Your electrical system is easily one of the most important components of your home, and of the components that make up your electrical system, your electrical panel is the most crucial element. Identifying when your current electrical panel is in need of an upgrade is important as it not only plays a role in the overall function of your home, but also its safety. To help you identify some of the signs that your home's current electrical panel is due for an upgrade, our skilled Birmingham electricians have taken the time to put together this short list highlighting just a few of the common signs you can be on the lookout for that indicate it's time for an electrical panel upgrade
Your Breakers Trip Frequently
The circuit breakers in your home’s electrical panel are designed to trip when the load goes beyond the ampacity of the circuit, or when a fault is detected. Besides its normal on/off function for de-energizing that circuit you want to replace a receptacle on, the trip feature is there to protect not only the conductors contained in the circuit, but also your life and property. A breaker that trips is usually performing the task it was designed to do, however, frequent trips can indicate a problem with the breaker panel itself and it could be time for an upgrade.
Breakers Won’t Remain Set
Typically, when a breaker trips, a simple flip of the lever back to the on position will restore power. If you notice that a breaker is immediately tripping, makes a buzzing sound, or feels loose in the panel it is most likely a sign of a larger issue. The issue could be that the panel is failing and due for an upgrade, or could be located on the circuit itself. The only way to know for sure is to consult a qualified electrician.
Your System Uses Fuses
If you own an older home, there’s a good chance that your electrical system uses a fuse panel. While fuses are still utilized in many applications, their use in household wiring has become outdated and obsolete with advances in breaker technology. While fuses aren’t inherently dangerous, the ability to improperly size a fuse for your homes circuit capacity creates an instant safety hazard. When a fuse is oversized for the circuit in your home, damage to the circuit, or even fire can occur. Most insurance providers will no longer insure a home if it utilizes a fuse panel. If your home’s electrical panel still uses fuses, consult a professional for options and an estimate on a panel upgrade.