The breaker or electric panel is the component that divides your power into various circuits. It also houses circuit breakers that cut off electricity when there is a fault in any of the circuits. Due to its typical location in the garage, hallway or basement, the electric panel is usually neglected when it comes to electrical repairs and upgrades. However, it plays an essential role in promoting electrical safety in your home. That's why you need to always be on the lookout for the following signs which indicate that it may be time to upgrade the breaker panel.
Tripping circuit breakers
Circuit breakers are tasked with the role of cutting power from a specific circuit when there is a fault or an irregular flow. For example, if you plug in an appliance that pulls more power than what the circuit can handle, the breaker will trip to prevent overheating in the outlet. Now, if one or more of your circuit breakers keep on tripping, there could be a problem with the electrical components. Do not attempt to reset breakers that trip often without finding the source of the problem. If your home is drawing more voltage than your circuits can handle, it may be time to get an electric panel upgrade.
Warm switches and outlets
Electrical fixtures such as outlets, switches and wiring should not be hot or warm to the touch. The only electrical components that should be a little warm to the touch are dimmer switches. If you touch your outlet or switch and find it warm, there could be a problem with the circuit. In most cases, this occurs when electrical current flows in a way it shouldn't. As a result, it emits heat, which is felt on the switch or outlet. Contact an electrician if you notice hot spots, as they may be an indication of a problem in your circuits.
When there is a power problem in your area, it may be normal to notice lights flickering. However, if multiple bulbs start to flicker randomly, you may have a big problem on your hands. This is usually a sign that there is a short circuit in your home. Short circuits result in excess current flow, and they can cause damage to appliances. In serious cases, short circuits can also lead to electrical fires. Locating the faulty circuit is a difficult task that should be left to a professional.
Don't attempt any DIY repairs if you notice these problems. Your electrician will inspect your electrical system and recommend electrical repairs or a breaker panel upgrade.