The beginning of a new year is a time when homeowners start to make plans about changes and various improvements they want to make to their house. Sometimes the electrical system slips people’s minds because it is easy to take for granted that it will always work. But an aging electrical system can become unreliable… and possibly even dangerous.
We’ll take the example of one of the key components in any home electrical system, the electrical panel (a.k.a. the circuit breaker box). This is the part of the electrical system that divides the incoming current into its various circuits. It also protects the circuits from overloads by flipping breakers. Electrical panels won’t last forever, and this year might be when you need to have yours replaced.
Are you still using a fuse box?
If you live in an older home (pre-1950), it may still use a fuse box rather than circuit breakers. Fuses are designed to burn out if too much voltage moves through them, and they must be replaced when they burn out. This is an outdated type of electrical panel: standard fuses can no longer handle the electrical demands of modern homes, and putting in larger and larger fuses creates a serious fire hazard. Have the fuse box replaced at the first possible moment.
Signs of an Aging Electrical Panel
If you have a regular circuit breaker electrical panel, it might still need an upgrade. Check if there are black scorch marks on it, which show where small electrical fires have occurred. If circuits are tripping on a regular basis, and not because of only a single appliance, it can warn that the current electrical panel can no longer handle the home’s voltage demands.
Please don’t make any attempt to investigate or tamper with the electrical panel yourself if you suspect something is wrong with it. Only professional electricians can do the work.