Over time, home electrical panels can become outdated or develop hazards that compromise safety and functionality of your home’s electrical system. Your home’s electrical panel, also known as a breaker box, plays a crucial role in regulating the flow of power throughout your house. If you live in an older home or suspect your electrical panel may be unsafe, it’s crucial to consider an electrical panel replacement.

A safe home starts with a safe panel – here’s what you need to know:

How to Tell If Your Circuit Breaker Is Bad

Wondering if there’s a problem with your circuit breaker? Here are the key signs that indicate it might be time to call in a professional for a closer look:

  • Old Age: Electrical panels typically last 25 to 40 years. If yours is older, it might not meet current safety standards.
  • Overheating: If your panel feels warm to the touch, it could indicate overheating. Hot electrical panels should trigger a circuit breaker trip to prevent a fire, not overheat.
  • Physical Damage: Look for signs of damage such as scorch marks, rust, or a burned smell around the breaker.
  • Strange Noises: Hissing or buzzing sounds from the panel suggest underlying issues with the wiring or components.
  • Unusual Burning Smells: Smells like burning plastic in the panel or burning wood in your walls near the panel are red flags of electrical problems.
  • Breakers Tripping Frequently: Circuit breakers that constantly trip can be a sign that your panel is inadequate for your home’s power needs.
  • Not Staying Reset: After tripping, if the breaker won’t stay reset or trips again immediately without a load, it’s likely faulty.

If you notice any of these issues, or even suspect something might be off with your electrical system, it’s best to consult a professional electrician to assess and replace the faulty breaker safely.

How Long Does a Circuit Breaker Last?

Typically, a circuit breaker has a lifespan of 25 to 40 years. If your home was built before 1980, there’s a good chance you may have an old electrical panel due for replacement. Even if it’s been functioning without issues for years, there’s no guarantee it will continue to do so.

Why Do I Need to Replace My Circuit Breaker Box?

Replacing an old or damaged circuit breaker box is crucial for several reasons:

  • Safety: An outdated panel poses fire and electrical safety risks.
  • Functionality: Malfunctioning panels can cause power outages and electrical issues.
  • Efficiency: Upgrading to a modern panel ensures efficient power distribution and reduces the risk of overloads and tripped breakers.
  • The Modern Age: Power needs for your home are different today than they were 30 or even 15 years ago, driving the need for new panels and upgraded capacity.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, from 2015 to 2019, wiring and related equipment were involved in approximately 22,210 fires annually.1 These fires can result from outdated panels unable to handle modern electrical demands or from panels with inherent safety flaws.

Which Electrical Panel Brands Are Unsafe?

You can check the safety of your electrical panel by reviewing known unsafe brands. According to Home Inspection Insider, several electrical panel brands from the past are known for their safety issues and should be inspected for replacement. While they haven’t been produced since the 80s, these panels are not up to code and can be responsible for house fires:

  • Federal Pacific Stab-Lok
  • Zinsco

As with anything in your home, you can always research your specific electrical panel to learn more and assess any potential risks.

How Long Does it Take to Replace an Electrical Panel?

Replacing an electrical panel typically takes between 4 to 8 hours, depending on the complexity of the job and the condition of the existing wiring. Our experienced technicians ensure that the process is smooth and compliant with local building codes.

Before we begin, we’ll inspect your current setup to identify any potential issues and discuss any necessary changes. This upfront planning helps minimize your downtime and ensures that your new panel meets all safety standards and efficiently supports your home’s electrical needs.

Do I need an electrician to replace a circuit breaker?

Yes, it’s best to hire a licensed electrician to replace a circuit breaker. Working with electrical panels can be dangerous if you’re not experienced. Electricians have the knowledge and tools to do the job safely and ensure that the new breaker is compatible with your panel and installed according to local electrical codes.

Contact Bacon for Electrical Panel Replacement

Your home and family deserve a safe and reliable electrical panel! If you suspect that your electrical panel is outdated or hazardous, don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact Bacon today at (972) 703-2497 about electrical panel replacement and repair. Your home’s safety and functionality are paramount, and we’re here to help.

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