When an electrical panel is overloaded, or supplying a higher amount of current than it is rated for, it can cause damage to sensitive devices like computers or refrigerators, or it can lead to an increased risk of fire or electrocution. To keep your home and your family safe, you should be aware of the common signs that indicate an electrical panel is overloaded and seek professional assistance if you cannot easily correct the problem.
One of the most common indications of an overloaded electrical panel is breakers that trip frequently. While it is common to trip a beaker occasionally, if one or more breakers trip often, even after moving devices to other circuits, it may be time to add additional circuits or to upgrade your service panel. An overloaded panel can also cause less noticeable power problems like flickering lights, power surges, frequent light-bulb failures, or suboptimal performance of certain appliances.
Overheated Breakers and Wiring
Excessive amounts of current can cause the breakers, wiring and other components in your electrical panel to overheat, creating a fire hazard. During normal operation, these components may feel slightly warm, but if they become hot to the touch or show signs of melting or burning, there may be a serious overload and your system should be professionally inspected. Additionally, if you notice any electrical wires with cracked or frayed insulation, this may also indicate overheating problems.
Buzzing or Sparking
If you hear a buzzing sound or see sparks near the service panel, this indicates a major electrical problem. Overloaded circuits can damage breakers, connections and wiring, leading to arcing that creates sparks or buzzing noises, as well as a very serious risk of fire. Buzzing sounds can also be created by worn contacts, failing breakers, or excessive vibration. If sparking or buzzing is present, a professional should be called immediately.
If you have concerns about your electrical panel or the rest of your system, contact our team of qualified electricians at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing to schedule an evaluation today. We have been serving the Greater Cincinnati area since 1910.