Electrical panels are a part of your home that you don’t see every day. You plug electronics in, turn lights on, and even change light bulbs, but a typical homeowner does not necessarily need to look at the electrical panel unless something does not turn on. The electrical panel is the heart of your electrical system and controls the electricity that runs through your home. It is important to keep it healthy and up-to-date in order to keep your home safe and functioning properly.
How Electrical Panels Protect You and Your Family
Electricity flows from your city source to the power lines and then into you home via the electrical panel. The panel controls the flow of electricity, initiating and terminating your home’s circuits. The fuses or breakers automatically shut down the current in the event of a power surge or short circuit. This prevents wires from overheating significantly reducing the potential for an electrical fire in your home.
The Danger of Older Electrical Panels
If you have an outdated electrical panel in your home and you need to change the fuse or add a new breaker, chances are that the original manufacturer is no longer producing it. Look at your breaker box or electrical panel to determine if it is out-of-date or no longer being supported by the manufacture. These are examples of outdated panels:
- Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) Panels – These panels have been listed as not only unsafe, but are responsible for thousands of house fires in the US. They are also known to short or ground out causing the power to remain on when the circuit is switched off. This can lead to an electrocution injury.
- Zinsco Panels or GTE-Sylvania Panels – These panels have breakers that have a tendency to melt to the electrical receiving station in the panel. This means that if there were to be a surge or an overload the breaker will not trip to protect the wires from overheating. This can also start a fire in your home.
- Split-Bus Electrical Panels – These panels stopped being produced over 40 years ago and because they are old the breakers are less likely to trip when they are supposed to. This can also lead to fires.
- Fuse Box – These panels are a great deal more common than the others. The issue with these panels is that they tend to be modified by homeowners as the home grows or electrical needs increase. This can reduce the overall integrity of the panel and can start a fire.
Upgrade Your Electrical Panel Today
Your electrical panel, in many ways, is the heart of your home, and just like your heart it needs proper attention and checkups to be sure that it is healthy and running smoothly. If you are unsure about your electrical panel’s health or your safety, call Jack Lehr to come out and give it a checkup. The reliable and efficient electricians at Jack Lehr are certified and licensed and can help you to update the electrical panel in your home!