Signs Your Home Needs a Service Panel Upgrade

Electricians working on a service panel

Your service panel is responsible for housing the multiple circuit breakers that distribute power through your home. Have you ever noticed some of the wires that connect from outside to your house? They all meet in your service panel. From there, the wires split off and are able to deliver electricity to the designated parts of your house.

If you have ever opened yours, you know that its full of different switches. Much like any other system working in your home, your service panel will reach the end of its life at some point. If you are experiencing any of the following in your home, your service panel may be telling you its time for an upgrade:

Your Home is 20+ Years Old

If your home is older than 20, upgrading the service panel may be necessary. Older homes possess panels that range roughly from about 60 to 100 amps. Homes built within the last twenty years or so will possess an average of about 200 amps. Because of these higher power demands, older panels in these homes will need upgrading in order to cope with modern power demands.

Frequent Panel Tripping

If your electrical panel trips often or if it makes a crackling sound, this is a sign that it needs repair or replacement. The system will trip when you plug too many appliances into a circuit which requires more power than the circuit can accommodate. The “tripping” or cutting off power is a safety measure to prevent the wires from overheating. This may mean that just the breaker needs to be replaced and not the whole panel.

Flickering Lights

If your lights flicker when other appliances are active, there could be an obvious connection problem with the panel. If an appliance is running and it seems to have a diminished output, it may be a result of overloaded circuits with the panel. It could potentially be that the panel is outdated and needs to be upgraded in order to handle the larger current load.

Extension Cords

Extension cords can certainly be useful, but an over-reliance on them could be dangerous. Electrical wires are usually kept in your walls for a purpose! A protected system of leads to less wear and tear. Wires that are left strewn across your living room floor can get shorted or pinched leading to damaged outlets. Constant use of these extension cords is not ideal. Contact your local electrician to install more outlets and potentially reduce the overall stress on your paneling as well as breakers.

Burning Smell or Discolored Outlets

A burning smell coming from your electricity is never a good sign! If your panel is getting too hot, it could be overloading.  When the service box has a poor connection, there is a generation of high wattage in a small area. If the heat rises, you may be able to smell burning. It may cause your outlets to become brown and discolored as well. A professional should assess the situation immediately, as this could potentially lead to an electrical fire.

You should never mess around when it comes to your electricity. Not only can electrical damage your home, but it can put you and your loved ones in danger.

For all of your electrical needs or a service panel upgrade, call Wave Electric Company, LLC today!