Our expert team of licensed electricians provide both commercial and residential electrical panel services in Greenwood, Delaware, as well throughout Sussex County, Kent County, and New Castle County Delaware. We also provide services throughout the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Most of us don’t realize how much we rely on electricity to navigate our daily lives. From our appliances, to our computers and televisions, even the locks on our doors, almost everything we interact with is powered in some way by electricity. That reliance on electric power leaves us vulnerable to sudden surges that can bring life to a halt.
The main electrical panel is the heart of the electrical supply system in the home. Utility power travels first to the electrical meter on the exterior of the home. From the meter, electricity then energizes the main service of the electrical panel and is then divided into specific branches of circuitry to supply power to household appliances, lighting, receptacles, heating and air conditioning, etc. Read on to find out when it might be time to upgrade the home with a larger service, panel, or add a sub-panel.
Each electrical panel has a finite amount of amperage available, this is determined by the size of the service entrance cable and the main breaker. If a homeowner requires additional amperage they will need to install a new electrical panel with a larger main breaker. If the main breaker trips or feels warm to the touch this is a good indication that the main breaker is being overloaded and a service upgrade is necessary.
Sub-panels are typically installed during remodels or when building an addition or garage. It’s most convenient and cost effective to connect a sub-panel to the main electrical panel with a single wire, rather than running multiple wires for each individual circuit back to the main electrical panel. Especially if the main panel is flush mounted to the drywall and would require minor demolition and repair.
Each circuit in the electrical panel or subpanel is protected by a fuse or circuit breaker which allows a specific amperage of electricity to flow to the receptacles. If the flow of electricity is continually interrupted by tripping circuit breakers or the homeowner notices flickering lights, it could indicate that the circuit is carrying too heavy of a load. If that is the case, the problem should be diagnosed immediately by a trained, professional electrician as this presents a series safety hazard.
One of the fastest and easiest ways to tell if you need to circuit breaker replacement is if you notice a burning odor coming from the electrical panel. This is an indication that the insulation and wires have become overheated and is a serious issue that requires a professional licensed electrician to take a closer look.
To most everyone’s surprise, electrical panels do and can go bad over time. Age is the typical reasons most home owners find themselves replacing their electrical panels, especially if they purchased an older home or they are a second purchaser of a home. Typically, on average, a home owner can expect their electrical panel to last 20 to 30 years.
Luckily, circuit breakers are designed to trip when too much power is being drawn through it. While frustrating, this is to protect the home and the residents from a catastrophic event. Often times, many homeowners notice breakers tripping when they are using multiple electrical appliances, such as running a vacuum cleaner and the microwave at the same time while on the same circuit.
Using multiple appliances that draw significant power causes an overload on the circuit, resulting in the circuit breaker tripping. It’s important to call a trusted and licensed electrician to help you determine whether this is a result of a breaker that is going bad or if you need to add an additional circuit to your home.
If you’re seeing physical damage to your circuit breaker, outlets, or electrical appliances that reflect scorch marks or melted wires, your electrical panel breaker needs to be evaluated immediately by a licensed, professional electrician.
Melted wires or scorched marks are an indication that your electrical panel is very close to causing a catastrophic electrical fire. Unplug all fixtures from that circuit breaker and call the expert electrical team at All American Electric for a complete inspection.