Repairs & Upgrades to Your Important Electrical Systems
Circuit breaker panels are a critical component of your home’s electrical system. Although they typically operate for years with minimal maintenance, occasional repair or upgrade is required to maintain safe and convenient operation. In some extreme cases, replacement of the electrical panel may be required.
At Martella Electric Company, our electricians are experts in the service of circuit breaker panels in Delaware County and we can help you adequately assess your needs to ensure the safe and efficient operation of your electrical panel for years to come.
What Is a Circuit Breaker?
The circuit breaker panel is the main distribution point for electricity throughout the home, therefore maintaining its efficient operation is critical to maintaining a safe, enjoyable Delaware County home. Supplying power to each of the home’s electrical circuits, the circuit breaker acts as the main point of connection to your electric provider and is engineered to provide reliable electrical service.
Why do Breaker Panels Commonly Need Repair?
Despite the dependable design, breaker panels can often require repair or upgrade for a number of reasons. These include:
- Faulty repair
- Changing electrical needs
What Does a Circuit Breaker Do?
As the “brain” of your home’s electrical system, the circuit breaker panel controls the flow of electricity into your Delaware County house. Usually providing 100 – 200 amps of power, the circuit breaker distributes power to circuits located throughout your home and will break the connection to power in the event of a malfunction. Typically the panel is designed to handle the power demands of a common household, however, problems can occur due to a variety of circumstances.
What Causes a Circuit Breaker to Fail?
- Increased demand – Over time electrical use has increased dramatically and this often exceeds the capacity of a home’s electrical system. Common symptoms of an overly stressed electrical system can include lights that flicker intermittently, frequent tripping of circuit breakers and outlets that function inconsistently.
- Faulty devices – Most residential appliances and devices operate without a problem, however occasionally some can create a short circuit which can be hazardous. Often this simply requires the repair of the offending device, however, in some instances, the result may require the replacement of the circuit breaker panel.
- Damage – The impairment of any part of your home’s electrical system can have a direct effect on your circuit breaker panel. Damage can occur in a variety of ways like a fallen tree limb, flooding or even animals that can damage the wiring in an unseen location.
Properly designed and maintained circuit breakers can operate for years with few issues, however, in some cases a repair is necessary. At Martella Electric Company, our Delaware County circuit breaker repair technicians carefully assess every electrical system to determine whether the electrical panel simply needs repair, upgrade or replacement.
Benefits of Upgrading Your Breaker Panel
Upgrading your breaker panel can offer several benefits for your home's electrical system. Here are some reasons why you should consider upgrading:
- Improved Safety: Older breaker panels may not meet current safety standards, putting your home at risk of electrical hazards. Upgrading to a newer panel with advanced safety features can provide better protection against electrical fires and shocks.
- Increased Capacity: If you frequently experience tripped breakers or have limited electrical capacity in your home, upgrading your panel can provide additional circuits and increased capacity to meet your electrical needs. This is especially beneficial if you're planning to add new appliances or electrical devices.
- Enhanced Functionality: Modern breaker panels offer advanced features such as surge protection, built-in diagnostics, and remote monitoring capabilities. These features can help protect your electrical devices from power surges and allow you to easily monitor and manage your home's electrical system.
- Energy Efficiency: Upgrading to a newer breaker panel can also improve energy efficiency by reducing power loss and optimizing electrical distribution. This can result in lower energy bills and a more sustainable home.
- Increased Home Value: A properly installed and updated breaker panel is an attractive feature for potential homebuyers. Upgrading your panel can increase the value of your home and make it more appealing on the market.
At Martella Electric Company, our experienced electricians can assess your current breaker panel and provide professional recommendations for an upgrade that suits your specific needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Thankfully electrical systems are designed to provide reliable power for years with minimal maintenance, however, there are instances where a circuit breaker panel requires replacement or upgrade. Symptoms like frequently tripping circuit breakers, flickering lights or sparking are a strong indication that your panel requires professional attention. Although it’s difficult to determine whether a circuit breaker requires repair, upgrade or replacement without a full inspection, Martella Electric Company in Delaware County has found that some of the most frequent problems that require replacement include the following.
Common Circuit Breaker Problems That Indicate a Replacement Is Needed:
- Miswiring – Occasionally electrical panels can exhibit problems as a result of errors made during repair or miswiring. Common symptoms resulting from poorly performed electrical repairs include failure of a device to turn off properly or continued running even after the switch has been shut off. Electrical shock is another indication that a repair my not have been done correctly. Since it can take time for problems due to miswiring to manifest, it can often be difficult to quickly diagnose the source of the problem.
