panel, contact a qualified electrician who can inspect your system and provide advice on whether or not you should replace it. Replacing your electrical panel is an investment in your safety and should not be taken lightly. By following the advice of a qualified professional, you can ensure that your home is safe and up to code.

It’s important to recognize the signs that it’s time to replace your electrical panel. From flickering or dimming lights to frequent breaker trips, these telltale signs can help you identify potential problems with your electrical system. If you think it’s time to upgrade your electrical panel, make sure you get a qualified electrician to do the job safely and correctly. At Elite, our team has the expertise to identify if an electrical panel replacement is necessary and the experience to install it quickly and correctly. Contact Elite today for an assessment and free estimate of your next electrical project!

Electrical Panel Repair

When Does Your Electrical Panel Need Repair?

Signs of a Damaged Electrical Panel

Every home is equipped with an electrical panel. Just like your plumbing, it’s an essential part of your house and, without it, your home would not be able to function. The electrical panel serves to route all electricity flowing to your home safely to the various devices that are connected to the electrical grid, including your washer and dryer, lights, and HVAC.

If your electrical panel stops functioning properly, you are not only at risk for appliances malfunctioning, but you could be at risk of starting a fire, as well. The following tips will help you spot when it’s time to repair your electrical panel.

Old Electrical Panels Are a Risk

As with any part of your home, the electrical panel has a lifespan. Most can function anywhere from twenty-five to forty years. After that point, they’ll start showing signs of wear and tear, and their age will get the best of them. Once they get past the forty-year mark, they’ll need replacing entirely to maintain maximum safety for your home and those who live with you.

old panelWhat are the signs that your panel is getting old?
  • Switches are too loose or too tight when flipped.
  • The breaker trips unaccountably.
  • There are visible signs of rust.

If any of these signs are present, it’s important to have a professional electrician examine your panel for needed repairs or replacement. Any of the above issues can cause significant problems and should not be left unrepaired.

Don’t Ignore a Burning Smell

A serious sign that your electric panel needs to be inspected and likely replaced is if you ever experience a burning smell coming from the unit. Burning smells coming from your unit are typically due to wires shorting out. When wires begin to short out, they not only cause your appliances and lighting to stop working properly, but they pose a significant hazard.

burning smell

When wires short out, they are burning themselves and can easily start a fire within the walls of your home. Once you have a fire in your walls, it can be too late to save your home from significant damage.

If you smell any burning, shut off the electrical panel immediately and call an electrical technician to inspect your unit. Short-circuiting wires always result in needing to be replaced before the electricity can be turned back on.

Flickering or Dimming Lights Could Indicate Panel Issues

light bulbsIf you’ve ever experienced a flickering or dimming lightbulb, you might have thought it was the lightbulb itself that was going out. But if you changed your bulb and you still had it happen, then it’s not the lightbulb that is your problem, but the electric panel.

When the panel starts to wear out or wires become damaged, they aren’t able to conduct electricity as well as they used to. The reason why you have ebbing lights is that the electricity is not flowing consistently to your appliance.

When you experience this and you’ve determined that it’s not the lightbulb, it’s vital to call a professional electrician so the problem can get fixed. Not only will you save money by not replacing endless lightbulbs, but you can also save yourself from a potentially hazardous situation if your panel stops working properly altogether.

Professional, Dependable Electricians

Elite Electric & Air has provided HVAC and electrical services in Port St Lucie, FL, for over thirty years. They offer 24/7 emergency services, 100% satisfaction guarantee, on-time arrivals, and upfront pricing. You’ll receive personalized attention, professional solutions, and a job done right the first time.