The circuit panel or service panel is the metallic box where the electricity supply lines converge to distribute power throughout your home. It also contains all the circuit breakers and trip switches that protect your home for power surges and short circuits—it’s also the spot where most electrical problems originate.
Considering how the service panel is responsible for the diversion of energy throughout your home, it’s essential that you keep it in tip-top shape. If your home is old, or if you notice electrical problems sprouting in your home—you’d do well to get your circuit panels checked out.
There are a lot of signs that indicate a faulty circuit panel—the most notable ones include:
You can tell if your circuits are overloaded if the lights dim when you plug in more appliances or if the circuits keep tripping. This usually happens in old homes with circuits that can handle up to 100 amps, when the average modern home requires power levels of 200 amps. Since the panels can’t handle electricity levels this high, they start malfunctioning—getting a new panel will solve that problem immediately.
The Panel Keeps Tripping
Circuit breakers trip when there’s too much current flowing through the wires and overheating them. It’s a protective measure to prevent electrical fires or short circuits because the breaker disconnects the circuit and cuts off the power supply to let the wires cool down. Tripping circuits usually indicate that you should change the breaker rather than installing a new panel.
Flickering Lights and Appliances
Flickering lights are a sign that the power isn’t diverting properly from the circuit breaker. If you plug in more appliances than the circuit can handle and the outputs are diminished, it’s a clear sign that your circuits are outdated or overloaded. This might lead to frequent tripping or complete short circuits which could require full rewiring—call in your electrician to update your panels.
Burning Smells or Discoloration in the Outlets
Burning smells from an outlet are never good signs because they indicate that the wiring is overheated and burning through the insulation. Exposed wiring increases the risk of arcing sparks that causes electrical fires and if they’re burnt through—then it’s very likely that the circuitry is overloaded. Just as the hotwiring burns through the insulation, it also causes the outlets to heat up and burn it—causing discoloration.
If you see any of these signs, there’s a high chance that your circuits are overloaded and your panel is malfunctioning because it’s not diverting power appropriately. Getting your panels upgraded or repaired, it’ll fix all these problems immediately.
Want to Upgrade Your Panel?
You should call up the electricians over at Integrity Electrical Services to get your circuit panels repaired and upgraded. We’re a 24 hour emergency electrician service provider in Wilmington, MA offering a wide range of services including electrical panel upgrades, lighting and ceiling fan installations as well as home inspections. Call us today for more information.