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When You Should Call An Electrical Contractor To Check, Repair, Or Replace Your Electrical Panel

by Feride Halma

If you're having problems with an appliance in your home such as an air conditioner or stove that doesn't seem to have enough power or that trips a circuit breaker frequently, the problem may be in the electrical panel. You may need to call in an electrical contractor to determine the cause of the problem, and it would be good to do so without delay since operating an appliance with power issues could cause damage to the appliance or even be a fire hazard. Here are signs that an electrical panel could be bad and you need to have yours repaired or replaced.

If A Circuit Flips Off Frequently

If an appliance trips a circuit breaker often, the problem might be a short in the appliance or the circuit might be overloaded. If you can rule out those problems, then you should suspect trouble with the circuit panel. One thing you don't want to do is keep flipping the circuit back on if it just flips back off. That could create a fire hazard. Instead, leave the circuit breaker off and call an electrician.

If You Hear Buzzing Or Smell Burning

If the electrical panel has a short or some other problem, such as being overloaded, you may hear a buzzing sound coming from the panel. You might even smell a burning odor. It's even possible to see burn marks inside the electrical panel from where flames shot out. These are all serious signs that need quick help from an electrician. Reduce your load on the electrical panel if possible by turning off lights, electronics, and appliances you don't need and call an electrician. The problem might even require an emergency service call just to ensure your home isn't at risk of a fire.

When Problems Begin After A Lightning Strike

If you notice problems with your electricity, such as flickering lights, dead outlets, or tripping breakers after a big storm with a lot of lighting, you may want to have your system checked by an electrician. You should definitely call for help if there are physical signs of damage to your electrical panel or wiring in your home. Lightning can do a lot of damage to an electrical panel and your home's electrical system under the right conditions, so it's good to have things checked if you notice malfunctions after a storm.

An electrical panel can need repairs because of damage, but it's also possible for a panel to just wear out due to age. When that happens, you'll probably want your electrician to upgrade the panel when it's replaced so you'll have a more modern system that can handle more demand for power. Working with an electrical panel is dangerous work, and other than flipping a breaker back on after it's been tripped, you shouldn't try to make repairs on your own. Instead, bring in an electrical contractor to fix your panel when it's malfunctioning so you can use your appliances and electronics without fear of damage or fire.