The need for electricity continues to climb. In today’s households, there are dozens of appliances, electronics, televisions, HVAC systems, and more demanding more power. Can your current electric panel handle this load? Or is it time for an upgrade?
How Does an Electrical Panel Work?
You have a mainline connecting your home to the power grid. That line attaches to your power meter. After passing through the power meter, the electricity feeds directly to your electrical panel.
It’s often installed in a utility room, garage, basement, or closet. (Make sure you know where yours is at.) In most cases, it’s painted a shade of gray.
Open up the door on the front of the panel and you will see vertical rows of switches. These are circuit breakers. They regulate the electricity that flows to different parts of the house. Some are single. Others may be connected as doubles or triples. The larger circuit breakers are for high-power systems/appliances like your heating, cooling, stove, and dryer.
If you look at the inside of the door, you should see a map of the circuit layout. Each circuit should be labeled for what it controls. You may see a label for “kitchen outlets” or “dryer”. If there are no labels, get an Orlando electrician in to map it for you.
Up at the top of the panel is a big switch. It’s the main circuit breaker that allows you to turn off power to the entire house.
Is Your Electrical Panel Healthy?
A healthy electrical panel does its job without any issues. An unhealthy one will start to malfunction.
The most common symptom is an overloaded circuit. Plugin the toaster and the breaker trips. You get flickering lights. Have to unplug one thing to plug another in.
Electrical panels can malfunction on their own. The circuit breaker may fail to trip and someone gets shocked. Breakers are tripping for no apparent reason. If the worst happens, the breaker can fail to trip and the entire panel catches on fire.
Time for a Checkup
If your electrical panel is more than 25 years old or showing signs of malfunction, it’s time for a checkup. Look for these signs:
- The panel emits crackling sounds
- Circuit breakers have rust or corrosion
- Inside of the panel feels warm
- Appliances are not running at full power
- Outlets near sinks, tubs, and washers are not GFCI protected
- Extension cords are common throughout your home
- Electric service is 100 amps or below
- The panel has fuse box instead of circuit breakers
- The panel has no main breaker
All of these are potential signs that you need to upgrade your electrical panel. In some cases, it may be possible to make repairs instead of replacement. The only way to tell is to have a licensed Orlando electrician assess the situation.
If you suspect that your electrical panel is having problems, call Adonai Electric right away. We can assess the panel and recommend the best course of action. Let’s get to work today!