2 Signs Your Home Needs a New Electrical Breaker Box

Lately, you may have been noticing that some of your lights flicker a little bit, especially when you are running larger appliances in other parts of your house. If so, then there is a strong chance that there is a problem with your home's breaker box. To learn more, read on. Along with the flickering lights, the signs below are other indications that your breaker box needs professional attention.

1.  Odd Noises Start Coming from the Box

One sign you should check for is the presence of odd noises. While standing close to the box, you may hear a hissing sound accompanied by the occasional popping noise.

If you are hearing these noises, there could be a short in one or more of the circuits inside of the electrical panel. If a wire is broken or the smaller wires inside the insulated plastic coating are exposed, electricity will arc out of the wire and jump to the nearest exposed metal. 

If there is a short in one of the box's circuit wires, this poses a fire hazard since the electricity is no longer contained. You need to have an electrician take a look at it as soon as possible.

2.  Black Spots Found Inside or Around the Outside of the Panel

Another concerning sign that you should be on the lookout for when inspecting your breaker box is the presence of black, charred spots either inside or around the outside of the panel. These spots are caused by electricity coming into contact with the surfaces as it arcs out of the wire and searches for a nearby conduit. 

If you are seeing black charring in and around the breaker box, this means that the short in one or more of the circuit wires is substantial. When you find this sign, do not touch the metal door of the breaker box, and contact a professional to check it out immediately.

If you find either of the above signs when examining your home's breaker box, one or more of the circuits are most likely overloading. Since this issue could cause serious damage to your home's electrical system and creates a fire hazard, which of course is very dangerous, contact a residential electrician near you as soon as possible. These contractors will be able to inspect the breaker box and discuss your options for either repairing the affected circuits or replacing the entire panel.