The electrical panel is one of the most important components of your electrical system. All incoming electricity gets routed into the electrical panel, also referred to as a breaker box or fuse box, where it is then re-routed to the circuits or breakers that supply power to specific parts of your home. Replacing your panel as needed can help you avoid electrical issues. Here are a few of the signs that it may be time to hire an electrician to replace your electrical panel.
Your Electrical Panel is 25 Years or Older
Most experts recommend that you replace your electrical panel if it is 25 years or older. While a panel may last up to 40 years when properly cared for, panels naturally degrade as they are used and when they are exposed to the elements. As such, replacing the panel every 25 years helps to keep your electrical system functional and safe. Most panels have the year the panel was manufactured either next to or below the serial number of the panel.
The Electrical Panel Has Visible Signs of Damage
Your electrical panel should also be replaced if it has visible signs of damage. Some of the most visible signs of damage include rust on the box and around the breakers, large dings or dents on the box, or signs of melted wires in the box. Additionally, if your box is hot to the touch, it may be damaged and should be replaced.
Your Electrical Panel Cannot Support the Electrical Needs of Your Home
Homeowners today use more electricity than homeowners two decades did. You rely on electricity to power appliances and power all of your electronic devices. As such, electrical panels in the past may not have been able to support all of the electricity you may need in your home now. If you have run out of space to add more breakers or circuits, or your lights flicker when you turn on other appliances, your panel may be too small to meet the electrical needs of your home and may need to be replaced and upgraded.
It can be dangerous to attempt to replace an electric panel on your own. You can shock or electrocute yourself and/or you can damage your electric system if you install a new one incorrectly. As such, this is s a job that is best left to an electrician. If you notice one or more of the signs listed above, it is likely time to have your panel replaced. Reach out to an electrician to have your existing panel inspected and replaced if needed.