Why You Should Conduct an Electrical Panel Inspection

News channels will frequently report on recalls for car seats, food products and items from vehicle manufacturers to protect consumers from dangers. However, there are many more products that could pose an equal or greater danger to you and your family. The electrical components of your home are definitely not immune to these recalls, and you need to keep a regular check on these items to avoid personal injury, fire, or explosions within your home. 

How to Spot Electrical Hazards 

1. Main Circuit Breaker Won't Reset 

When a circuit breaker trips it can mean that the circuit couldn't handle the excessive current of electricity. It isn't something you should be too concerned about as it means that your electrical panel successfully did its job. However, if you attempt to reset it and your power doesn't come back on – you may have a faulty electrical panel. 

2. Exposed Electrical Panel Wiring 

Take a quick look at the wires in your electrical panel. Are they exposed? Do you see evidence of burned wires? This could result in electrical shock, fire, or electrocution and should be checked as soon as possible! It never hurts to periodically check your electrical panel for these easily identifiable issues.

3. Flickering Lights While Using Appliances 

Do you often notice that your lights flicker or dim when using appliances? This could be a sign of loose or faulty electrical wiring, which is the leading cause of house fires. It's important to make sure your wiring, breakers, switches, and connectors are all up to date to keep your home and your family as safe as possible.

4. Old Home with Fuse Panel

If you live in an older home, you need to check to see if you have a fuse box or a breaker panel. If you still have a fuse panel, your home has likely been running off of it for 50+ years, which means it's time for an update! Throughout the years, your panel will have weakened which results in poor connections and a potential for an electrical fire. 

5. Outlet Hot to Touch 

Have you ever unplugged an appliance to realize the outlet is warm or hot to the touch? This could be a sign of a couple of different things. The first being an overloaded circuit, and the second being damaged wiring. If it's the latter, it's time to get your electrician to come check out your outlets and wiring! 

Other Electrical Systems in Need of Replacement 

In the past few years, some of the most commonly used items that have been recalled are the Kidde Smoke and Combination Smoke/C02 Alarms, Legrand Under-Cabinet Power Strips, and Eaton MBED 3042 series residential meter breaker. In regard to the Smoke and Combination Smoke/C02 detectors, it was found that the units (originally sold January-July, 2014) could fail to alert the occupants of fire or C02 danger. It's recommended by manufacturers that these be replaced every 8-10 years, but if you have one of the recalled units, it should be replaced immediately. 

The Legrand Under-Cabinet Power Strips that were originally sold from February-August 2011 were manufactured with the electrical wires reversed, which could put the owner at risk of shock when using it. If you have one of these units, Legrand will issue a refund for your purchase. The Eaton meter breaker with catalog numbers MBED3042B200BF, MBED3042B200BF6, MBED3042B225PV, or MBED3042PV200BF was found to allow too easy of an access point to the components of the meter, also posing a shock hazard to owners. If you have one of these units, a licensed electrician can contact Eaton for you, and Eaton will send a replacement to be installed by the electrician. 

To stay up to date on hazards and recalls, please take the time to review the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission website. Keeping your family safe is our top priority, so give us a call if you have any questions or concerns about the results of your electrical panel inspection!

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