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Electrical Panel Replacement: Why & When It’s Needed

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Electrical Panel Replacement: Why & When It's Needed

Maximizing your indoor comfort with new state-of-the-art appliances and equipment improves your living environment. However, if upgrades are made without respect to your electrical system, your home's electrical panel may be a hazard, and you may need to consider an electrical panel replacement.

According to the NFPA, electrical failures were the second leading cause of electrical home fires between 2015 to 2019, accounting for 13% of home structure fires. Determining if and when you need an electrical panel replacement is crucial for your comfort, health, and safety.

That's why, in this article, our team of Atlanta electricians will explore why and when an electrical panel replacement is needed, including the purpose of your breaker, signs you need a replacement, and what to consider when it's serviced.

Overview of the Circuit Breaker Panel

You may be aware of your home's electrical panel box. This is the central control system for managing the electrical operations within your home. Lighting, appliances, and washer/dryer machines are all connected to your electrical panels. Within the electrical panel, there is a circuit breaker panel.

circuit breaker is important in the electrical setup of your home, as it interrupts the flow of current if a short circuit or overload on the circuit occurs. Typically, if the electrical system in your home is inspected and maintained correctly, your lighting and appliances operate as usual.

But, sometimes, your circuit breaker experiences tripping and requires you to visit the electrical panel to reset the breaker.
If this issue is recurring, this is not normal, and replacement of your electrical panel may be necessary.

It's important you take the signs of a faulty circuit breaker into account.

Warning Signs for Electrical Panel Replacement

There are some telltale signs of when your home has a faulty circuit breaker. Some of the warning signs include the following:

- Burning or fishy odor
One of the most common and severe signs is the smell of burning or fishy odors. Typically, wires and circuit breakers are made with heat-resistant chemicals.

If they overheat, the chemicals found in the materials produce an odor that smells like one of these two smells: burning or fish.

Abnormal smells of any kind should not be overlooked, as this could be a serious problem that requires the inspection and help of a trained and licensed electrician to properly identify the source and rectify this possible dangerous situation.

- Circuit breaker trips constantly, even after reset
If a circuit breaker continues to trip, this is a sign of an overloaded circuit. The power demand on the circuit is too great, and the circuit breaker detected an excessive amount of current in the circuit.

This often happens when there are too many devices or appliances plugged into a circuit, and the breaker interrupts the current in the channel. It's also important to note that dated electrical wiring and modern appliances do not go well together.

If you've recently added one or more new appliances, it may need a dedicated circuit of its own.

- Circuit breaker is hot to the touch

There are various reasons for why a circuit breaker can be hot to the touch.

One of the main reasons include a bad breaker, which, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the typical lifespan of an electrical breaker is around 40 years. Wires can become frayed at the panel box, as the insulation was either not properly installed or of old age.

Old panels can also experience flickering lights or require frequent needs to replace light bulbs. If you're experiencing similar issues, then you should get in contact with our team of electrical contractors at
Estes Services, as there may be faulty wiring in your home.

- Visible signs of wire damage

If you have any visible signs of damage, including wire damage or burned or metal frayed wires, it's time to call for a professional electrician.

- Buzzing, hissing, or popping noises from the breakers

Finally, any abnormal noises coming from your breakers, such as buzzing, hissing, or popping, are not normal, and you should have an electrical inspection performed by a professional.

If you think you have any of the signs listed above or another sign not listed that seems abnormal, you need to hire an Atlanta electrician to review your electrical panel. If you are unsure and think you may need immediate assistance with the electrical system at your home, do not wait and schedule service with our Atlanta electricians now.