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Serving the South Puget Sound and Western Washington Areas Since 1976

Serving the South Puget Sound and Southwest Washington Areas Since 1976

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Sunset Air Blog

Signs That Your Home Needs an Electrical Panel Upgrade


The electrical panel, also called the circuit breaker panel, is responsible for keeping your home’s entire electrical system running smoothly and safely. You probably don’t think much about your electrical panel, unless you have to constantly reset breakers—which is one of the signs that your home needs an electrical panel upgrade, which we’ll cover below!

If you’ve lived in your home for a few decades and have never had an electrical inspection, then this blog post is for you. Older service panels require care and attention to ensure they’re not operating in a way that’s a threat to your home or your family’s safety. If you do discover you have an urgent electrical service need, we’re the team to call! But we’d like to help you avoid electrical problems altogether, and so we have these signs to share with you:

Your Circuit Breakers are Constantly Tripping

When your electrical panel reaches a certain age, it starts to become more susceptible to damage from power surges through the wires, and as a consequence will begin disconnecting circuits more often. This is because it simply cannot handle the amount of electricity going through it. Many homeowners believe power surges are only caused by storms, but they are actually caused by large appliances (like your HVAC systems) cycling on and overloading the system.

If you find yourself resetting breakers a few times a week, when in the past you’ve rarely had to reset them more than a few times a year, then this is a warning that the panel needs to be upgraded.

You See Evidence of Electrical Fires

Wires and circuits that wear down can create small electrical fires inside your electrical panel. They quickly burn themselves out in most cases, however, you can still detect the signs that they’ve happened.

If you smell an acrid odor coming from the panel or see charring and discolored markings around the circuit breakers, an electrical fire has probably occurred. Electrical panels were designed in such a way to shut off circuits if this happens, but continually allowing it to happen puts yourself and your family at risk. Therefore, if you notice this indicator, it’s time to give us a call for an electrical upgrade.

Breakers Won’t Remain Reset

We mentioned constantly tripping circuit breakers above, but what about that single breaker that won’t remain reset? If you’ve discovered a particular circuit breaker that won’t stay reset, or resetting it doesn’t restore power right away, then that breaker is overloaded.

You may be able to move around some of the appliances in your home to redistribute the electrical use of the panel, but if you don’t have the ability to do this or this doesn’t resolve the problem, you definitely need to consider an upgrade.

Are You Still Using a Fuse Box?

Fuse boxes were the standard in homes about 40-50 years ago. Before electrical panels came on the scene, fuses were used to supply power to the household. Fuses would burn out and need to be replaced on occasion.

If your home is still using a fuse box, we have some news—these are very outdated and simply cannot keep up with the demand of today’s modern appliances and electrical equipment. Please give us a call right away so we can talk about your electrical panel options.

Contact Sunset Air today for electrical services in Olympia, WA.

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