3 Signs an Electrical Panel Needs Repair or Replacement

When is it Time to Call an Electrician?

An electrical panel, also known as a breaker box or breaker panel, is the main distribution point for a home's electrical system. It regulates the amount of power that flows through the house, protects wiring and appliances from overload or short circuits, and provides a safe place to disconnect the power in an emergency. 

It is vital to ensure that an electrical panel is in good working order and up-to-code, as a malfunctioning system can cause a fire or other serious damage. This blog will share three common signs that indicate the electrical panel may need repair or replacement and should be inspected by an electrician. 

Lights Flickering or Dimming

lightIn some cases, a light flickering or being less bright than usual can be simply caused by an old light bulb that needs to be replaced. However, it may also indicate a problem with the home's electrical panel or wiring, especially if the lights dim or flicker when an appliance is being used or has just been added. This indicates too much electricity is being drawn from the circuit. 

If homeowners notice this sign of electrical panel issues, it’s crucial to get it checked out right away, as these problems can lead to hazardous conditions and even fire risks if not addressed properly. Therefore, ensure that any flickering or dim lights are inspected along with the electrical panel by a qualified electrician to ensure the home's safety.

Burning Smells

A burning smell from the electrical panel is a sign of danger and should never be ignored. This smell indicates an issue with the wiring in the home, which can quickly become a serious fire hazard if not properly addressed. If the insulation around the wiring begins to melt, it can also spread a strong odor of burning plastic throughout the house.

Overheating wires can cause widespread damage to the house as they heat up and create sparks or arcing, potentially sparking an electrical fire. Any time there is an overheating issue in the electrical panel, it's essential to have it addressed immediately by a licensed electrician. This can help prevent further damage to the electrical panel and wiring and keep the home and its inhabitants safe from potential fires.

The Electrical Panel is Old

panelElectrical panels are the central nerve centers of a home’s wiring and distribution system. Depending on their usage, they typically last 25 to 40 years, but eventually, they will need to be updated or replaced due to age or general wear and tear. Over time, components can become corroded and break down from exposure to extreme temperatures and other elements. Additionally, as technology advances, so do the electrical needs of the home and its appliances, making older panels obsolete.

When an old panel struggles with power demands, it is essential to upgrade or replace it. Signs of trouble include flickering lights and circuit breakers tripping regularly. So if homeowners suspect their electrical panel may be beyond its years, don’t wait too long to get it checked out. An upgrade or replacement will keep the household safe and save homeowners from some severe headaches in the future.

About Trustworthy Electric 

Trustworthy Electric has nearly three decades of experience serving Montgomery and the surrounding areas. They provide upfront pricing, on-time service, and fully stocked trucks. Call them today for electrical panel repair or replacement in Montgomery, AL

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Three Signs of Electrical Panel Repair (and Other Important Tips)

How To Tell if the Home’s Electrical Panel Needs Servicing 

There are countless signs that an electrical panel needs servicing by a professional. While homeowners may be tempted to brush off these signs, the electrical panel could pose a safety hazard if left ignored. Even a small spark could turn into an electrical fire. 

Thankfully, there are three main ways a homeowner can tell if their electrical panel needs servicing. This includes flickering lights, burning smells from the panel, and learning the electrical panel’s age.  

The Home’s Lights Are Flickering 

If someone notices that lights are flickering, they should first try replacing the bulb. If this doesn’t work, they should consider reaching out to a professional. A faulty electrical panel might cause lights to flicker because: 

  • There are loose connections inside the panel: This requires more than just finding the loose connection and tightening it. It means cutting off power to the home and assessing the situation. One may need to replace the connector itself if it’s too old. 
  • A faulty fuse: A fuse might need replacing if the lights in the home are flickering or take too long to turn on. 
  • Oxidation or rust: Electrical panels in older homes will inevitably experience some wear and tear. This could manifest as rusted wires, oxidation, or corrosion-–all of which can interrupt the flow of electricity.

A severe problem might warrant electrical panel replacement. If a replacement is recommended, it shouldn't be put off because doing so could put the home and residents’ safety at risk. 


