Most insurance companies recommend that your home electrical panel be inspected and maintained once every three years, yet the majority of homes are never inspected or maintained until a problem develops. Flickering lights, buzzing and sizzling noises coming from the panel, or a burning smell are sure indicators that it is time to get your panel inspected. However, there are many more “silent” signs that are much less obvious and can be detected with an electrical panel inspection before they have a chance to do any damage.
Studies show that more than two-thirds of electrical system failures can be prevented by routine maintenance. As your electrical panel ages, connections become loose through the normal expansion and contraction of the wiring and components. In addition, oxidation and pests can cause damage to the wiring and connections, reducing their ability to conduct electricity and causing a build up of heat and a reduction in the efficiency of the electrical system. In addition to normal “wear and tear”, several types of distribution panels have been identified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission as dangerous and should be replaced.
Another reason to have your electrical panel inspected is it you have had your electrical system upgraded due to a kitchen remodel, basement refinishing, a room addition, new electrical appliances, etc., especially if these electrical upgrades have been done by individuals who are not licensed electricians.
Belco Electric offers a 14 point electrical panel inspection designed to identify these issues as well as detect subtle signs that may develop into serious issues if not corrected early. Through February 28, 2011, Belco is offering a free electrical panel inspection with any service call. Call us for details.