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ServiceMax Blog

Signs You Need Electrical Panel Replacement


As the seasons rush by, we often focus on the most urgent needs of our home. We need our heating system to work well for the winter. We need our air conditioner to work well for the summer. And if there’s an emergency—say, something going dramatically wrong with the plumbing—we take care of that. But in the meantime, things can go wrong more quietly and subtly.

It’s easier to ignore minor problems. But then we can end up getting used to them, and not realizing that they’re gradually getting worse and worse. In order to avoid catastrophe, we need to keep paying attention to small problems, especially problems with our home electrical systems. Eventually, electrical panels need replacement. Failing to do that in time is a major fire hazard. How can you tell it’s time to replace your electrical panel?

If Your Electrical Panel Isn’t Meeting Your Needs

How long has your home’s electrical panel been in place? It’s entirely possible that, when it was installed, your family (or the family who lived in your house at the time) did not use as much electricity. People’s dependence on electronics, the shift to work-from-home, and the sheer number of devices a family might own have all increased dramatically in recent years.

Circuits being tripped is a major sign of your needs exceeding the capacity of your electrical panel. While it’s understandable if this happens once in a while when you try to use a large number of appliances at the same time on one circuit, if it happens repeatedly or with different circuits in your home, it’s time for a new electrical panel.

If the Panel Itself Shows Signs of Trouble

Take a good look at your electrical panel. There should never be any soot or scorch marks anywhere on it. If you see that, you’re lucky there hasn’t been a serious fire yet, and panel replacement needs to be at the absolute top of your to-do list. An overheated smell or any crackling or buzzing sounds are also signs of a serious risk of fire.

The other thing you should do if your home is older and you haven’t paid much attention to your electrical panel is to make sure that you do in fact have a circuit breaker box. It will have switches that flip from side to side. If instead you see round things that can be pulled out and pushed in, it’s a fuse box. This is extremely outdated, causes a severe fire hazard, and must be replaced immediately.

If Your Home Has Electrical Problems

Do your lights flicker? Do light bulbs burn out much faster than they should? Are sections of your walls warm to the touch? Have you ever seen sparks at an outlet when you plug something in? Do you hear a strange buzz? Don’t worry, your house isn’t haunted. 

What you need is some help from a qualified electrician. They can determine whether these issues have to do with specific fixtures or with the panel itself and help you make a clear plan to address the problems and keep your home and your family safe. 

If you have any concerns about electrical panels in Evanston, IL, we’re always happy to hear from you.

Contact ServiceMax with any questions about your home’s electrical system.

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