Burning Smells Coming from the Electrical Panel 

Each wire in an electrical panel is insulated with rubber or another substance, preventing electricity from escaping the wire and causing fires. However, if a wire gets too hot, this could cause the insulation to melt and create a foul-smelling odor. 

Burnt smells can also come from the electrical panel’s breaker. In either case, this requires immediate attention. Excessive heat could damage the electrical system and pose the risk of electrical fires. 

The Electrical Panel Is Old (or Original to an Old Property) 

panelElectrical panels don’t last forever. They generally can last 25 to 40 years with the appropriate conditions and maintenance. Sometimes, an electrical panel won’t last 25 years if it endures above-average wear and tear, which may include: 
  • Frequent power surges 
  • Constantly blown fuses
  • Wires with chronically burnt insulation 
  • Severe weather conditions, such as hurricanes or blizzards
  • Water damage 

Electrical panels can also suffer physical damage if not maintained properly. For instance, if an electrical panel is located in the garage and a ladder falls on top of it, this could cause serious damage. A trained professional can replace electrical panels and recommend measures to ensure the new one lasts for many years to come. 

About Trustworthy Electric

Trustworthy Electric has provided their neighbors in Montgomery, AL, with expert electrical services since 1994. They offer upfront pricing, on-time service, and military discounts. They also have a problem solver guarantee that they will fix the problem that same day or you don’t pay. Call them today for electrical services in Montgomery, AL.

Tips for Handling Electrical Panel Repair Concerns

Do You Need Electrical Panel Repair?

Electrical panels sometimes require service and repair. An electrical panel is an important part of the electrical system in the house, and for the electricity to work properly the electrical panel also needs to be in good shape. In this article, an overview is given on how to know if an electrical panel is in need of repair.

Failing to repair a faulty electrical panel can be hazardous and even result in fire. At-home electrical repairs are never a good idea and can result in dangerous electrocutions. For more information on how to know if an electrical panel needs repair or service, keep reading to find out more about how to spot issues before they get out of hand.

Is It an Old Electrical Panel?

old panelOlder electrical panels will naturally be more prone to problems. If the electrical panel is very old it may be a good idea to have it looked at to make sure that it is safe and everything is running properly.

An upgrade may be recommended for certain older electrical panels to make the house safer or more efficient. At a certain age, an electrical panel will need to be replaced. One of the signs that the panel is getting old is there will be visible signs of aging on the system such as corrosion and rust.

If the system is rusting this is a good indicator that it may be time for a replacement. Rust and corrosion will eventually prevent the electrical panel from working correctly, so it is better to replace it before the problem gets out of control because a faulty electrical panel can lead to house fires.

How to Handle a Burning Smell

If there is a burning smell coming from the electrical panel, the best thing to do is to cut off the electricity and immediately consult a local electrician. A burning smell definitely means that something is wrong, and if the problem is not fixed it will mean that a fire could possibly occur.

burning smell

To prevent the burning smell from the electrical panel make sure that all maintenance and repairs are up to date. If the burning smell continues, it may mean that it is time to replace the whole electrical panel. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the chance of a house fire.

Flickering or Dimming Lights Could Mean Trouble

light bulbsThe electrical panel will control the lights, so if the lights are flickering or dimming for no reason it could be caused by a panel problem. If the lightbulb has been changed many times but it still keeps flickering, it is probably because the problem is with the electrical panel and not with the lightbulb.

To save money, consult an electrician right away. If the lightbulbs are continuously going out more money may be spent replacing them than it would cost to have an expert get the source of the problem.

If any of these issues are noticed, it is important to call an electrician right away. Problems with the electrical panel can end in electrocution or house fire, which is why a trusted electrician should take care of any repairs or maintenance.

About Trustworthy Electric

For electrical panel repairs and more, Trustworthy Electric is here to help. They are proud to provide electrical services in Montgomery, AL. For emergency repairs and installation, they are there to help with expert services that are always on time and reasonably priced.