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How to Tell If Your Electrical Panel Is Overloaded

You likely don’t think much about your home’s electrical panel; it’s just the metal box in your utility room with all those switches and labels. But that unobtrusive box is critical to your home’s operation, and it’s worth paying attention to.

An electrical panel manages the electricity coming into the home from the source outside and directs power to specific areas. A panel contains the main breaker, which controls power for the whole house, and individual breakers, which control power for certain parts of the house, such as the kitchen. (Older panels may have fuses instead.) Panels are built to handle a certain amount of electricity, so you may overload your panel if you have several high-draw systems plugged in at once.

If your electrical panel is overloaded, it can damage devices such as computers, televisions, and fridges, and it may also result in injuries to you or a loved one. When your panel is overloaded, it should be dealt with using extreme caution, and it is highly recommended it’s corrected by a professional from Lon Lockwood Electric.

Signs Your Electrical Panel May Be Overloaded

When you begin plugging in more and more appliances for whatever reason, it’s especially important to be on the lookout for signs that your electrical panel may be producing an abnormally high amount of current. We’ve laid out a few telltale signs to help you determine when this may be happening.

Power Outages

Power outages are one of the most common and blatant indicators that your electrical panel is overloaded. These occur when your breakers trip and you’re left without power. Breakers can trip without your electrical panel being overloaded, but if one or more are frequently tripping, it could be that you are exceeding your home’s power capabilities.

Overheating

If your breakers or wires are met with excessive amounts of current, it can lead to overheating, which can be a risky fire hazard. If you notice appliances are hot to the touch, melting, or burning, or wires are cracked or frayed, have them inspected by a professional ASAP.

Sparks

When buzzing sounds or sparks are present, it’s a sign of a major electrical issue, whether it be an overloaded electrical panel or worn-out parts needing a replacement. This can also be a significant fire hazard that must be addressed immediately.

Taking Preventive Measures

One of the best ways to ease an overloaded electrical panel is by shifting around where you have things plugged in. Evening out your appliances and the load between each circuit breaker will help to ensure one isn’t working much harder than the other.

Older homes weren’t built with the future of modern electricity in mind. If you live in an older home, you are likely at a higher risk of an overloaded electrical panel should it not have been upgraded. At Lon Lockwood Electric, we will be there to assess your home’s needs, determine the right sized panel for you, and upgrade as necessary so you’re not faced with the risk of damaged appliances or potential injuries. Put your trust in us, and we’ll ensure your home is safe and will keep up with your many electrical needs.

Afraid you may have an overloaded electrical panel? Don’t wait to call us at 585-766-4702 or reach out online today, and we’ll be there in no time to make sure everything is in order.