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BlogLifetime Warranty on Everything We Do!

Signs That the Electrical Panel at Home Is in Need of Repair

Electrical Techs in Katy, TX Share Information About Repairing Electrical Panels.

Is Electrical Panel Repair Necessary? Here’s How to Tell

The electrical panel controls the electricity to various parts of the home. There’s a switch for the oven in the kitchen, there’s a switch for the main circuit breaker, and so on. There are so many switches and levers, it’s hard enough to tell what switch turns off what, and it can be even harder to tell what might be broken and in need of repair. Luckily, there are a few signs homeowners can spot that communicate the need for electrical panel repairs.

How Old Is the Electrical Panel?

old panel
Electrical panels do have a longer life expectancy compared to many things in a home. For instance, the typical water heater lasts 8-12 years and the average washer will last 12-14 years, but the average electrical panel will last 60 years.

So if someone is moving into a brand new home, they won’t have to worry about the electrical panel malfunctioning for quite some time. But when moving into an older home, electrical panel repair could pop up unexpectedly.

If possible, ask the previous homeowners if/when they last repaired the electrical panel as this can provide an estimated timeline for future needed repairs. But also pay attention to other signs of the panel aging. If it starts to corrode or has a lot of rust, it’s likely time for the panel to be replaced.

Is There a Burning Smell?

A burning smell is never a good sign, and this is true for electrical panels too. Where there’s a burning smell, there’s smoke. And when there’s smoke, there’s fire. The burning smell could be caused by a circuit breaker that no longer works or from a circuit breaker’s wire that is loose or no longer properly connected. Either of these problems could lead to an electrical fire. When something like this happens, homeowners need to act fast.

burning smell


Turn off or unplug all electrical equipment in the house, then turn off the main power supply. It’s important to unplug devices first because they can be damaged when turning on and off the home’s electricity. Once the power is turned off, and the home is not in immediate danger of a fire, it’s time to call a professional electrician to replace the panel.

Are Lights Flickering or Dimming?

light bulbs
Unless it’s Halloween, and people are trying to flicker their lights on purpose to spook out their neighbors, the lights in the house should not flicker or dim on their own. Many people will automatically assume that it’s just the light bulb going out.

So they’ll replace the bulb, but the flickering remains. When this happens, it’s not the light bulb. Instead, it’s a sign of an electrical panel breakdown. If homeowners don’t take the electrical panel into consideration as the source of the problem, they’ll not only waste money constantly replacing light bulbs, but also will put their house at risk of a fire.

The main cause of flickering and dimming lights is loose wiring in the electrical panel, which is a leading cause of house fires. If homeowners notice this sign, they need to call a professional electrician immediately.

About Electric City

Electric City has been serving homeowners with electrical services in Katy, TX for over a decade. When it comes to electrical repair services, they understand the complexity and importance of quality repair and troubleshooting services. No matter the issue a homeowner is dealing with, they can count on these electrical experts for care.