7 Questions to Ask Yourself When Inspecting Your Electrical Panel

MAR. 9, 2020

It’s important that homeowners monitor their electrical panel regularly to ensure their home’s safety. We’ve compiled a checklist of seven questions for you to ask when inspecting your electrical panel.

We recommend saving a copy of our panel checklist to refer back to regularly. Click here to download our Electrical Panel Safety Checklist.


Electrical Panel Safety Checklist

 

  1. Is my electrical panel over 25 years old?

    The average lifespan of an electrical panel is 25-40 years. Technology has improved and older panels will not meet current safety standards and may have known issues. FPE and Zinsco are brands of panels that have been widely reported as having safety issues. These panels should be evaluated by a state licensed journeyman electrician to ensure they do not pose a safety concern.

     

  2. Does my electrical panel have fuses?

    Electrical panels with fuses are generally older and should be monitored regularly to ensure fuses are in good condition and don’t need replaced. Because fuse panels are older, it’s common for them to not have capacity for modern electrical needs and they may need to be evaluated to be replaced with a modern circuit breaker panel.

     

  3. Does my electrical panel show rust or damage?

    Rust is a sign that water has been present around the electrical panel which is an urgent safety concern. The electrical panel regulates all electricity in the home and is designed to protect against electrical overloads. Any damage to this important safety equipment should be evaluated by an electrician.

     

  4. Does my electrical panel get warm/hot, smell, or make sounds?

    Electrical panels should be silent other than the occasional click when a circuit breaker is tripped. Any noises or sounds, including buzzing or hissing, should be looked at by a state licensed journeyman electrician. Smells of burning or melted plastic, this should be looked at by an electrician urgently. If a breaker cannot be reset or trips shortly after resetting, a state licensed journeyman electrician should evaluate the breaker and panel.

     

  5. Do the breakers trip frequently?

    This is a sign that breakers are being overloaded due to inadequate capacity for electrical flow. A licensed journeyman electrician should evaluate to assess whether this is isolated to a single breaker or an issue that would require replacing the entire panel. If a breaker cannot be reset or trips shortly after resetting, then a licensed journeyman electrician should evaluate the breaker and panel.

     

  6. Do lights flicker or dim when I plug things in?

    This can be sign that the electrical panel isn’t providing enough electricity for your needs and should be evaluated by a state licensed journeyman electrician. In some cases, electrical flow can be reallocated, or it may require the panel be upgraded.

     

  7. Am I planning on installing additional electrical outlets, large appliance(s), or any other increased electrical needs?

    The electrical panel should be evaluated to determine whether the current panel has capacity for additional electrical flow or whether the panel will need to be replaced. 

     


If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should have your electrical panel inspected by a state licensed journeyman electrician immediately. Contact us today to schedule your inspection. 

6343 W. Brinkley Rd

Kennewick, WA 99338

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