Your home’s electrical panel serves as the foundation of your entire electrical setup, and keeping it in great working order at all times is very important. In addition, your panel and several related electrical features will often show some telltale signs if things are not working optimally, and these signs may indicate that it’s time to upgrade your panel or replace it.
At Momentum Electric, we’re happy to help with a variety of electrical panel service needs in West Jordan, including areas like assisting clients with ideal timing for a panel upgrade or replacement. What are some of the key indicators that it might be time for such an upgrade? Here are several to keep in mind.
Panel is 20+ Years Old
First and foremost, while this isn’t a “sign” per se, the simple age of your panel can be a major factor in deciding if it’s time for an upgrade. If yours is more than 20 years old, it’s likely time for an upgrade to ensure your system is running optimally and safely.
Fuse Box Still Used
In some specific older homes, fuse boxes are still utilized as opposed to a circuit breaker panel. These are quite antiquated and oftentimes inefficient, so if your home still has one, it’s definitely time to replace the entire unit with a modern circuit breaker system.
Simply put, there is no fuse box in the US that meets code, and so any presence of one is an instant sign that an upgrade should be considered.
Burning Smell or Sparks
If the electrical panel gives off a burning smell or sparks (or if you hear crackling or buzzing sounds coming from it), this can indicate that wires within the unit are too hot and malfunctioning. These types of problems can cause a major fire risk, so it’s crucial to replace the panel as soon as possible
In fact, a burning smell picked up pretty much anywhere within your home can indicate a problem with the electrical system and panel, so don’t take any chances. Even if you’re not sure what the source of the smell is, it’s still a good idea to call in an experienced electrician as soon as possible.
Repeated Breaker Trips
One of the most common and well-known signs that your electrical panel may need an upgrade is when the breakers seem to trip constantly. This could be due to a variety of issues:
- Circuit overloads: If your circuit is being asked to do too much, it can cause the breaker to trip.
- Malfunctioning breakers: If a breaker itself has worn out or malfunctioned, this could lead to constant tripping as well.
- Improper wiring: If your home’s wiring isn’t up to code, or if it was wired improperly, this can also cause issues with breakers.
In many of these cases, replacing the breaker or the entire panel might be necessary.
Melted Wires or Scorch Marks
In other cases, melted wires or scorch marks may be present around the electrical panel. This is a sign of a more serious problem, as it indicates unsafe levels of heat and current within the panel that can lead to fire and other dangers. Again, it’s important to hire an experienced electrician in this situation as soon as possible.
Major Benefits of Electrical Panel Upgrades
Here are some of the key benefits of upgrading your electrical panel:
- More power: Upgrading your panel can give you more circuits and power to run more devices, appliances, and fixtures in your home. It also gives you more options for adding appliances and fixtures in the future.
- Safer: Upgrading your panel can provide a much better level of safety, as it includes modern breakers that are designed to trip at lower levels. This makes them much safer to use and less likely to cause fires.
- Code compliance: If you’re replacing an older fuse box, you’ll also be bringing your entire home’s electrical system up to code. This can provide greater peace of mind and make sure that everything is compliant with local regulations.
- Lower maintenance costs: Upgrading your panel can also make it easier to maintain, and this can save money in the long run.
Overall, upgrading your electrical panel is an important part of keeping your home safe and efficient. If any of these signs are present in your home, don’t hesitate to call in a qualified electrician as soon as possible for an inspection and potential upgrade. This can help ensure that your electrical system is up to date, code compliant, and functioning optimally.
And at Momentum Electric, we are proud to provide comprehensive electrical panel services for West Jordan clients. We can inspect your panel, diagnose any potential problems, and replace it with a modern circuit breaker system if needed. Contact us today for more information on our service offerings!