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Common Signs That Your Home's Electrical Panel Needs Repair

Does Your Electrical Panel Need Help?

Most homeowners don’t know a lot about their electrical system - unless there’s a problem. While you might think about your lights switches and electrical outlets, there’s another component that plays a major role in your home’s functionality. The electrical panel is essentially the main hub for all the electrical connections in your home.

It connects directly to the city power grid and is then responsible for distributing electricity throughout the various sections of your home. Lighting, appliances, outlets, and light switches all get their power from the electrical panel. Because of this, any damage can quickly leave your home in chaos. This article will cover some of the more common signs of an issue with your electrical panel, and what you can do to get it fixed.

An Older Panel Can Cause Problems

On average, an electrical panel can last over 30 years with proper care and maintenance. In most modern homes, an electrical panel will have circuit breakers that are used to protect appliances from surges and power spikes. If you’re still using fuses in your home, this system is outdated and should likely get replaced.

old panelThere are plenty of signs that you can benefit from an electrical panel upgrade, including:

  • Poor performance from your appliances
  • Higher than usual energy costs
  • Power outages
  • Flickering lights
  • Outlets with no power
  • Rust buildup

While some of these electrical panel problems can be solved with a repair, once your system is on the older side, an upgrade is a better option. It can improve performance in your home, and also allow you to install additional electronics without worrying about overloading your system.

Burning Smells Are Never a Good Thing

When it comes to electrical repair issues, one of the most common signals of trouble is a burning smell. Generally, this is caused by one of two things, exposed or damaged wires or a bad circuit breaker. As your panel and the electrical connections inside age, they can easily deteriorate or fray. An exposed wire will not be grounded properly and van overload when power is sent through it. This can lead to melted components or burned insulation, which will both cause that burning odor.

burning smell

Similarly, a bad circuit can be the cause of the problem. A circuit is supposed to trip anytime there is an overload in the system. If it doesn’t, it will remain open, and allow electricity to flow through. This can cause that burning smell inside your panel. Anytime you have a burning smell in your home, it’s critical to call an electrician right away. Fires caused by damaged electrical components are some of the most common causes of total losses throughout the country.

Don’t Ignore Flickering Lights

light bulbsA common symptom of an aging electrical panel is flickering lights. More often than not, you’ll replace lightbulbs, but in reality, that isn’t the solution to your problem. Generally, flickering lights are caused by intermittent electrical flow - meaning the electricity turns on and off instead of remaining at a steady flow.

This might happen when you use another appliance in your home at the same time or could be caused by a faulty socket.

No matter what the cause of the problem, it’s extremely important to work with an experienced electrician. Not only can an electrical repair put your in harm’s way, but if not done properly, can lead to future issues like sparks or fires.

About Electrical Connections LLC

Electrical Connections LLC has been serving homeowners in and around the Gaithersburg, MD area for over 35 years. They offer 24-hour emergency electrical services and are committed to completing any and all repairs to the highest standard possible. Put your trust in their expert electrical contractors.