Is Your Breaker Box Out of Date?
The electronics you’ve added to your household in recent years may be high technology, but is your home’s aging breaker box out of date? It may belong to a low tech era. If your house is more than 25 years old, chances are it’s still equipped with a main electrical service panel and circuit breakers that aren’t adequate for the electrical demands of today.
Breaker Box Out of Date? The Signs…Upgrading the breaker box doesn’t mean you have to rewire the entire house. Breaker boxes are a separate component installed and readily replaced without the expense of changing existing wiring. But, how do you know if the breaker box in your home may be out of date? Here are some scenarios that can help you decide:
- Circuit breakers trip often without any known cause. This could be a safety issue in addition to an inconvenience and should be brought to the attention of a qualified electrician immediately.
- After circuit breakers trip, they will not remain reset for long. If a reset breaker simply trips again in a few moments and there’s no short or other malfunction on the circuit, this is another sign that the panel itself may be defective and requires upgrade.
- You need to unplug or turn off certain appliances in order to turn on others or you may trip a circuit breaker. A properly sized breaker box should be able to accommodate all electrical demands in the house at all times, plus offer some reserve capacity for future demands.
- Burning odors or smell of hot wiring around the breaker box. If you smell an acrid, burning odor from the panel and/or notice that circuit breakers are hot to the touch, call an electrician immediately. Faulty outdated service panels are implicated in more than 2,000 house fires a year.
- You have plans to remodel or add extra rooms in the future. Adding additional load to an already outdated breaker panel is a guarantee of future electrical problems. Make upgrading the panel part of your renovation project.