Skip to Content

Signs You Need Electrical Service Panel or Circuit Breaker Repair

Man working with circuit board

As homeowners, we rely on a steady and safe electricity supply to power our lives. But when things go awry with our electrical system, it can be inconvenient and dangerous. Recognizing the signs that you need an electrical service panel or circuit breaker repair is crucial for maintaining a safe and functional home environment.

Common signs that your service panel needs repair include:

  • Frequent circuit breaker trips
  • Burning smell from the panel
  • Visible damage or corrosion
  • Lights flickering, pulsing, or dimming
  • Buzzing or humming noises from the panel
  • Overheating electrical appliances
  • Scorch marks around outlets

While these can all indicate that your service panel needs repair, they might also indicate the need for an upgrade or installing a subpanel. Keep reading for more information on how to know the difference between repair issues and signs that your system is inadequate.

Knowing When to Upgrade vs. Repair Your Service Panel

Determining whether your service panel requires an upgrade or repair hinges on a few key factors. If your system frequently struggles with current demands due to added appliances or renovations, an upgrade might be necessary for safety and efficiency.

Conversely, repairs could suffice if issues are isolated to singular malfunctions like a specific breaker repeatedly tripping. Always consult one of our licensed electricians to assess the condition and recommend the best course of action.

Lifespan of a Service Panel

A typical electrical service panel lasts 25 to 50 years before upgrades or replacements are necessary. Factors influencing this include the quality of the initial installation, environmental conditions, and the overall electrical demand placed on the system. Regular inspections can help identify potential issues before they necessitate extensive repairs.

Process for Replacing an Old Electrical Panel

Replacing an old electrical service panel is a complex process that requires professional expertise. The procedure typically unfolds in several stages, beginning with a thorough inspection of the current system by one of our licensed and insured electricians to determine the need for replacement.

At Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Solar, we appreciate that replacing an electrical service panel or breaker box is a major home improvement project. As a significant investment in your home, we only recommend replacement when it is genuinely necessary.

Here's what homeowners can expect during the replacement process:

  1. Permit acquisition: Most counties and cities in the Bay Area require a permit for electrical work. We can help you acquire the necessary permits to ensure the project complies with local building codes and regulations.
  2. Selection of a new panel: Based on the assessment, we will recommend a new service panel that can handle your current and future electrical load. This includes considering the circuits needed and the panel's amperage capacity.
  3. Removal of the old panel: Our electrician will safely disconnect and remove the old panel.
  4. Installation of the new panel: The new service panel is installed, and all existing circuits are connected to the new panel. This step may involve upgrading wiring to meet current standards.
  5. Inspection and testing: The system is tested once the installation is complete to ensure all connections are secure and functioning correctly.

The entire process of replacing an old electrical panel typically takes between 8 to 16 hours of labor, spread over one or two days, depending on the complexity of the replacement, the age of the existing installation, and any complications encountered during the process.

Homeowners should plan for a power outage during most of this time, as the electricity must be turned off to execute the replacement safely.

Are you considering replacing your electrical service panel? Do you need guidance in circuit breaker repairs? Contact the team at Valley for reliable guidance and service.

Share To: