Every homeowner has been there. You’re in your house when all of a sudden the lights go out. Maybe the power went out for the whole street, or maybe it’s just your house and all you need to do is reset the circuit breaker.
Resetting your breaker can be normal every once in a while, but if you find yourself having to reset it every week, it may be time for a new circuit or panel. Keep reading to learn more about how electrical panels work and if you need to replace yours.
What is a Circuit Breaker?
A circuit breaker is a device used to cut off electricity whenever there is too much current for a circuit to handle.
Your house gets electricity from the power company through power lines, but sometimes there are problems that lead to too much current coming from the power lines. We call these power surges.
If too much current reaches your appliances and light fixtures, they could stop working, become damaged, or even catch on fire. To prevent this, we use circuit breakers or sometimes fuses to stop the flow of electricity.
Every home that is connected to the power grid will have an electrical panel. The panel directs electricity from power lines into your home and contains circuits breakers.
Sometimes, however, panels get old or are defective and need to be replaced.
Do You Need a New Panel?
When circuit breakers in an electrical panel start to wear out, they will trip more often than they should. They cut off the electricity even though your house is receiving a normal amount of current.
If you notice that you’re having to reset the circuit breakers more often than usual, it could be a sign that you’ll need to install new circuits.
Another good indication that your panel has gone bad is if the circuit breaker won’t reset. If you try to reset the breaker, but it immediately gets tripped again, it is probably time to replace your panel.
If you keep needing to reset the breaker, something to look for is signs of an electrical fire. Sometimes the wires inside the electrical panel go bad and catch fire.
It is important to notice the signs of an electrical fire because it could mean other wires in your house are compromised as well, so another fire could start.
If you notice a burning smell near your panel or black char marks near the breakers, it is important to call an electrician as soon as possible to look at the wiring in your house.
What Should You Do?
If you think you need to replace your electrical panel, you may be tempted to try replacing it yourself. While this is a possibility, you should always use extreme caution when dealing with electrical parts.
Since the electricity going into your panel comes straight from the power lines, there is always a chance of electrocution. The safest way to replace your panel is to call an electrician to do it properly.
Whether your electrical needs are residential, commercial, or industrial, there is an electrician service that is right for you.
Now that you know how panels and circuit breakers work, if you think you need a new one, feel free to contact us for help with your problem. If you enjoyed this article, please share or check out some of our other articles!