Have you suddenly lost power to an outlet or switch?
The electrical panel, a maze of breakers, bars and wires hidden behind a metal cover. Is the brain of your home? The console is always thinking, running the household smoothly, reacting to every switch flip, all while keeping you safe at the same time.
But just because the light bulb is on doesn’t mean the electrical panel is operating properly. Many factors, from the age of your home to the size of your home, can affect the panel’s performance, thus requiring professional improvements.
Troubleshooting Broken Breakers
If you have ever lived in a house, you have likely been witness to tripped breakers during a thunderstorm. The fuse box (i.e. control panel, breaker box, etc.) contains multiple breakers, and switching the tripped ones back on will normally restore power to the affected area. Sometimes the master switch needs to be toggled off and on to reset the full supply.
But what happens when your breakers begin tripping for no apparent reason or in greater frequency than they should? This is certainly a problem, and there are a number of reasons why it could be happening. First things first, do not panic. Never assume the worst, but do not rule out the possibility that the control panel itself could be faulty or in need of repairs, something best left to an electrician in Pennsylvania.
Some high energy load appliances need their own breaker to operate properly, such as washers, dryers, window air conditioners and tanning beds. If these devices are not powered by a dedicated electrical line and respective breaker, do not be surprised that the latter is constantly tripping. Due to the safety risks associated with performing these kinds of installations, you should always hire a licensed Pittsburgh electrician to perform the job. Our Pittsburgh electrical services technicians are all required to undergo extensive training and certification before they are allowed to work on-site.
Another common cause of premature circuit breaker damage is the overuse of extension cords and power strips. Power strips allow multiple devices to be plugged into an outlet that was originally intended for two, thereby increasing the stress on the breaker by forcing more current to flow through.
Whenever you perform a major addition to your home that will include the installation of outlets, you need to make sure your control panel is sufficiently equipped to safely handle the increased electrical demands. Our electricians in Pittsburgh have performed a wide array of breaker box wiring service and repair jobs, so feel free to call any time!
How do you know when your home’s electrical panel needs an upgrade? Here are five indicators:
You built an addition to your home or installed additional large appliances (e.g. refrigerator). The electrical panel needs to be able to handle the extra power load. If the amperage is not increased, the circuit breakers will trip every time that appliance or new home section attempts to use electricity.
The panel houses fuses instead of circuit breakers. Fuses are prevalent in older homes. But the way we consume energy today, with more electronics around the house, fuses now pose a fire hazard. Convert to breakers to ensure safety — and ease of resetting a tripped circuit.
The panel puts out less than 100 amps of power. A minimum of 100 amps is mandatory code for electrical panels. Consoles that provide 150, 200 or 400 amps are also acceptable.
Things are going haywire around the house. Electrical outlets that spark and appear burnt on the exterior, lights that flicker and dim, and appliances that shock to the touch may be evidence of faulty switch wiring. This is a fire hazard as well, so a thorough inspection by a licensed electrician is in order.
The circuit breaker trips excessively. Though a breaker is supposed to behave by tripping to prevent circuit damage, too-frequent trips could indicate a faulty breaker. An electrician can determine if there is a switch wiring problem or if the panel’s energy output is insufficient.
Remember never to perform electrical work on your own. CW Electrical Services in Pittsburgh, Pa., employs licensed electricians who are certified to inspect, replace and upgrade electrical panels in residential and commercial buildings. Call 412-965-5429 or schedule an estimate with an electrician Pennsylvania residents trust.
CW Electrical Services Inc
1329 Woods Run Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15212-2345