The electrical panel at your house serves an essential role in keeping you safe from shocks and fires that can occur if too much voltage runs through the circuits in your house. For the most part, a panel can last for several decades, but they are susceptible to damage that causes them to no longer be reliable. Dealing with power issues such as flickering lights and unexpected outages are frustrating, but they could be your first signs that there is a more serious issue lurking behind the doors of your home's electrical panel. Before the breakers trip again, look for these signs that you need an electrical contractor to check the panel to see if it is a fire hazard.
Look for Multiple or Frequent Breaker Trips
The next time that the circuit trips, take note of which one it is when you reset it. For the most part, this should be a rare event that occurs due to sudden power surges. Circuits that need to be continuously reset show that there is a problem with the electrical load that is going through the breaker. You should also be concerned if the issue affects multiple circuits in the panel.
Watch for Flickering and Dimming Lights
Sometimes, the circuits are pushed just to their limit but not far enough to trip them. You should be worried if you have lights that dim every time that you use an appliance or if they flicker when you turn on multiple ones. This could be a sign of a circuit breaker that is becoming weakened or that no longer functions properly enough to trip.
Consider the Age of the Panel
Like any other part of your house, panels can break down simply due to age-related deterioration. Older homes also have panels that might have been installed many years before people began to load their homes up with energy-using appliances. An electrical contractor can assess whether or not your older panel is repairable. They can also make recommendations about how the wiring system connects to the panel so that your home is up-to-date for carrying the heavy load generated by modern appliances.
Open Up the Panel
In some cases, you may be able to see direct signs that you need to arrange for electrical repairs by looking inside of the panel. Electrical panels are meant to be watertight, but they can still develop issues such as rust and corrosion inside. If you see this, then you need to arrange for repairs right away before the damage gets worse.Share