According to statistics, arcing faults account for 28,000 residential fires and $700 million in property damage in the U.S. A defective electrical panel can pose an arcing hazard in your home. Here are the top four signs it’s time to upgrade your electrical panel.
1. You Detect a Burning Smell
A burning smell is one of the tell-tale signs of electrical problems. Therefore, you mustn’t ignore any odor of burning plastic or wood, especially around the electrical panel.
The smell is a sign of the wiring insulation melting, usually due to circuit overloading. If the circuit breaker keeps tripping, it is often a sign of an overloaded panel.
If the outlets are warm to the touch or buzzing, it could indicate a wiring problem. Consider consulting a certified professional to ensure safety and building code compliance.
2. You Need Additional Outlets
If your current system requires additional outlets, a panel upgrade is often necessary. While using power strips may seem like a convenient solution, it often triggers circuit overloading. Overusing extension cords draws current above the rated limit and can also cause electrical arcing and fires.
If the lights flicker when you plug in an appliance like the dishwasher, it could be a sign of overloading. It means your panel cannot support the demands of your home’s electrical system in Stanislaus County.
A professional from The Electric Company, a locally owned service in Modesto, should troubleshoot the system. Our A-plus-rated electrical team has 25 years of experience in electrical panel repairs in California’s North San Joaquin Valley.
3. Signs of Extensive Damage or Corrosion
If you notice dark spots on the breaker panel, you should schedule electrical panel repairs as soon as possible. Burning spots could be a sign of overheating. An upgrade is necessary to prevent residential fires.
Rust is a sign of water damage and indicates that there is a risk of a shock hazard. Water damage could be from a roofing leak or plumbing defect. It is crucial to identify the source of the moisture as you plan for a panel repair service.
4. Your Electrical Panel Is Past Its Lifespan
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the average lifespan of an electrical panel is between 25 and 40 years. Its lifespan depends on the model, manufacturer defects, and deterioration, among other factors.
However, if your electrical panel is over 25 years old, you should consider upgrading. Also, if it still uses fuses instead of breakers, the current installation may not provide adequate protection against surges and electrical arching.
It is not wise to put off upgrading your electrical panel. If you notice signs like burned-out spots or corrosion, consult a certified professional to troubleshoot the circuit. You can rely on The Electric Company for code-compliant electrical updates in Modesto.