Electric Service Panels
Your electric service panel is the regulator of the electrical current inside your home. When a circuit is being overloaded with electricity, your electric service panel trips a breaker in order to prevent fire, shock, or damage. The electric service panel is located inside of the breaker box, which attaches directly to the meter box outside of your home; this is how the utility company feeds electricity to your home. From the panel, smaller power lines extend to different areas in the home. Those lines are labeled inside the breaker box to tell you exactly how much electricity each section can handle at one time.
How does my electrical panel protect my home and family?
Your electrical panel is designed to shut off power to your home in the event of a potentially fatal accident. There are several protections in place that may cause the panel to trip a breaker:
- Ground Fault Protection: when electricity travels on an unintended metal surface.
- Arc Fault Protection: when electricity jumps to form an “arc”.
- Circuit Overload Protection: when too much electricity is being used at one time.
- Circuit Overheating Protection: when the heat level from the electrical current reaches a level above average.
- Direct Short Protection: when two electrical wires touch.
How do I know if my panel is malfunctioning?
In the era of ever changing technology, our panels struggle to keep up with the high demand of electricity. Electric service panel malfunctions are most often because their circuits are overloaded by a high volume of electrical current. A tell tale sign of a malfunctioning electric service panel is frequent breaker trips.
If your panel is 25 years of age or older, it may be a good idea to get a full electrical inspection. If you own an older home and you have one of the following outdated, defective breaker panels, please call Brilliant Electric of the East Bay to replace it now. These panels are unsafe because of the potential for fire hazards or have been recalled.
- Federal Pacific Electric electrical panel
- Pushmatic electrical panel
- Zinsco electrical panel
- Fuse Boxes
Brilliant Electric of the East Bay has replaced many of these panels with safer and more efficient models.
Should I upgrade or replace my panel?
If your electrical panel is malfunctioning, it’s always a good idea to call the licensed electricians at Brilliant Electric of the East Bay for a full electrical inspection and to explore your options. Our experts can tell you if your panel is hazardous and give you a price quote.
Here are a few signs that your electrical panel needs to be upgraded or replaced:
- You are planning a renovation with additional appliances and/or outlets
- Upgrading to solar or adding an Electric Vehicle
- You are adding technology or systems (i.e security, lighting) that will require a significant amount of electricity.
- There are crackling sounds coming from your breaker box
- There is warmth radiating from the interior of your breaker box
- The breaker switches are corroded
- Your appliances not running properly or are not operating at full power, even with 100 amp electrical service.
- If your home has a 60 amp electrical service, two-pronged outlets, a fuse block panel, or a split-buss panel.
- Your panel is 30 years or older
Ignoring tripped breakers or a malfunctioning electrical panel can damage your panels and lead to serious hazardous conditions, electrical shocks, and is among the top causes of home electrical fires.