Electrical panels are the main source of storage, protection, and transmission for the electrical system in your home. By law, they are required to be up to code, according to the state or locality in which you live. However, most homeowners don't regularly check the electrical codes for a building and might go longer than is recommended without upgrading their electrical panel. Here are some signs that you need to upgrade your electrical panel as soon as possible.
1. You're Having a Lot of Electrical Problems
The following are electrical problems that indicate that your system is old and needs to be updated: flickering lights caused by wires that have melted together and the fact that you have to turn off one of your major appliances, such as the washing machine, in order to use another that is on the same electrical circuit. Another problem is if you find yourself constantly going down the basement to investigate tripped breakers or blown fuses. Having one of these problems all the time, or experiencing several of these problems, is a good indication that you might need to upgrade your electrical panel.
2. There Are Visual and Audible Signs of Damage
If you go down to check your circuits and notice that your electrical panel has bits of rust speckled all around it, then you will need to have your electrical panel upgraded as soon as possible because it is deteriorating and will not be able to protect your wiring or circuits. Another sign is if you see scorch marks or other signs that your wires or breakers are overheating. The electrical panel is not able to deal with the amount of energy that is coming through. Finally, if you can hear a buzzing or crackling sound from your electrical panel, then it needs to be upgraded.
3. Your Electrical Needs Change
Finally, you might want to consider upgrading your electrical panel if your energy needs suddenly change. This could happen if you suddenly purchase three or more new large appliances, if you add an addition to your home that will need its own supply of power, or if you add outlets throughout the home to cope with the increased demand for places to charge electronic devices.
For more information and tips on electrical panel upgrades, contact a professional electrician. He or she will be able to install the electrical panel for you or give you the information you need to do the job correctly and safely.