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Dangerous Signs a Home's Electrical Panel Needs To Be Replaced

3 Indicators An Electrical Panel Is Dying

Home electrical panels are usually hidden away in a cupboard or closet, only to be inspected when a breaker is thrown, and the flow of electricity to one or several parts of the house stops. These necessary, but often neglected pieces of the home wiring puzzle, can be a source of major frustration and even dangerous when they are not working properly. If a homeowner notices issues with consistent lighting or any burning or acrid smells around the panel, this calls for immediate action. 

Sometimes age catches up with the “fuse box” before anything else does, and it’s a waiting game to see whether or not it will cease functioning entirely.

Flickering Lights or Dimming Lights

Lighting inconsistencies or flickering and dimming lights are not always a cause for alarm. If it is a single lamp or fan that seems to be having a dimming problem, then more than likely, it is simply a lightbulb that needs to be replaced. There could also be a short circuit within the appliance itself. Neither of these issues indicates a problem with the electrical panel itself. The panel is showing signs of problems when:

  • Lights flicker when an appliance such as a vacuum is turned on
  • Lights flicker when other lights or appliances are turned on

This dimming indicates that the electrical panel does not have the capacity needed to use the amount of electricity. 

Burnt Smellssmell

The smell of burning or melting plastics in or around the electric panel indicates a serious problem. If the smell is there and the circuit breaker is warm to the touch, this means wires are no longer properly insulated, and there is a possibility of a short. An electrical fire can quickly result. 

If a homeowner notices this smell, they should shut down their power and call an electrician for emergency electrical panel replacement. This is not a sign to put off, or homeowners may find themselves calling the fire department instead of the electrician.


Age Matters

While they have a fairly long life, circuit breakers do not last forever. As with anything humans build, time tears it down. They typically last between 30 and 50 years. Here are a few of the possible signs of age and the need to replace the electrical panel:
  • Age of Home: If people live in an older home, there is a good chance the electrical panel is old. Having it inspected may be worth a look.
  • Rust on Panel: If rust is evident on the panel, then the panel has some years behind it. 
  • Breakers Tripping Often: If the breakers often seem to be thrown for no reason, the age of the wiring and panel may be the reason. 
  • Breakers Not Resetting: If a homeowner has trouble getting the breakers to reset after being thrown, the panel may be too old. 

About Albritton Service Co

Allbritton Service Co is a family-owned and operated business proud to serve the community of Ruston, LA. They have quality workmanship backed by 40 years of experience. Call them 24/7 for emergency electrical service.