Too many people make the mistake of avoiding their electrical panel box unless they have a specific reason to go into it, such as flipping a breaker back on. However, this can be problematic because you want to make sure that you are keeping a close eye on it. You want to know if there is an issue that requires professional electrical repair. To help with this, you will want to review the following signs that it is in need of repair.
It Smells Like Melting Rubber
There is a rubber coating over the electrical wires in your home. The breakers in the box are also composed of a lot of plastic for the covering. Therefore, if you are noticing a smell that reminds you of burning or melting rubber, you will need to take immediate action. Consider this an emergency because what can start as some smoldering can quickly turn into a full fire. Shut off the electrical panel box at the main shut off and make sure that everyone in the house understands that it cannot be turned back on until a licensed electrician has solved the issue.
You Feel Some Heat
There should be a metal door on the front of your electrical panel box. Open that door and carefully place the back of your hand against the metal plate between the two rows of breakers. The metal should be room temperature. If it seems to be hotter than that, you will want to shut the main breaker off and call for an emergency electrical repair service. The reason for the heat could very well be that there are some wires sparking and that type of issue can easily cause a house fire.
All Of Your Lights Are Flickering
If a single room has had trouble with the lights flickering, it could be that you have bad bulbs or bad lighting fixtures. It could be that the wiring that is tied into the fixture is coming loose or that room could be connected to a bad breaker. However, if you are finding that all of the lights in your house are flickering, you have a much more serious problem on your hands. You could have a bad neutral line, either inside of your home leading into the electrical box or on the outside of your home.
It could also be that your entire electrical panel box is bad and it needs to be replaced. This is common when the box and all of the breakers are old. Sometimes, the circuit panel within the electrical box can develop rust, especially if you have had water issues in your basement before. Either way, you are going to need a licensed electrician to handle this for you.
With all of this in mind, you will now want to make it a point to examine your electrical panel box at least once a week. This way, should a problem start to present itself, it will not be an issue for long before you notice it and call for repairs from an expert.