Electrical panel maintenance? What you need to know

Professionalism defines an attitude toward what we do. It’s something we now expect when we buy products or services. Your property’s electrical system needs professional maintenance and regular inspections. Electrical panel maintenance should be part of all residential and commercial property upkeep.

What is Electrical Panel Maintenance?

If you’re buying a new-to-you home, ask when the last professional electrical panel maintenance was provided. Most electrical service companies recommend professional panel maintenance every 2-3 years. If it’s more than 30 years old, consider panel replacement.

A visual inspection is a homeowner’s first electrical panel maintenance task. When the lid is shut, check for dust and dirt, rust, or signs of moisture. Open the electrical panel door and inspect the inside. Corrosion and even dust build-up can cause problems with your electrical service. Most electrical panel malfunctions are dangerous.

Professional Panel Maintenance: What We Do

There are clues your electrical panel is outdated or problematic. Some you can see; others may be subtle but are red flags. A professional electrical panel maintenance visit will address any electrical issues you may have noticed. We will also explore the electrical panel box form and function.

1. Visual Inspection

If the breaker box has a brand name of “Federal Pacific Electric” or “Zinsco,” it may be unsafe. Even if it has a reassuring “GTE Sylvania” label inside, it may be one of the recalled Zinscos. Federal Pacifics may have a “Stab-Loc” label inside the panel.

(Older Zinscos and all Federal Pacifics might not trip, causing overheating and fires. Federal Pacifics went out of production in the 1980s, but not before millions of properties were affected.)

If we discover old fuses and aging fixtures during the electrical panel maintenance, we will probably recommend an upgrade.

2. Fire Evidence

With no “fuel” available, fires inside closed panel boxes usually extinguish themselves. There may have been a previous panel fire if there are burn marks or discolorations in or near the panel box.

3. Frequent Circuit ‘Trips’

It is not normal to have to “reset the breaker” because you have a power outage in one area. Most property owners go years without their circuit breakers flipping off. Breaker-tripping tells us there’s some kind of deterioration going on.

4. Plastic-Burning Smell

Plastic electronics have a distinctive odor when they are burning. If you smell plastic burning near the circuit box, schedule an electrical panel maintenance inspection immediately.

Electrical Demand is Property-Specific

Your property may have the same layout or floor plan as others. But how you use your space – how many people, rooms/offices, and electronic devices used – is unique. Working at home may lessen travel time and fuel consumption, but homeowners’ electricity usage increase proportionately. Office spaces and commercial buildings need basic services 24/7.

Turn It On Electric of Arizona recommends electrical panel maintenance as part of your annual or bi-annual property inspection. We’ll ensure breakers, connection points, components, and wires are tightened and functioning. We will also assess your usage levels to determine if your property’s wiring is keeping up.

If you have any questions or electrical concerns, contact us immediately. We’re your local electric service professionals for Phoenix-area communities and neighborhoods, including:

  • Carefree
  • Cave Creek
  • East Valley
  • Glendale
  • Paradise Valley
  • Peoria
  • Scottsdale

It’s not what we do…but how much love we put into it. – José, Journeyman Electrician

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