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24 May, 2023
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Signs You Need an Electrical Panel Upgrade

Have you ever taken a moment to reflect on your home’s electrical panel? Unless you’ve recently encountered a tripped breaker, you most likely overlooked it. Yet, your electrical panel quietly assumes the role of a hero within your home. Its absence would mean no power or, more importantly, the absence of safe electricity. This unassuming panel plays a critical role in safeguarding your home against a multitude of hazards.

However, just like any other component in your home, nothing remains eternal. While your electrical panel might not exhibit any visible faults or signs of deterioration, there’s a possibility that it’s struggling to meet your home’s demands. In this article, we will delve into how and why electrical panels require upgrades, how to identify if yours necessitates replacement, and the potential indicators of trouble that should prompt you to reach out to our team of skilled electricians.

What Does an Electrical Panel Do?

The electric panel, commonly known as the breaker box or fuse box, is the nerve center of your home’s electrical system. It distributes and manages electricity in your home, ensuring that all your electrical devices and equipment receive power efficiently and safely. The function of an electrical panel is to receive the incoming electrical supply from the utility company and divide it into separate circuits, each protected by a circuit breaker or fuse.

Signs That It’s Time for an Electrical Panel Upgrade

As homes become more dependent on electricity with the addition of new appliances, gadgets, and technology, the electrical panel must keep up with the increasing demand. In this section, we will explore several telltale signs that indicate it may be time for an electrical panel upgrade, ensuring your home’s electrical system remains reliable and efficient.

Indoor Lights Frequently Dim or Flicker

If you notice that your indoor lights frequently dim or flicker, it could be an obvious sign that your electrical panel is struggling to meet the power demands at home. Dimming or flickering lights often occur when the voltage decreases due to overloaded circuits or outdated wiring. These fluctuations in lighting can not only be annoying but may also pose a safety risk.

Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping

A circuit breaker is a protective device that automatically shuts off power to a circuit when it detects an overload or a short circuit. However, if your circuit breaker keeps tripping frequently, it is a sign that your electrical panel is outdated or overloaded. Ignoring this issue can lead to inconvenience, potential damage to your electrical devices, and even fire hazards.

Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping

Breakerless Electrical Panel Installed

If you have an older home or an outdated electrical system, it’s possible that you have a breakerless electrical panel installed. These older panels typically rely on fuses rather than circuit breakers to protect your home’s electrical circuits. While fuses serve a similar purpose as circuit breakers, they are less convenient and less safe. Fuses require manual electrical panel replacement when they blow, and finding the fuse size can be challenging. Upgrading to a breaker-based electrical panel is highly recommended, as it provides improved safety, convenience, and ease of use, allowing for better protection of your electrical system and enhanced control over your home’s power supply.

The electrical Panel is Rusted or Broken

If you observe rust or physical damage on your electrical panel, it is a serious red flag that shouldn’t be ignored. Rust can corrode the electrical connections and components within the panel, leading to poor performance and potential safety hazards. Similarly, broken parts or cracks in the panel can compromise its integrity and increase the risk of electrical malfunctions or even electrical fires. A rusted or broken electrical panel is so blatant that it needs immediate attention and replacement.

Rusted Electrical Panel

Strange Smells

If you detect unusual odors, such as a burning or smoky smell, emanating from your electrical panel or any electrical outlets, it is a significant cause for concern. Strange smells often indicate an underlying electrical issue, such as overheating or electrical wiring problems. Electrical components generating heat or melting insulation can emit distinct odors, and ignoring these smells can lead to severe consequences, including electrical fires.

Melted Wires and Scorch Marks

The presence of melted wires or scorch marks in or around your electrical panel indicates an electrical problem. Melted wires can occur due to overloaded circuits, faulty connections, or excessive heat buildup. Scorch marks, on the other hand, suggest electrical arcing or short circuits, which can pose significant fire hazards. If you notice any signs of melted wires or scorch marks, it is critical to address the issue immediately.

Electrical Scorch Marks

Home is More Than 20 Years Old

If your home is more than 20 years old and you haven’t had an electrical panel upgrade during that time, it’s highly likely that your electrical panel is outdated and may not meet the electrical demands of modern living. Older electrical panels may have limits with respect to circuit capacity and safety features. They might not Prepare themselves to handle the increased power requirements of today’s appliances and electronics, potentially leading to overloaded circuits, frequent tripping of breakers, or even electrical hazards.


Recognizing the signs that indicate the need for an electrical panel upgrade is crucial for maintaining a safe, reliable, and efficient electrical system in your home. Upgrading your electrical panel not only addresses these issues but also ensures that your home’s electrical system is capable of meeting the demands of modern technology while providing a safer environment. By staying proactive and seeking the assistance of a professional electrician, you can safeguard your home and enjoy the benefits of an upgraded electrical panel for years to come.

The security, usability, and effectiveness of your electrical devices depend on upgrading your electrical panel. With an electrical panel upgrade from Blue Ribbon Electrical, you can enjoy the tranquility of knowing that your home or business has a modern, reliable, and robust electrical infrastructure. Our team of experienced electricians specializes in providing seamless and efficient electrical panel upgrades. We understand the importance of a suitable-sized and configured electrical panel to handle the growing demands of your electrical load.

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