Before you undertake any electrical work at home it is important to remember that electricity is dangerous. Twenty people are electrocuted and killed every year in domestic situations. In short, if you have any concerns regarding your ability to work with electricity, it’s safer not to.
You can call a local and reputable level 2 electrician to take care of everything for you.
Deciding Between Repair Or Replacement Of A Breaker Panel
In general, if individual circuit breakers blow you can replace them without replacing the panel. However, you should note that these breakers are designed to last for years. That means, that if a lot of your breakers are tripping regularly, you may need to replace the breaker panel.
The most common signs that it’s time to replace are:
The simple truth is that electrical wiring and associated components have a finite shelf life. You can expect the average wiring and components to last for 25 years. If the electrics in your home are older than this then you may not be looking at just replacing the breaker panel, it could be time to rewire the house.
Regular Breaker Failure
If one breaker keeps tripping and this continues after the breaker has been replaced, you probably have an issue with the wiring on that circuit. It is advisable to get a professional to check.
But, if different breakers keep tripping then you are more likely to have an issue with the breaker panel and need to replace the entire unit.
Another, perhaps obvious, reason to replace the breaker panel is when it has been damaged. A damaged panel means that the wiring won’t be concealed and covered properly. This increases the likelihood of electric shocks and short circuits.
A damaged panel should be replaced as quickly as possible. But, you do need to remember that replacing the panel means shutting off the power to the entire house. If you don’t you are likely to get a nasty electric shock. This is a job best completed by a professional.
If your breaker panel is giving off strange odors, specifically the smell of electrical burning, then it has an issue. You’ll need to identify the breaker that has a problem to decide if it is a breaker issue or a panel problem.
The best way to do this is to shut the power off to the panel and check each breaker to see if they’re warm, appear scorched, or simply smell. It’s time-consuming but essential for the safety of your home.
White Chalky Substance
If you see signs of white chalk on the breaker panel then it is likely that the panel has suffered from water damage. This could be a serious issue as water is very good at conducting electricity and will increase the likelihood of electric shocks and short-circuits. It will need to be checked and is likely to need replacing.
Don’t forget that older breaker panels may not be able to keep up with modern demands. If your panel isn’t rated for the supply you need, change it.