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Is Your Residential Electrical Panel In Need Of Replacement?

Thursday, Jul. 9th 2020

Is Your Residential Electrical Panel In Need Of Replacement?

Many homes in the Kansas City area have residential electrical panels that are outdated or inadequate. If your electrical panel is unable to support the amount of electricity that you use in your home, it may cause power outages as well as creating a dangerous situation for your family. 

The electrical panel is the core of your wiring system, and its link to the Kansas City electrical grid that all of your electricity is drawn from. Your main electrical panel is probably a large grey box in your garage or basement that contains several switches. Those switches are known as “breakers.” When a breaker “trips,” you’ll experience an electrical outage in a particular area of your home until you flip the switch back to the on position. 

Many homes in the Kansas City area have residential electrical panels that are outdated or inadequate.

Outdated Fuse Boxes

Some older Kansas City homes have a residential electrical panel with screw in fuses rather than switches. They may have “mini-breaker fuses,” which are retrofit circuit breaker fuses that screw into the fuse sockets. These have a button that pops up when the circuit is overloaded, and can be reset by pushing the button. Either way though, if you have fuses rather than breakers, the box has likely been in use for well over fifty years and is overdue for replacement. 

Over time, the connections in your residential electrical panel are weakened. This causes poor connections, wasted energy, and a greater risk of electrical fires. Upgrading to circuit breakers will give you more modern safety enhancements. A breaker panel also takes up less space than fuses, allowing you to add circuits and split up circuits that were frequently overloaded.

Overloaded Residential Electrical Panel

Even if you don’t have screw-in fuses, your panel may still need to be replaced if it has been in use for a long time, you have added additional wiring to your home, or you will be installing a new major appliance. As a rule of thumb, electrical panels should be replaced every 25-40 years, but there are a few signs to look for that indicate your system needs to be replaced sooner.

Check your breaker box regularly for rust or scorching, which indicates damage needing attention. Warmth around the electrical panel is also a warning sign. If you have breakers that frequently trip, lights that constantly flicker, or if you are unable to use multiple major appliances at the same time, you most likely need a panel upgrade. Feeling a small electric shock when touching an appliance or switch is another red flag, as are smoke or scorch marks on an outlet. If you notice any of these issues, you should call a professional electrician immediately.

At JMC Electric, our electricians are all licensed, certified professionals with extensive training, so we can guarantee that you’ll be getting the highest quality workmanship at every single job. Contact JMC Electric at (913) 362-2100 or (816) 298-0100 for a free estimate on your residential electrical panel needs today.

 


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