Circuit Breaker Panel Basics: Signs Of Serious Problems
As a homeowner, recognizing and dealing with electrical problems is important. Your home's electrical grid is a vital part of its infrastructure, but it's also a potential safety hazard. When it comes to dealing with your home's electrical circuit, one of the most important components is the circuit breaker panel. Here's what your electrician wants you to know about signs that your breaker panel needs attention.
Is Your Breaker Panel Beyond Capacity?
One of the first indications that your home's breaker panel needs an electrician's attention is if the panel is at or beyond its capacity. Take a look at your breaker panel and examine how many wires are connected to each circuit breaker.
If all of the circuit breakers are full, that means that there's no room for expansion within the panel. As your electricity demand grows, your breaker panel isn't equipped to grow with it. Additionally, if there are any breakers with more than one wire connected, you have double-tapped breakers. This is a violation of the electrical wiring code in most places, and it is unsafe.
If your breaker panel is full or has any double-tapped breakers, you should call an electrician right away.
Is Your Breaker Panel Overworked?
If the breaker panel in your home was installed more than 20 or 30 years ago, it wasn't designed for the electrical demand now standard in homes. As a result, it may be trying to process far more electrical current than it is capable of handling. Fortunately, you'll know if your circuit breaker panel is being overworked by feeling the wall around the breaker panel. If there's any heat in the wall around the breaker panel, that's a key indication that your breaker panel is trying to process an electrical load beyond its capacity.
You might also notice that you experience frequent breakers tripping. If you have one, or a few, breakers tripping on a regular basis, that's a warning that your circuit breaker panel is overworked and can't handle the demand that's placed on it.
Is There Any Sound Coming From Your Breaker Panel?
If you stand near your breaker panel, you shouldn't hear any sound coming from it. However, if you do hear sound from your breaker panel, it should be an indication that there's a problem that your electrician needs to address.
Any kind of crackling, popping, or humming from your home's circuit breaker panel indicates an overload that's approaching an electrical failure. You should reach out to an electrician immediately to protect the integrity of your home's electrical circuit. Contact an electrician for more information.