Service Call Files: My Electrical Panel Looks Dangerous – Should I Replace It?

Decode the danger—when to replace your electrical panel for safety.

Of all the calls we get at Prairie Electric, one of the most common is in reference to electrical panels that appear to be in disrepair. Many individuals find electrical panel wiring confusing and are more than a little concerned about the strong currents pulsing through old, tangled wiring.

The Definition of Dangerous

If your electrical panel is creeping into the danger zone, the primary signs may be visible. Browning, flickering, or dimming lights are all indicators that there may be an issue within your panel. If the wiring in your electrical panel is frayed, hot, smoking or sparking, call our team immediately to prevent a major home fire.

Another indication that you should at the very least have your panel examined are excessively tangled or knotted wires. If it’s difficult to see exactly which plugs go where, do yourself a favor and contact an electrician to help clear out the chaos. Wires that become too wrapped and tangled have the potential to snag, tear, and overheat.

Time to Replace Your Electrical Panel

Electrical systems are complex. There are many signs of malfunction, some more apparent than others. The following occurrences can signal that its time to get a new panel, or at least have yours inspected.

  • You’re tripping breakers: If breakers are tripping every time you run the dishwasher and a hair dryer, you’re likely drawing too much power from your electrical box. A panel replacement can increase your voltage capacity, so your panel can handle your home’s electrical demand.

  • You’ve remodeled: Whether you recently added another room to your home or did so five years ago and never updated your electrical panel, the time is now. Any changes made to your home’s electrical requirements must be accommodated bin your panel in order to avoid tripped breakers (see above), sparks, and potentially, a devastating fire.

  • Low amperage: Most modern homes draw between 120 and 249 volts per circuit. If your amperage is too low to support the systems in your home, contact Prairie Electric to upgrade your panel as soon as possible.

  • Adding a new system: If you’re planning to, or already have, added a major appliance, like a dryer or whole-home air conditioning system, your electrical panel must be able to handle the power load. Be sure to check the appliance’s amperage requirements during installation and confirm with our team that your current panel can accommodate the additional pull.

Electrical panels provide all the power your home needs to run efficiently. However, if outdated or faulty wiring begins to cause issues for you, be sure to contact us asap, before more serious problems arise!

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