Get Your Home’s Breaker Panel Ready for the Extra Strain of Holiday Visitors
Many homeowners don’t realize the kind of strain the holidays put on their home’s electric system and breaker panel until it’s too late. But it’s a pretty common issue. The holiday classic Nation Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation even has a running joke about the electrical overload caused by indoor and outdoor decorations and guest’s electronics.
But while electrical accidents are funny in the movies, they're not as funny in real life. So read on to learn all about getting a home’s breaker panel ready for the holidays.
What Exactly Is a Breaker Panel?
A home’s breaker panel is essentially a distribution hub for electricity. Any given home’s electricity needs to be routed from the municipal power source and into the home. The breaker panel divides the electricity up and sends it via wiring to different parts of the home. Most breaker panels are rated for 100 to 200 amps. The larger the home, the more amperage it needs, generally.
Between the breaker and the electric line from the city or electric company (called the service entrance), a meter measures the home’s electricity use. Most breaker panels last a while and don’t need to be replaced often, but sometimes they need to be repaired or upgraded, especially when strained.
Signs Your Breaker Panel Needs Repair
There are some telltale signs that a home’s breaker panel needs a repair or upgrade. Homeowner’s who experience these issues should contact an electrician as soon as possible.
- When the breakers trip often.
- When the panel smells strange (like ozone or burning plastic).
- When the lights in the house flicker.
- If the appliances aren’t operating properly.
- If there’s a black spot anywhere on the circuit panel.
- If the electrical panel radiates warmth.
- If any of the wall outlets have black burn spots.
When Is the Best Time To Replace a Breaker Panel
The absolute best time for homeowners to replace their breaker panel is to notice one or more of the signs above. The breaker panel is designed to keep the home safe from electrical fires and power surges, but it can still be dangerous to put off a repair or replacement. If a home still has a fuse box, or if the panel is past the average lifespan, it’s way past time to replace it with a safer breaker box.
Finally, new appliances, decorations, or additional strains on the system should always accompany a professional diagnosis. Some breaker panels are rated for more amps that the unit is using, so a new breaker can be installed without too much trouble. However, a trained professional should always perform work on the breaker panel. Even if the power to the whole house is shut off at the panel, there’s still electricity coming in from the service entrance, and working with electricity can be dangerous for those untrained to do so.
About Alliance Expert Services
Alliance Expert Services has been serving Oklahoma City, OK since 1990 with pride. They offer superb workmanship and well-trained, punctual technicians. Satisfaction is always guaranteed, and pricing is always competitive and transparent. Contact them today for expert electrical panel services.