Your Panel is Talking to You
Troubleshooting Your Disasters
Your main electrical panel is the heart of your home, channeling power to every socket, switch, and device throughout your home. When your panel breaks down, it can mean disaster. In this article, our electrical experts at Bickimer Electric give you practical tips to troubleshoot your own panel when issues do arise. We also cover key warning signs to look out for that every homeowner should be aware of.
1. Off and Back on Again?
It’s the old joke about computers, but it works just as well when it comes to electrical issues. The breakers in your panel have three positions: on, tripped, and off. When a breaker trips, it doesn’t always travel to the fully off position. Depending on the model of breaker in your panel, the tripped and off positions can be difficult to distinguish.
When you have power issues, and you’ve confirmed it’s not a tripped GFCI outlet, check your main panel and flip the breaker on that circuit completely off for a few seconds, and then back to on. If that doesn’t solve your issue, then there are deeper electrical issues that should be looked at by a licensed electrician.
2. It’s Getting Hot, Hot, Hot!
Over time, your breakers will begin to wear down. Without regular maintenance, the connections will loosen, and the breakers will start to slide. As those connections widen, electrical current begins to arc between the connectors. In the early stages, this will generate heat. Over time, the gaps will expand and the arcs will start to scorch and melt the breakers and panel connections. Eventually, this leads to surges through circuits and even fires in the panel and wiring.
We recommend that at least once a month, you open your electrical panel and feel the surfaces for warmth. If you feel anything or aren’t sure, you should call a licensed electrician.
3. Snap, Crackle, and Pop
A clear tell for a deeper electrical issue is any sound coming from your electrical panel. If you notice a humming, snaps, crackles, or pops from your box, you must get a licensed electrician in as quickly as possible to complete a panel inspection for you.
If you hear any sounds, DO NOT touch the panel as there may be a live connection along the metal frame of the panel.
If in Doubt, Give us a Shout!
Given the amount of power being channeled through your electrical panel, you should never take any chances if you feel there may be a hazard. Never remove the front casing from the panel if you are not a licensed and trained electrician and never touch anything other than the breaker switches.
If there’s any doubt, give a licensed electrician like our experts at Bickimer Electric a call. We recommend that you have your panel inspected and tuned up at least once a year to maintain tight connections and catch any potential issues early.
For all your electrical panel needs, book your inspection today with our Bickimer Electric experts at 913-313-6751, or book online using the handy buttons above. Be sure to mention this blog post and ask about our 50% off special on panel inspections.
Proudly serving the Independence and surrounding areas, Bickimer Electric is your number one Kansas City electrical specialist!