Electrical control panels are something you rarely think about. Sure, every now and then a circuit breaker trips, and you must reset it. But generally, they just sit in your basement and silently make sure all of your electrical appliances, electronics, fixtures, etc. turn on and off when they need to.
And while control panels can last for decades, they don’t last forever, especially considering the demands we put on these systems such as electric vehicle chargers, working from home and new technology. Here are some signs you may need a new control panel. We start with safety issues.
- Burning smell. If there is a burning smell coming from your panel or your outlets, that could signal that your panel is becoming a fire hazard and should be checked out and probably replaced immediately.
- Panel is warm or hot. This is another safety issue. A panel that is warm or hot to the touch should be inspected immediately.
- Blackened or burned spots. These spots come from an overheated panel, whether they feel warm to the touch or not.
- Overheating appliances. A faulty electrical panel is one reason your appliances may overheat. If one appliance overheats, it could be the appliance or the outlet. But if numerous appliances overheat, that could signal a problem with the panel.
- You aren’t sure how old the panel is. If you move into a home that is 30 years old or older, you need to make sure the panel is in good shape. Actually, you should determine that even before you buy the house.
- Frequent tripping. If breakers are constantly tripping, that could mean the panel does not have the capacity to allow for adequate electrical flow and needs to be replaced.
- Not enough outlets. If you do not have enough outlets in your house, you will need to add outlets. But if the control panel does not have the capacity to add new circuits, the panel will need to be replaced.
- Flickering lights. If your lights dim or flicker when you plug in an appliance, that might mean the electrical panel cannot provide sufficient power and should be replaced.
- New appliances. When you purchase a new appliance, it may require more electricity than the one it replaced. Check to make sure your control panel can handle it.
- Rust. Rust may indicate there is water damage to your control panel, and it should be checked out (also have a plumber determine where the water came from).
- Strange sounds. If you hear buzzing or hissing sounds from your control panel, it could indicate a bad wire or loose connection. This could eventually damage your electrical panel.
- Electrical shock. Getting an electrical shock usually signals incorrect grounding, but it could also be due to an outdated electrical panel. You should check it out.
Contact Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric about Replacing Your Electric Control Panel
Ravinia Plumbing’s expert electricians can help determine whether you need a new electrical control panel and, if you do, can select and install it. We’ve been in business since 1928, and we’ve made a name for ourselves as one of the most trusted and reliable plumbing, sewer, heating and air conditioning, and electrical companies in Chicagoland. Contact Ravinia Plumbing today to schedule an appointment.