Electrical panels (not circuit breakers) have their limitations. You can only route so much power through them before they’re over capacity, and that’s not good. When it nears its limits or exceeds them, there are some clear warning signs you need to know how to identify.
It may be time for an electrical panel upgrade in Philadelphia, PA, but before you jump to that, let’s talk about the signs and warning shots your house sends your way. If they sound familiar, you need an upgrade.
Heat is a byproduct of electricity (more or less). If you’ve ever touched the charging brick for your phone and thought it felt hot, you’re right–that’s what happens with a lot of current passing through a wire.
Thankfully, the wiring in your home is built a lot stronger than the charger for your phone. It’s meant to handle up to a certain voltage, but when the current exceeds that voltage, it can leave black scorch marks on the outside of your outlet covers.
This could be a sign that your panel is enduring too much stress. Your panel has massive amounts of power running through it, so when it decides how much to send to a wire that hooks up to your 110V power outlet, it uses a resistor to limit the amount of electricity that flows. An overloaded panel may not enact that resistor, and instead send too much power to the outlet, causing problems like scorch marks.
Your Last House Rewiring Was… When, Exactly?
You don’t know. You don’t have documentation for your home’s last rewiring, or you moved into an old home that clearly needs some work. If the home wasn’t taken care of properly, how likely is it that the previous owner stayed up-to-date on their rewiring?
If the house is old and there’s no documentation about the last rewiring, assume the worst and hire a licensed electrician to inspect your electrical panel. It may already be overloaded, and if you plan on making renovations, it might not be up to the task. You don’t want to find that out the hard way mid-reno.
Burning Smells in the Air
You don’t smoke, the stove’s off, and there’s no candles in the kitchen–so what’s the burning smell? It’s the plastic casing on the outside of your wiring.
The wiring in your home is being overloaded because the panel can’t keep up with demand. When that happens, your wiring can overheat and produce a burning smell, but that smell can also come from the panel itself. It’s an uncommon problem, but a serious one.
Time for a Major Upgrade
Your electrical panel needs an upgrade, and while you’re at it, it’s important to check on your home’s wiring as well. Power demand from your appliances might be going down over time as they improve their efficiency, but our dependence on electricity as a whole has gone up. You need an electrical panel that’s up to every single task.
Contact Synergy3 today to schedule your electrical panel upgrade as soon as possible.