Is My Electrical Panel Safe?

Is My Electrical Panel Safe?

The electrical panel allows electricity to flow safely into your home. But in some cases, the electrical panel itself can be unsafe. This puts your property at risk of an electrical fire, which happens more than 51,000 times per year. Read on to find out if it's time to replace your electrical panel so you can keep your property safe.

Signs of an Unsafe Electrical Panel

Here are the most common indicators that it's time to contact an electrician, such as Beeson Mechanical Service, to check your electrical panel:

#1 It keeps tripping

A circuit breaker is bound to trip sometimes, but if it keeps tripping, it may be a sign of a more serious problem. It can trip due to a short circuit, overloaded circuit, arc fault, etc. Another common cause is when you plug in a large appliance (this is a telltale sign that your electrical panel can’t handle the load). Since these persistent problems have the potential to cause a fire, it’s best to contact an electrician, such as Beeson Mechanical Service, and have your panel replaced.

#2 It’s hot to the touch

It’s normal for electrical panels to feel warm, however, if they feel hot, that’s a sign that it’s overheating. And since too much heat can start a fire, this means your electrical panel is a fire risk. Furthermore, if you smell something burning, that may be a sign that there’s something wrong with the wiring. If this is the case, your circuit breaker will trip, but keep in mind that switching it back on isn’t the solution. Instead, call an electrician at Beeson, at 317-535-9338, to inspect your panel.

#3 It’s rusty

Rust tells you that there’s water around or in your electrical panel. This is a serious concern that should be addressed ASAP. Not only can water cause corrosion, but once it enters the breaker box, it can start a fire (keep in mind that it’s a conductor of electricity). If there’s water inside the panel, do not attempt to deal with it on your own. Only an electrician, like Beeson Mechanical Service, Inc., can safely handle the situation.

#4 It’s a fuse box

If your home still has a fuse instead of an electrical panel, you should replace it immediately. Electrical panels contain circuit breakers that “trip” in case they’re overloaded. They do this to protect your appliances and the panel itself. Unfortunately, fuses found in older homes aren’t cut out for the electrical demand of most modern appliances. They also can’t trip, which means they’re more likely to cause an electrical fire.

#5 It causes lights to dim

Do your lights dim when you plug in large appliances such as the washer and dryer? This could be a sign that your electrical panel can’t handle the current load. This can cause your breaker to trip and even start a fire if the receptacles overheat. An electrician, such as Beeson Mechanical Service, Inc., can solve this issue by increasing the number of circuits, enabling your panel to better handle the electrical load.

Take Electrical Safety Seriously

Finally, if your home has any of these electrical panels, you should replace them at all costs as they are considered extremely unsafe:

  • Zinsco
  • Federal Pacific Electric
  • Challenger
  • Pushmatic

Take Electrical Safety Seriously

Neglecting these warning signs can result in serious consequences such as electrocution and electrical fires. Get in touch with a certified electrician, such as Beeson Mechanical Service, Inc., at 317-535-9338, to inspect your electrical panel to keep your property (as well as the people inside it) safe.