- Circuit overload – The most common reason for a tripped circuit breaker is an overloaded circuit. Normally this occurs when too many devices are using an individual circuit; since wiring can only accommodate a limited amount of power, circuit breakers are designed to disconnect the flow of power to prevent overheating. While the best short-term fix is to reduce the number of devices being used, the long-term solution includes the upgrade of your electric panel or possibly the replacement of your entire circuit breaker panel.
- Short circuit – A short circuit can occur anywhere within your home, including your breaker panel. Although this can often be resolved with a simple repair, in some cases it will require the replacement of the electric panel.
- Faulty circuit breaker panels – There are a number of circuit breaker panels that have been found to be hazardous, so if your home has a Federal Pacific Electric (FPE), Zinsco or Zinsco-Sylvania circuit breaker panel, we strongly suggest that you contact our electricians to have it inspected. These electrical panels possess well-document problems that could lead to serious injury or death, so contact a professional immediately for assistance if you find that you have one of these panels in your home
Can You DIY Circuit Breaker Installation?
Replacing a circuit breaker yourself can be possible if you have the necessary knowledge and experience. However, it is important to prioritize safety. Circuit breakers are connected to electrical panels, which carry high voltage electricity, so if you're not confident in your electrical skills, it's best to hire a professional electrician. If you do decide to replace the circuit breaker yourself, make sure to turn off the power supply to the panel, wear proper safety gear like gloves and safety glasses, and follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. Remember, working with electricity can be dangerous, so it's always better to err on the side of caution and seek professional help if you're unsure.
When to Replace Circuit Breaker Panel
- Poor Performing Appliances: If your dryer is not drying your clothes and your refrigerator is not staying cool, you may need to upgrade or replace your circuit breaker panel.
- Damage to Electronics, Lights, and Appliances: If you are experiencing blown light bulbs or problems with the electronics in your home, your electrical panel may be causing the problem.
- Flickering & Dimming Lights: This is one of the most common signs of a circuit breaker panel problem. An inconsistent or insufficient supply of electricity will cause your lights to flicker.
- Burning Smells: If your panel is overheating, it will begin to melt the wire insulation and the panel box itself. This is a very dangerous situation.
- Breaker Will Not Remain Reset: If you are sure that the circuit is not overloaded and you have waited a few minutes for the circuit to cool down, the issue could be a faulty breaker box.
- Breakers Trip Consistently: If you continually find yourself going outside to flip your circuit breakers back on, your system may not have enough power to meet your home's demands.
- Physical Damage (Melted Wiring): If you find melted wiring insulation or burn marks on your breaker box, you should get help fast because of the danger of an electrical fire.
- Old Age: If you do not know the age of your system, having your electrical panel inspected can shed light on whether your panel is outdated or too old to run safely.
How To Replace a Circuit Breaker
Here's a general guide on how to replace a circuit breaker:
- Turn off the main circuit breaker.
- Test for power using a voltage tester.
- Remove the panel cover.
- Identify the circuit breaker to replace.
- Disconnect the wires from the old breaker.
- Remove the old breaker.
- Install the new breaker securely.
- Reconnect the wires to the new breaker.
- Replace the panel cover and secure it.
- Turn on the main circuit breaker.
- Test the circuit for proper functionality.
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They responded to my request for service and were there when promised. Respectful of property and polite.Dorothy M.
1. Office personnel was extremely courteous. 2. Bill, our electrician, was pleasant, knowledgeable, efficient, and professional.Paul S.
Good company who gets the job done correctly.Carmen F.
Mark came out on a Friday on short notice and did a great job for us in all aspects. He put in some lighting and fans and also diagnosed some issues ...Mark D.
This company has very professional employees, and I am always pleased with their work when they leave my home. They are patient with my questions and ...Carolyn B.
Mark was top notch and even after I discovered a misdirection mostly on my part (he used the air conditioner bus which shut down the AC) he returned ...Jack R.
Andrew is efficient and effective in everything that he does. His methodical nature makes me feel very confident that the work is done comprehensively ...Barb C.
Excellent work by Marc and Gus.Neil R.
Martella’s response to an emergency was awesome and expedient! That in and of itself was above and beyond to me. Mark came out on time, explained the ...Bonne W.