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Léa Noémie Plourde-Archer
Léa Noémie
Plourde-Archer

(Author)
How to Change an Electrical Panel

How to Change an Electrical Panel

Last modified: 2018/07/13 | 2 mins

Have you been noticing problems with the electricity in your house lately? It might be time to change your electrical panel. Go take a look to see if you notice anything wrong with it.

An electrical panel performs multiple duties, including that of blocking electrical surges.  That is why it is so important to ensure that it remain in good condition at all times. Not a professional electrician? This won’t keep you from being able to recognize certain signs that imply that your panel needs to be replaced:

Here are 5 signs that your electrical panel needs to be changed:

Sudden intensity changes and flickering of lights and appliances

This could indicate overloaded circuits and faulty cords. If you don’t correct this problem on a short-term basis, you’ll be increasing the risk of a fire starting out in your house.

The presence of fuses in your electrical panel

If you live in an old house and haven’t changed the electrical panel in the last few years, chances are that the panel contains electrical fuses. This system is being phased out in newer constructions. In its place, electricians will install a breaker panel. A fuse-based system is not dangerous in and of itself. However, when an electrical short-circuit happens, fuses are hard to work with and in some cases they can lead to electric shocks and even fires.

Also, if your insurance company learns that you have a fuse panel, they could refuse to offer full coverage against fire damage. Breakers, for their part, are easy to use. If a surge happens, you simply have to place the breaker back to its position of origin. Once a year, test the breakers to see if they are still solid. Sometimes, due to wear and tear, they can become loose.

Rust and heat release

Danger! Contact an electrician immediately! Rust implies that a water leak could compromise the electrical circuits. As for the heat, it’s also an alarming sign that indicates a serious problem.

Frequent surges

Your panel’s general capacity may be too low. In the past, people needed less electricity. Therefore, older electrical panels are not adapted to supply all the electricity that is being used with the growing demand.  For example: a new panel can supply 200 amps whereas old ones have a capacity of 60 amps.

Circuits that don’t work anymore:

Whenever you have a doubt regarding one of the circuits on your panel, use a multimeter to detect the electric current. This will help you emit a proper diagnosis and you will also be able to detect the source of the problem.

If, upon verification, you realize that the time has come to change your electrical panel, contact an electrician. Any task concerning electricity should always be done by a professional, since the possible repercussions following even the slightest error could be grave.

Disclaimer: All tasks that touch on electricity are very risky and should be completed under the safest conditions. Additionally, in certain parts of Canada, only certified electricians are allowed to do this type of work. Please check before you do any electricity work yourself.

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