Circuit breakers are a critical component of your Frederick, MD home’s electrical system and crucial to protecting you and your family from electrical fires. Meant to interrupt power to a circuit when the electrical current flow exceeds safe levels, they’re designed to “trip” and cut off the flow of electricity to outlets, switches, and fixtures that may be experiencing a problem. Resetting a circuit breaker usually restores the power. If that solves the problem, there’s nothing else you need to do. But if it happens repeatedly, you might have a bad circuit breaker that needs to be replaced, as faulty breakers cannot be repaired.
Replacing a circuit breaker is a relatively inexpensive solution to help protect your home. Wenbrooke Services offers circuit breaker and circuit breaker box replacement services that ensure all your appliances, equipment, and devices operate as safely and efficiently as they should.
Signs Your Circuit Breaker Has a Problem
Flickering lights, poor appliance performance, and strange smells are a few warning signs of a circuit breaker problem. Here’s what to look for.
- A burning smell from the electrical panel indicates the wires and insulation are overheated. This usually requires emergency service, so be sure to call your service provider immediately.
- If the breaker keeps tripping, it’s a sure indication it’s failed. A professional electrician can diagnose why it’s happening and perform any needed repair or replacement services.
- If you notice any physical damage, such as scorch marks around the breaker or on switches and outlets, the wiring has likely melted. This serious issue can lead to fire, so unplug anything connected to an outlet with scorch marks and call an electrician immediately.
Another reason circuit breakers frequently trip is their age. They’re designed to last for decades but do eventually fail. If it seems like a circuit breaker trips every time you turn on an appliance or device, have a professional inspect the breaker and the panel.
Circuit Breaker Repair vs. Replacement
Circuit breakers should never strain to do their job. As circuit breakers themselves cannot be repaired, if you’re experiencing frequent circuit breaker tripping, it may be time to replace the breaker or the entire panel. Ignoring the warning signs puts your home and family at too serious a risk. You likely need to upgrade your electrical panel if you recently purchased a new major appliance, added on to your home, or use many electrical devices at once.
Why Choose Wenbrooke Services for Circuit Breaker Repairs
When the occasional circuit breaker in your Frederick, MD home breaks or malfunctions, you may need to replace it or upgrade your existing panel. As it’s a job that requires in-depth knowledge of working with electrical wiring, it’s best left to a professional who’s trained in doing the work.
At Wenbrooke Services, we offer an extensive range of residential electrical services, including circuit breaker and breaker box replacements. Fully licensed and insured, our family-owned business is prepared to get started fixing all your electrical problems immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions About Circuit Breaker Installation
How can I tell if I need a new breaker panel?
Most electrical panels last 40 to 60 years, but age is not always the first concern when replacing a breaker panel. You may need to upgrade to meet modern safety standards. Your panel might also be at maximum capacity and need replacing to meet your current electrical needs. If your existing breaker panel is over 25 years old or less than 200 amp service, you’ll likely benefit from an upgrade. Other signs it’s time to upgrade an electrical panel include:
- Rusted electrical parts
- Constantly tripping breakers
- Scorching inside the panel
- Overuse of power strips
Why do my breakers keep tripping?
When breakers constantly trip, it’s usually due to one of three reasons:
- The electrical circuit is overloaded.
- There’s an electrical fault in the circuit.
- The electrical wire is undersized.
Frequent breaker tripping doesn’t always signify the need to upgrade or replace your breaker panel, but it could mean there’s a problem with your electrical panel or wiring. Or it might simply mean you have a bad breaker. Your best bet is to have a licensed electrician examine the electrical panel and your home’s wiring to determine if you need an electrical panel replacement.
Are a fuse and a circuit breaker different?
Yes, they are. Fuse boxes are typically found in homes constructed before the 1960s. They’re considered a safe yet outdated technology that isn’t designed with modern electrical consumption needs in mind. They also don’t provide the same safety features as newer breaker panels. If you’re planning to remodel or need more power to run your appliances and electronics, talk to a qualified electrician about doing an in-depth examination to determine if you should replace your fuse box. In most cases, the answer is yes.
Have more questions about circuit breaker installation for your Frederick, MD home? Contact Wenbrooke Services online today or call us at (240) 394-1500.