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Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric and Fireplaces, Inc. Blog

Signs That It’s Time for an Electrical Panel Upgrade

technician-hands-working-on-wiresIs your home operating as safe as it should be? What we mean is, what kind of shape is your electrical system in? If your home is a few decades old and you’ve never had an electrical inspection, there’s a good chance you could be operating on an outdated panel. This is a problem for a number of reasons.

First off, an old electrical panel can cause power surges. When a powerful appliance such as your HVAC system cycles on, it can cause a surge through the panel, and this can damage other, smaller appliances and electrical equipment throughout your home–think, your refrigerator, microwave, toaster oven, etc.

Secondly, outdated electrical panels pose a fire hazard, which, of course, is a serious problem. But you can avoid this! By knowing the signs that you need an electrical panel upgrade, you’ll know when it’s time to call us, and we can get your home back on track. Read on to learn what these indicators are. 

Constantly Tripped Breakers

If you’re like most homeowners, the most interaction you’ll ever have with your electrical panel is to reset it after it trips a circuit breaker. If you have a really old panel, it may be that you have a fuse box with a fuse that needs to be replaced. Otherwise, you’ll be able to reset the breaker with a simple flip of the switch.

However, if you noticed that the same circuit keeps tripping after being reset multiple times, it’s a sign of an overloaded electrical system. Having an electrician inspect your panel is the only way to ensure that continuing to use this panel is safe.

Smoking or Burning Odor

Have you ever walked through your home and detected a subtle smoking or burning odor? Perhaps it went away after a few minutes so you didn’t worry about it. This is never something to be ignored! It can be the sign of an electrical fire. Even though most panel fires are small and burn out on their own–usually there isn’t even a flame–this won’t always be the case if you keep ignoring the signs.

Flickering Lights throughout Your Home

Your house probably isn’t haunted, however intriguing that explanation may seem. Flickering lights are quite often a sign that your electrical system is being overwhelmed. Now in some cases, you can try unplugging electrical equipment and lighting and plugging it into a different circuit to see if that helps. But if this makes no discernable difference, then you’re probably looking at an electrical panel that needs replacing.

Another factor to consider here is–is your HVAC system on its own circuit without any other appliances or electrical equipment? HVAC systems use about half of all the energy in your home, and therefore should always be on their own circuit. If you’re unsure of how to check for this, please give our team a call!

At Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric and Fireplaces, Inc., your comfort is our promise! To set up an appointment with a professional electrician in Waverly, IA, give us a call at the number above, email or schedule an appointment online.

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