Electrical Panel Underpowered
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Is Your Electrical Panel Underpowered? Here’s What To Look For

March 3, 2024

The electrical panel is an important part of your home, since it distributes power to all the circuits. That ensures you can turn on your lights and use your appliances, along with charging your devices. As homes get older and electrical demands go up, though, outdated panels might have trouble keeping up with everything you want them to do. Recognizing the signs of an underpowered electrical panel is important for safety, efficiency, and convenience. Here’s what to look for.

Tripping Circuit Breakers

One of the most common signs that your electrical panel is underpowered is frequent circuit breaker trips. Circuit breakers are designed to trip when they detect an overload or short circuit, cutting off power to prevent damage to your home’s wiring or electrical appliances. If you find yourself constantly resetting tripped breakers, it’s a clear indication that your panel may not be adequately sized to handle your electrical needs. The right electrical panel services will help you get what you need to power your home correctly and safely.

Flickering Lights

Flickering or dimming lights are often a symptom of an overloaded electrical panel. When large appliances or devices draw power simultaneously, it can cause voltage fluctuations, leading to lights that flicker or go dim. This is especially noticeable when you turn on high-powered appliances such as air conditioners, refrigerators, or washing machines. Upgrading your electrical panel can provide the necessary capacity to stabilize voltage levels and eliminate flickering lights.

Outdated Panel Design

If your home still has a fuse box or an older electrical panel with fewer than 100 amps of capacity, it’s likely underpowered for the modern electrical demands you’ll place on it. Fuse boxes were commonly installed in older homes, but they don’t have the safety features and capacity of modern circuit breaker panels. Upgrading to a higher-amp panel not only increases your home’s electrical capacity, but it also enhances safety by reducing the risk of electrical fires and overloads.

Limited Outlets & Circuits

A shortage of outlets and circuits can indicate an underpowered electrical panel. In older homes, there are usually fewer outlets per room or a limited number of circuits available, because the electrical demands weren’t as high when the home was built as they typically are now. Not having enough outlets can lead to overloaded circuits, since you’ll likely be using more power strips and extension cords. Upgrading your electrical panel helps you add more outlets and circuits.

Warm Electrical Panel

An electrical panel that feels warm to the touch is a cause for concern and may indicate an overloaded panel. Heat buildup occurs when electrical components are working harder than they should, and that can lead to damage or a malfunction. If you notice that your electrical panel feels warm or hot, it’s important to have it inspected by a qualified electrician right away. Upgrading to a higher-capacity panel can take the strain off the system and reduce the risk of overheating.

Inability To Meet Modern Electrical Demands

With the high number of electronic devices, smart home technology options, and energy-intensive appliances being used today, modern homes require more electrical power than ever before. If you find that your electrical panel isn’t meeting your household’s demands, it’s a clear sign that an upgrade is necessary. Whether you’re experiencing frequent tripped breakers, voltage fluctuations, or insufficient power for your devices, upgrading your electrical panel can provide what your home needs to operate safely and efficiently.

Is It Time To Upgrade Your Electrical Panel?

Because your electrical panel plays a crucial role in providing safe and reliable power to your home, you want to recognize the signs of an underpowered panel. Not only will an upgrade help you have the power you need for all your devices and appliances, but it’s also vital to maintain safety and reducing the risk of fire and other problems. If you’re dealing with tripped breakers, flickering lights, and other issues, working with an electrician is the right choice. Investing in an upgraded electrical panel not only enhances safety but also improves the functionality and value of your home, so it’s definitely worth doing in the majority of cases.

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