Electrical hazards can occur throughout the home. Loose wall outlets, frayed wiring, and missing GFCI protection are a few issues for which homeowners should be on the lookout. Many people rarely, if ever, look at their own breaker panel to see if it needs electrical repair.
That’s a mistake, because the panel is where all your electricity flows through. Besides the hassle of a code violation, you could have a very real fire hazard hiding inside the box. You’ll want to get breaker panel repair or replacement ASAP if you spot any problems here.
Corrosion or Rust on the Breaker Panel
Corrosion poses a shock hazard and may cause sparks or fire. If you see minor rust on the breaker panel housing, ask an electrician to inspect for damage and weatherproof the box. For significant rust or if there’s rust on the breakers themselves, consider a panel replacement.
Burnt Smell or Signs of Overheating
An overheated or burnt breaker panel has been damaged by arcing; a damaged or overworked wire is releasing stray sparks or heat.
If your panel looks melted or blackened from overheating, call a local Santa Rosa electrician immediately. Avoid using any obviously damaged circuits in the meantime and do not attempt to flip breakers or replace anything yourself.
Breakers Trip for No Reason
When a breaker trips, too much power is flowing through the circuit. This is normal if you’ve plugged in some extra appliances and run many of them at once. You just need to relocate an appliance or avoid using several simultaneously. It’s safe to flip the breaker back on after making a change.
However, you should not ignore a breaker that trips mysteriously. If your normal habits have never been a problem but suddenly the breaker trips all the time, something is wrong with the breaker panel or circuit wiring.
Don’t keep flipping a breaker on just because you can’t see a problem. Ask an electrician to troubleshoot at the breaker panel.
Double Tapped Breakers, Wrong Size Breakers, or Messy Wiring
Breakers come in different sizes and some are approved for double tapping (two breakers in one slot). So, your breaker panel might not look especially neat or uniform.
At the same time, you need to be sure that your circuit wiring and breakers are matched in size and that your panel is not overcrowded.
A licensed electrician can help with a breaker panel inspection for several issues:
- Size a circuit wire gauge for the correct amperage
- Look for breakers that are too small for their circuits
- Add arc fault breakers for living spaces (required by code)
- Fix double tapped breakers
- Add a larger panel or a subpanel for more circuit slots
Fuse Box Instead of Circuit Breaker Panel
Blown fuses must be replaced, whereas circuit breakers can be flipped back on. In addition to this convenience, fuse boxes are now all old enough that you need breaker panel replacement for general safety and to have enough circuits and amps for modern needs.
Ask an Electrician for Breaker Panel Repair or Replacement
If it’s time for an electrical inspection or you notice any signs of breaker panel problems, talk to a local electrician in Santa Rosa for advice. Contact us to request an estimate or make an appointment.