Why Do Electrical Panels Fail, and What To Do if It Does

The electrical panel is the heart of your home’s electrical system. It distributes power to all the outlets and light fixtures in your house. If it fails, you can be left without power and need to get a professional electrician to fix it. Nobody wants to be left without power, especially if it’s the middle of summer or the dead of winter. For this reason, it’s important to understand the reason behind electrical panel failure and what you can do to prevent it, as well as what to do if it does fail.

At Electrical Connections, we’re proud to offer electrical installations, repairs, and inspections for residents of Mongomery, MD and the surrounding areas. If your electrical panel fails, or you experience some other kind of electrical emergency, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Electrical Connections to request service. Continue reading below to learn about why this might happen and reach out to our team today!

A breaker box on the wall.

What Does the Electrical Panel Do?

Before you can understand why your electrical panel might fail, it’s important to have an understanding of exactly what it does. Most people are familiar with the circuit breaker box in their homes, but did you know that the electrical panel is in the same place? Your electrical panel is the actual panel that connects your home’s electricity to the power lines outside your house. That panel is then connected to the circuit breakers, which control the different areas in your home that use that power. That’s why, when you lose power in a certain area of your home, the first thing to do is check to see if one of the circuits is flipped — the circuits connect to the electrical panel, which then connects to power lines outside!

An electrician working on a breaker box.

Why Do Electrical Panels Fail?

Now that you have a better understanding of what your electrical panel is, it’s time to understand why it might fail. With that in mind, when we say “fail,” we don’t mean that you have to go flip the breaker switch. Electrical panel failure is when your electrical panel stops working and you lose power to your entire home. This can happen if the power lines around your house lose power, but if you find that your home is the only one without power, it could be an indication that you’re experiencing electrical panel failure. This can happen for a number of reasons, including:

  • The wiring in the panel overheats due to an overloaded circuit or too many appliances plugged into one outlet.
  • The ground wire gets disconnected from the grounding rod in your basement.
  • A short circuit occurs because of faulty wiring, faulty appliances, or a rodent chewing on wires.
  • The wires inside the panel are old and brittle

An electrician testing the electrical current.

External Causes of Electrical Panel Failure

When your electrical panel fails, most people look internally to find the cause, such as too many electronics plugged in or a flipped switch. However, there are numerous external factors that could also have an effect on how your electrical panel functions. External factors affect your electrical panel if they somehow interfere with where the panel is connected. This could happen due to natural disasters, damage as the result of a tree branch, or even if your kids were playing too rough and accidentally unplugged it. Another option could be that something fell on your panel and caused damage that then resulted in a loss of power.

An electrician wearing a tool belt and holding cable.

What To Do if Your Electrical Panel Fails?

There are numerous reasons why you may experience electrical panel failure. Regardless, when your power does go out as the result of electrical panel failure, you’re stuck wondering what to do next. Most people don’t like to be without power, especially when you take into consideration how much you rely on it on a daily basis. Luckily, at Electrical Connections, we have a few tips for how you should proceed.

  • First, inspect our electrical panel to see if there is a burning smell, scorch marks, or any other indication that there is damage.
  • If your electrical panel seems fine, open the door to the circuit breaker and try flipping one of the switches.
  • Test an appliance to see if flipping the switch fixed the problem.
  • If flipping the switch didn’t work, reach out to an electrical company, such as Electrical Connections to make an appointment for one of our professionals to come and fix the problem.

An electrician working on a breaker box.

Why Hire Professionals?

While you may be an experienced DIYer, there are some jobs that are best left to the professionals, especially when it comes to dealing with electrical issues. As we stated above, as long as your electrical panel doesn’t look damaged, trying to flip the breaker switches is a great way to troubleshoot the issue. However, if that doesn’t work, it’s best to call our team. The reason for this is because we know how to troubleshoot electrical problems and find the source of the issue. Additionally, we know how to do these things safely. When you try to fix an electrical problem without any experience, it could be a huge safety risk. For this reason, it’s a better idea to let our team of highly trained experts handle the situation and fix the problem in no time!

A close-up image of breaker switches.

Signs Your Electrical Panel Is In Trouble

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could sense there’s a problem before it actually becomes a problem? Luckily, there is! Most people don’t pay much attention to their electrical panels until it’s too late, but if you give your electrical panel a little more attention and look for these signs, it could save you a costly problem or even the loss of your power in the future. Here are some of the most common signs your electrical panel is in trouble:

  • Constant Tripping – You frequently have to flip your circuit breaker switches.
  • Smoking or Burning Smell – It smells like something is burning when you walk past your electrical panel.
  • Your Panel Doesn’t Trip – The electrical panel is supposed to trip when there is too much electricity flowing through it. If it doesn’t, it could indicate a bigger issue.

Reach Out to Electrical Connections!

At Electrical Connections, we are proud to offer a variety of electrical services to homeowners in Montgomery. Whether you’re experiencing some issues with the wiring in your home or suspect there’s a problem with your electrical panel, we are more than happy to lend a hand. Explore our website to learn more about the residential electrical services we offer, and don’t hesitate to reach out to our team to fix your electrical panel failure in the future. We look forward to working with you!

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