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Electrical Safety

Electrical Safety

Electricity has proven to be nothing short of a miracle in our life. Any luxury you can think of is just a flick of a switch away. Without electricity most of our household appliances would be rendered useless. But at the same time, we need to be sure of how safe our loved ones are around this modern marvel in our homes and offices.

Renovations around the house usually revolve around things we can see and feel. But upgradation where your family’s safety is concerned should be on top of the priority list. A backdated service panel, also known as a breaker box, can prove to be fatal and if your house is over 30 years old, the service panel can use an up gradation if not total restoration.

A new electrical panel does not increase the amount of power supplied to your home. For that, replacement of other vital parts is required. An electrical panel contains circuit breakers which protect the wiring by tripping and shutting down the power to your home during times of electrical shortage.

How would you know if your panel is outdated?

Now, the question is how would you know if your service panel is outdated? Firstly, if the  electrical panel is a mass of wires and has old 60 amp service it definitely needs an up gradation. Frequent blowing up of fuses or tripping of the circuit breaker might indicate that your domestic circuits are overloaded and it’s time for you to change your electrical panel. Overloading can even lead to fire. Burn mark, buzzing and crackling sound accompanied by the smell of burning plastic should not be ignored. Flickering of lights can also be a sign. Under this kind of situation, it is advisable that you contact a qualified electrician and get your electrical panel and wiring checked.

An up gradation in your electrical panel enables you to enjoy uninterrupted flow of electricity in your home without any potential risk or threats. The problem can be momentarily evaded by adding a sub panel, but for the long run it should be upgraded or replaced with its new modern counterparts.

Food for thought

For getting new electrical appliances which consume a lump sum amount of electricity or if you are planning on increasing outlets you must first get your electrical panel checked whether it is suitable for handling the extra load. Even if your panel might not be showing any problems at present, if it’s old it would be wise to remodel your break box and bring yourself at par with modern day technology. Here are some of the panel brands which are known to cause problems – Federal Pacific, Zinsco, Pushmatic, or Bulldog.

In case you are currently using products belonging to any of the above mentioned brands and if it’s showing any sign of trouble you better call in a qualified electrician and get it replaced. While buying an electrical panel you should always look up whether it conforms to the codes and satisfies all local requirements. After all it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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