Your electrical panel houses the multiple circuit breakers that distribute power through your home. Much like any other system in your home, the electrical panel can begin to show signs of wear and tear over time. But how would you know whether it’s time to upgrade your it?

More often than not, an electrical panel will let you know it needs repair or replacement. Keep an eye out for the following signs that it may be time for an upgrade.

 1. Frequent Breaker Tripping

When the system trips a breaker when too many appliances are plugged in at once is often an indication that the circuit requires more power than it can accommodate. The “tripping” is a safety measure to prevent wires from overheating.

 2. Flickering Lights

If the lights flicker when other appliances are in use, you may have a connection problem with the panel. Similar to a frequently tripping breaker, flickering lights are often a result of overloaded circuits with the panel.

 3. High Utility Bills

If your utility bills seem higher than normal without any changes in usage or electricity costs, it could signify that you need an electrical panel upgrade. Damaged and weak wiring causes more electricity to go to your appliances, leading to an increase in utility costs.

 4. Burning Odor

A burning smell coming from your panel is never a good sign! If a panel gets too hot, it could overload and potentially lead to an electrical fire. If you notice a burning smell from your panel or notice outlets becoming brown and discolored, contact a licensed electrician right away.

 5. Odd Sounds

An electrical panel should be seen and not heard. Crackling, sizzling, and popping sounds can be a sign of loose wires as electricity is trying to jump from one connection to another. This, too, poses a real fire threat.

 6. Rust and Corrosion

Rust or corrosion on wires, cables, circuit breakers, screws, doors, and other parts is one of the most common signs that an electrical panel needs to be replaced.

 7. Your Home Is Older

If your home is over 20 years old, it may be time to upgrade the electrical panel. Older panels range roughly from about 60 to 100 amps, while homes built within the last twenty years or so have an average of 200 amps to account for higher power demands. Have a licensed electrician inspect the panel for loose connections or damaged wiring and see if an upgrade is needed.

At Excel Electric Company, we have the experience and expertise to handle all your electrical needs, including full panel upgrades. Contact us today to schedule a free in-home consultation and proposal.