If you have an older house, your breakers may not support all the modern electrical devices you use. At that point, you will need an electrical panel upgrade or replacement. Your breaker box, also known as an electrical panel, contains all the circuit breakers for your home. Inside the metal box on your wall, in your basement or utility room, the actual breakers typically look like large light switches. They’re often gray or black and they may be horizontal or vertical.
What Circuit Breakers Do
The function of the breakers is to route your home’s electrical supply to the various outlets in your walls and to the appliances and devices that use power. The breakers also limit the capacity in your home (and through each wall outlet) to a safe level so that the wiring in your home doesn’t become overloaded during surges of power from the supplier.
How Circuit Breaker Replacement Protects Your Maryland Home
Ideally and typically, the electrical circuits in your Montgomery or Frederick County home’s breaker box will trip (automatically turn off) to keep devices or appliances that are plugged in from overheating (and possibly catching on fire) when the circuit becomes overloaded. When the circuit hits its safe limit, it trips/breaks.
Often, you simply plug the energy-hogging appliance (like a microwave oven or hair dryer) into a different wall outlet, then reset the breaker. There are times, however, when flipping the breaker switch back on is not effective or safe. That’s when you may need electrical panel replacement in your Howard County home.
Symptoms of an Overloaded Electrical Panel
If you notice these warning signs, it’s time to consider circuit breaker replacement in your home:
- Breaker trips often.
- Breaker trips when you plug in a particular appliance.
- Older home and/or older breaker panel—or a fuse box instead of breakers.
- Black spot or burned area on the breaker panel or a wall outlet.
- Burning smell from the breaker box or outlet.
- Wires that appear melted.
- Strange sounds, like hissing, from the breaker box.
- Lights flickering quickly and continually, on and off.
- Power surges or flickering lights when you turn on a dishwasher, microwave oven or hair dryer, for example.)
- Appliances overheat quickly or often.
Why Putting Off an Electrical Panel Upgrade Is Dangerous
Please don’t ignore the signs of a constantly overloaded circuit breaker, because the consequences can be costly and hazardous. At the less-serious end of the spectrum, you could end up “frying” some of your home’s electrical wiring, an outlet. an expensive computer or another plugged-in device. Repairs may be impossible or expensive.
Much worse, however, there is a severe risk of electrical arcing, fatal electric shock and/or fire due to an outmoded or malfunctioning electrical panel. In addition to the signs of circuit breaker problems listed above, whenever you notice anything unusual about your Howard County home’s electrical system, call in a trained and licensed expert from GAC. The stakes are too high to neglect your household electrical system.
Get Expert Local Circuit Breaker Replacement
Protect yourself, your family, your home and valuable property from danger with one call to GAC Services. We serve the Montgomery, Howard and Frederick County areas, from our headquarters in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Local residents have trusted our company for nearly 50 years. For electrical repairs, circuit breaker replacement, or emergency electrical service, call GAC at 240-224-3144 today.