Your home's electrical panel supplies the electricity to your home's appliances and electronics. Insufficient electrical service is a common problem on older properties, because the electrical needs of a standard household have changed a great deal over the years. In other words, if your home was built many decades ago, your electrical panel may not supply your home with enough electricity to run your modern appliances and electronic equipment. When your home needs an electrical panel upgrade, some warning signs will become apparent. Knowing how to identify the signs of electrical panel overload can help you keep your property and members of your household safe.
How can you tell if your home needs an electrical panel upgrade?
If your home needs an electrical panel upgrade, you may notice the following problems:
- The lights dim when large appliances turn on, or brighten when large appliances turn off. This is an indication that your large appliances are drawing power that would otherwise be used for small fixtures.
- Your circuit breakers trip frequently. This is a sign that your home frequently tries to draw too much power through one or many of your circuits.
- You must shut off some appliances to run other appliances. This could be an indication that some of your large appliances are in need of a dedicated circuit.
- Your electrical panel makes crackling noises or sometimes smells like smoke. This is a definite indication of a dangerous problem and should be addressed immediately.
- Your home sometimes experiences power surges, causing some appliances to reset or blow out. Your electrical panel should be able to supply an even amount of power to your appliances while they are being used.
What could happen if you don't get an electrical panel upgrade?
Failure to get an electrical panel upgrade when one is necessary can result in inconvenience or maybe even a house fire. In addition, some sensitive electrical appliances (like computers) can be ruined by resulting power surges when large appliances turn off.
Can you install a new electrical panel yourself?
An electrical panel installation is not a DIY project unless you are a trained electrician. To be safe, your home's electrical panel upgrade should be installed by a skilled, licensed electrician. He or she can also check the state of your home's wiring and let you know if it is still safe to use. For more information, contact a local electric repair company like Advantage Electric.