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When Should You Repair or Replace Your Electrical Panel?

To repair or replace – that is the question. But maybe we should start with something more basic. What exactly is an electrical panel? You might have heard it referred to as a fuse box, or a distribution board. Whatever it’s called, it’s an element of a home or business’s electrical supply system that’s responsible for splitting electricity into separate circuits according to which part of the building they power. Each circuit is protected by a fuse or circuit breaker in an enclosure, and a main switch is typically part of the network as well. In the US, the whole system is usually enclosed in a sheet metal box with a hinged door. It’s important to keep in mind that you shouldn’t see any frayed or exposed wires in your electrical panel.

Replacing an electrical panel can be costly, and you might be tempted to have a faulty panel repaired and put off a replacement if possible. But avoiding replacing a bad panel can be even more costly if it’s truly beyond repair, something that only a licensed professional electrician could tell you. That’s why it’s important to have an expert electrician like one of the many capable members of the Phase Electric team assess your electrical panel.

When to Repair Your Electric Panel

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Like any electrical device, your electrical panel, which is the main source of electricity distribution for your home or business, will inevitably deteriorate over time. Letting your electrical panel fall into disrepair can pose a serious risk not only to the functionality of your electrical network but to your personal safety as well.

So what are some issues that your electrical panel may develop over time? Faulty circuit breakers are among the most commonly reported problems as they begin to trip frequently. You may experience flickering lights and a burning odor near the panel. Corrosion buildup in the panel may be visible in the form of obvious rust on the panel itself, which may grow warm to the touch. Overloaded circuits could result in a buzzing sound escaping the panel. These are indications that, though not visible, there may be frayed wiring behind the panel that has become exposed with age. Needless to say, these are all serious warning signs that warrant a call to a professional who can assess the condition of the electrical panel and determine whether a repair or a replacement is necessary. A bad circuit breaker doesn’t necessarily require an entire panel replacement, and a skilled electrician like a Phase Electric team member may be able to simply repair and replace the damaged breaker.

When to Replace Your Electric Panel

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With regular maintenance and inspection, you can probably get away with piecemeal repairs to your electrical panel for some time. However, no electronic lives forever. While there’s no industry standard for the life span of an electrical panel rule of thumb says that if a panel is approaching 20 to 30 years of age, it’s time to say goodbye and look into replacing it altogether. The older an electrical panel, the more safety risks it poses. Keep an eye out on recall lists for panel parts needing replacement due to safety concerns, and take note if any outlets in your home suddenly stop working or if lights begin flickering.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you’re buying an older home, panels were built for a smaller amperage than today’s electrical requirements. If you’re planning to remodel and bring in new appliances, they’ll likely exceed the existing electrical panel’s capacity, so you’ll definitely want to invest in a panel replacement.

Why Hire Phase Electric?

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Phase Electric are a reliable and affordable electric company providing electric panel repair and installations to homes, offices, and commercial buildings. We aim for 100% customer satisfaction and serve the greater Los Angeles, California area. Our expert Los Angeles electricians are licensed, certified, and insured. We’ve repaired over installed over 1700 electrical panels and are on hand to get yours installed or repaired today.

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