Fall is here, and for many, it will soon be time to decorate their home and landscaping with lights for the holiday season. However, before you take this festive step, it would be wise to know if your home’s electrical system can handle the extra load.
The colorful lights decorating your house and property may not seem to consume much electricity. However, if you consider all of the yard decorations and the multiple strands of lights, you are placing quite an additional load on your home’s electrical system. Throw in the mushrooming number of modern portable devices, space heaters being used, electronics being enjoyed, and entertaining during the holidays, and there will be much more stress on your electrical panel.
Electrical panels are designed to safely distribute power to every area of the home and have service lives of 25 to 40 years. However, a home 20 years or older may no longer be able to handle the electrical demands of a modern family. Before 2018, houses being built commonly installed a 100-amp electrical panel. Newer homes today are now typically equipped with 200-amp electrical panels to meet modern power needs. The following will cover danger symptoms that indicate you might need an electrical panel upgrade, which is also known as a heavy-up.
If the lights of your house flicker or dim when a large appliance is turned on, then this is a strong sign that you need a new electrical panel. Do the lights flicker whenever your HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system goes on? Flickering or dimming can also happen when you turn on your clothes dryer, hair dryer, microwave, or other smaller appliance.
A worn-out electrical panel is more vulnerable to electrical surges. If you have to reset your circuit breakers frequently, then your electrical panel needs the immediate attention of a licensed electrician. This also applies if resetting a breaker does not restore power or if a breaker does not shut off when it overloads.
An indication of serious danger is signs of heat inside or around an electrical panel. Call a professional electrician immediately and ask for an inspection if you see scorch marks or dark discolorations on your electrical panel.
Electrical Services You Can Trust
Founded in 1991, Meyer Electrical Services provides home and commercial electrical services in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., where we are licensed and insured. Based in Bethesda, our team proudly serves all of Montgomery County. Receive a free consultation for custom electrical work today by calling (301) 941-1400.