Three Common Electrical Problems that Can Devalue Your Home

Problems with the electrical system can be frightening for homeowners because they can lead to household electrical fires. Even if the worst-case scenario never comes to pass, issues with a home's electrical service and wiring can devalue the house and may complicate efforts to upgrade appliances.

Taking care of your home's electrical service by maintaining your electrical panel and replacing it as needed can help you maintain the value of your home. Below, we've listed three common electrical problems and their solutions. Here's what you need to know about troubleshooting electrical problems.

1. Water In the Electrical Panel

Whether your electrical panel is on the outside or inside of your house, water is always a threat. Electrical panels are sealed from the outside to prevent water from entering the box, but seals can deteriorate over time. Check the circuit breaker box on a regular basis, at least once annually, to look for signs of a problem.

Signs of a Problem

Sometimes it's obvious when water has entered the circuit breaker box. Rust is a clear indication of an issue. Other times, it's harder to tell. Difficulty opening the box, squeaky hinges, condensation inside the box, calcium buildup around the breakers and water stains in and around the electrical box are all signs that your electrical panel has been compromised with water.

Soot, noises from the electrical panel and flickering lights are all an indication of a serious issue.

What You Can Do

Contact your licensed electrician to solve the problem. Your electrician can:

  • Identify the cause of the leak.
  • Restore the seal around the box.
  • Recommend and make repairs as needed.

2. Corrosion on the Main Service Box

When water penetrates the electrical panel, a variety of problems may occur. Rust and corrosion are the most common issues that homeowners experience when their panel is damaged by water. Corrosion can negatively affect the panel by damaging or even jamming the circuit breakers, preventing them from being used as they were intended.

What You Can Do

Sometimes corrosion on the main service box is so severe that the box itself must be replaced. This is a worst-case scenario. Most of the time, the home electrical panel can be fixed by replacing damaged pieces one at a time. To do this, you'll need to hire a licensed electrician. It's important to let the electrician do this because any time you're repairing an electrical box, there's a chance of electrocution. Hire a professional.

3. Electrical Panel and Meter Need Replacement

Electrical panels can last a very long time. However, old electrical panels can still become problematic, even if the panel itself functions just fine. The electrical demand of the average household has increased dramatically in the last half-century. Whereas homeowners in the 1950's might have needed only 60 amps of service, today's homeowners need 200. This increase in demand means that many older electrical boxes, even if they are functional, may not provide enough power.

When too much demand is placed on the electrical box, this may trip circuit breakers. This could even lead to an overload or short circuit, causing potential damage to the electrical wiring. Eventually, a fire could be the result.

Signs of a Problem

You'll be able to tell if your home's electrical panel needs replacement if:

  • Circuit breakers trip constantly
  • Lights flicker when appliances turn on
  • You must play "musical appliances" (plugging appliances into different outlets just to use all your appliances when they're needed)

What You Can Do

Work with a licensed electrician to replace your home's electrical panel. Replacement of an electrical panel is not a DIY project! Your electrician can ensure the work is done properly.

Contact Patnode Electric

Don't live with home electrical problems. Contact your licensed electrician at Patnode Electric for all your electrical work. We replace electrical boxes, inspect electrical boxes for potential problems, and can replace parts of the electrical box to save you money on repairs. Contact us today to make an appointment.

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