The circuit breaker for your Houston home is the core of its electrical system. Unfortunately, many residential homeowners have insufficient electrical panels that endanger their property and the lives of their families.
Signs That Your Electrical Panel is a Fire Waiting to Happen
According to the National Fire Protection Association, well over 400 deaths occur each year due to fires. Many of those are because of faulty electrical panels.
Maybe you’ve just noticed a few flickers of light and wonder if you really need servicing of your electric panel. There are a few telltale signs that can tell you for sure.
- The fuse box is old. If your Houston home is an older one, it’s a good bet that the electrical system hasn’t been upgraded. In that case, you’ll find that it has a fuse box rather than an electrical panel that has circuit breakers located inside. A circuit breaker is safer than a fuse box because it’ll trip and disconnect from the power if the line becomes overloaded. This can happen if your appliances get overloaded as well. The breaker trips to avoid overheating and burning, which can start a fire. Older electrical systems rarely trip, so you don’t have that warning before your home could catch fire. If you have a fuse box, you’ll want to replace it as soon as possible.
- Now about those tripping breakers. Electrical panels do wear out and when they do, power surges occur more. This can cause your breaker to trip. A tripped circuit breaker can also happen when the capacity of your electrical panel can’t handle your home’s electrical load. This may happen if you purchased a home from someone else who had fewer electrical devices than you do. In any case, the electrical line trips for a reason. It means that it’s time to get it inspected to figure out the problem.
- Signs of Burning in the Electrical Panel. Sometimes, exposed wires in the panel burnout. Unless you’re right in the vicinity of the panel, you’re not likely to notice it. But, each time a wire burns out, it leaves evidence. There could be burn marks or signs of charring around the breaker. If you’re near the breaker at the right time, you may notice a strange odor coming from the electric panel. If you become aware of these warning signs, it’s time to get a residential electric service company out to your home STAT. Before a larger fire impacts your home.
- Once Your Breaker Trips, It Doesn’t Reset. While you should be able to reset a breaker when it trips, sometimes it doesn’t restore power. Or, it may reset only momentarily, then trip again. A faulty electrical panel is likely to blame. A licensed and professional electrical technician should be called out to your home before it becomes a larger problem.
- Flickering or Dimming Lights. Sometimes your home uses more energy than is really available. This can cause your lights to dim or flicker, especially when you run an appliance like a washer. Again, this tends to happen more in older homes because they just weren’t wired for today’s modern home. Modern homes have much higher energy needs than yesterday’s homes. We often have many computers and televisions in the home, in addition to appliances. Whereas, older wired homes were often completed to accommodate a television and a couple of appliances. So once again, if you’re dealing with this problem, you’ll likely have to call an electrical specialist to your home to update the panel.
Get a Professional to Inspect Your Houston Home’s Electrical Panel
With all the do-it-yourself instructional info out there, you may be tempted to replace your electrical panel yourself. But extreme caution is advised against it. Not only are electrical repairs and replacements complex. They’re dangerous if you’re not trained and equipped to do them!
It takes years of training and expertise to amass the specialized skills needed to handle electricity.
Electricity is something you want to leave to the professionals. At Illuminations Lighting Design, we’re hard to beat when it comes to residential electric services. And our reputation in Houston and the surrounding areas is unsurpassed.
Call our electrical experts today at 713-863-1133 to learn more about safely restoring the integrity of your home’s electrical system. Whether it’s a small repair or a complete replacement of your electrical panel, our licensed electricians are ready to make it happen. We can service your home In Houston and much of Southeast Texas.