Your electrical panel is the heart of your home; it supplies the power to every electrical device in your house and protects the wiring in your walls from catching fire. This important piece of equipment is often ignored unless a problem arises, a breaker trips, and you make that trip to your garage or basement to turn it back on. But, this is a good thing. It stopped a potential fire or damage to one of your devices. The real hidden danger is when they don’t trip. From inconveniences to safety risks, I will explain when and why an upgrade should be done.
When electrical panels are maxed out with no more open spaces for circuit breakers people often install “twin” breakers to increase space. Not all panels accept this solution. If the panel manufacturer doesn’t allow tandem breakers, the electrical components may be overdrawn and melt or catch fire. Another problem exhibited by full panels is the obvious one; adding that hot tub or air conditioning will not be a possibility or it will carry the larger expense of increasing your panel size at the same time.
Certain types of older style panels can be dangerous. Federal Pacific panels were installed in a lot of houses and businesses the 70’s. These breakers were tested later on, and whether it was over current or a dead short, they were found to not trip. Instead, they would heat up until they caught on fire. Push-matic breakers are another style that I’ve experienced these same problems in.
Colored breakers have given people problems as well; if your 15 amp breakers are blue and 20 amp breakers are red, they are old Murray breakers. I have seen these get loose, trip for no apparent reason and fail to trip. I have seen the main breaker of these panels melt as well.
Fuse Boxes are outdated and inconvenient; stop living in the Stone Age. Electricity is a modern wonder. Being tied to archaic methods of overcurrent protections is a waste of time and money. Fuses aren’t cheap and especially if you don’t have a spare fuse on hand,being without power isn’t fun. There aren’t many fuse panels left, but if you have one its time to upgrade.
Water Damage is a very important reason to upgrade; as this is the cause of a lot of electrical fires. Water and electric do not mix well, especially on your main bus bar. Black or brown stains or white powder on your wires are signs of water damage. Not only does this cause oxidation and rust to key components of your equipment and needs replacement, but the underlying water problem needs to be solved.
Now go in your basement, garage, kitchen or wherever your electrical panel is and take a look at what you have. If anything looks like the above pictures callZP Electricat(631) 880-0822and we will upgrade your electrical service the right way, with a quality product so you don’t have to worry.