That grey metal box that sits on the wall in your basement, garage or laundry room with all the wires and cables coming out of it is known as the electrical panel. Inside the box are several circuit breakers or fuses. The power that’s supplied by your local utility company flows through the electrical panel and powers the various appliances and gadgets inside your home. Over time, the electrical needs of your home may outgrow the electrical panel, and you could need an upgrade.
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The Trouble with Older Electrical Panels
If your electrical panel is past its prime, you can expect a range of different problems, some not so serious and others quite dangerous. Much of the time, you will be able to recognize signs that your electrical panel isn’t performing the way it should. Some of these signs include:
- Tripping breakers and blow fuses
- Melted wires
- Having to shut one appliance or gadget to use another one
- Flickering lights in the house
- Circuit breakers that won’t trip when they should
- Crackling noises coming from the panel box
- Smoke coming from the panel box
- Rust or corrosion on the breakers or other parts of the panel box
- Appliances that run slowly or at less than full power
- Needing extension cords to use all the devices you need
Common Reasons for Trouble
Some of the reasons these signs show up in the first place, and require you to upgrade your panel box include:
- Home renovations, especially in the kitchen
- Needing to add a sub panel
- Building an addition to the house
- Adding more outlets to the house
- Adding major appliances to the house
- Required to meet homeowner insurance obligations
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Trust Professional Panel Services
Whatever the reason for your panel upgrade, it’s important to trust the job to a licensed electrician. A professional is skilled and experienced in repairing and installing circuit breakers and fuse boxes, repairing and installing electrical panels, emergency services and they have the troubleshooting skills to make decisions on the fly. DIY panel upgrades are a recipe for disaster, because even if you don’t cause a fire or electrocute yourself, you may end up damaging other parts of the system that will require professional service anyway.