Electrical panels, a significant part of any electrical system, can shut off the power to your house in an emergency and also control how electricity flows throughout your home.
But what if your circuit breaker panelboard isn’t working correctly? How do you go about these electrical repairs?
Many things can happen to make an electrical panel hazardous. For example, a faulty breaker or fuse can cause sparks or smoke, and loose connections could result in arcing or fire. A licensed electrician in Arvada can address these problems immediately and determine what needs to be done to ensure that your home is safe.
The risks associated with an unsafe electrical panel are too great for homeowners to ignore. If you think your electrical system has become dangerous due to age or wear and tear, contact an electrician immediately.
Ways to Know If Your Electrical Board is Protected
An unprotected electrical board can be hazardous for you and your family because it does not offer any protection from electricity leakages or surges. If you have such a board in your home, it is best that you arrange for a panel replacement right away.
Here are some tips on how to tell if your electrical board is protected or not:
Check for Labels
If you see a label on an electrical board, it means the panel has been tested and approved by an independent agency. There are also labels that indicate if the board has been tested and approved by Underwriter Laboratories (UL), NEC, or International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). These labels assure that the product meets specific safety standards. If your electrical board doesn’t have any of these labels, it means they are unprotected and can break down at any moment.
Crackling Noises from the Breaker Box
If you hear a crackling noise coming from the breaker box, this is an indication that there is a problem with the electrical panels. A crackling noise occurs when there is a short circuit or overload on one of your breakers and can mean that too many appliances are plugged into the circuit, putting undue strain on the breaker box. If this happens, then it is time to call a licensed electrician for circuit panel replacement. You should never attempt to fix this yourself as this can cause further issues such as an electrical fire or shock if not done correctly.
Frequently Tripping Breakers
This is probably the most common sign that an electrical board is not protected. If your circuit frequently trips, it could mean that something is wrong with the electrics or the breaker’s control board. One of the most common causes for frequent tripping is loose connections in the wires or at the breakers themselves. Another cause is a shortage in your wiring, which could be caused by faulty equipment, such as a faulty appliance or light fixture. It’s important to have an electrician inspect your electrical board if you notice frequent tripping.
Burning Plastic Smells from Electrical Panels
The smell of burning plastic from your electrical panels can also indicate that you have a problem. Plastic smells are typically caused by overheating in appliances like ovens or refrigerators. If you notice such a smell coming from your home’s electrical panels, it would be best to get someone to assess the situation as soon as possible.
Rust on the Panel Box
Rust on the panel box could mean moisture penetrating it and compromising its integrity. Moisture can cause rust, which can lead to short-circuiting and fires and can increase the risk of shock if touched by bare hands or any metallic object such as a screwdriver or wrench.
This is risky since it can ignite fires unexpectedly. The best way to prevent this is by hiring a professional electrician to inspect and install a waterproof cover over your panel box.
Electric Shocks When You Touch Socket outlets
There are serious risks at hand if there is no protection on your electrical board. One of them could be that there is no grounding wire when you touch socket outlets in your home. When this happens, you might get electric shocks when touching socket outlets because they do not have any grounding wire attached to them.
Such electrical repairs need immediate attention for the safety of those in your home, including those of your pets.
Pest Damage on the Panel Box
If you see any signs of pest damage or infestation, including rodent droppings or chew marks, having an electrician inspect your electrical board is a good idea. Rodents can cause irreversible damage to electrical systems by chewing through power lines and causing short circuits. If they get inside your electrical box, they can also cause it to overheat, which will cause more damage.
If you suspect pests are causing problems with your electrical board, schedule an appointment with an electrical contractor for a thorough inspection.
If you notice any of the above issues, call an electrician. But if you see none of the above and see all wiring is intact, you can rest assured that you have a protected electrical board as long as you see the safety tags. However, even if you are assured of the protection, it is best to schedule maintenance checks with licensed electricians to ensure your premises are still safe. Similarly, you may not have heard any red alerts from your panel box, but if you use outdated panel boxes such as the Zinsco and the Federal Pacific Panels, you should also schedule their replacement. Such old-school circuit boxes don’t meet the necessary wiring standards that can protect your home in case of a fault.