Taking care of your home’s electrical panel is the key to ensuring it provides all of the power your family needs. This panel sits inside some type of metal box and has breakers or fuses. You’ll usually find it in your basement, laundry room, or a similar space. The new year is the perfect time to practice routine maintenance and ensure this device can handle your home’s needs. Find out four essential things to include on your annual maintenance checklist.
1. Check for Damage
Checking for damage might sound easy, but it’s often a step homeowners forget about or skip over. Inspect the box and the panel for any signs of damage. Pay special attention to corrosion or rusting, which can allow water to leak inside the panel. Don’t overlook dings or dents either. It doesn’t cost much to replace the box, but it will give you peace of mind. Go over the inside to check for any frayed or damaged wires, too.
2. Look for Loose Connections
Even one loose connection can pose a serious problem. A loose wire may cause the panel to overheat. When this happens, it can produce sparks and lead to a fire that quickly spreads through your home. A loose wire can also disrupt the electrical connection and cause appliances to cut out or not function in the way they should. It usually only takes a few seconds to tighten the connections.
3. Test and Replace Breakers
Most homes have circuit breakers, which are more efficient than fuses. One breaker provides power to certain rooms or outlets. They have a rating that tells you how many amps of power they supply. A panel maintenance checklist should include testing and replacing breakers as needed. Test the breakers to ensure they provide the right amount of power. They should also trip or shut down when the load is too high. If the fuse blows or the breaker trips often, replacing it is recommended.
4. Inspect All Grounding
If you live in a newer or an upgraded home, you should have grounded outlets. They are compatible with three-prong cords and connect to a grounding rod via a grounding wire. If the outlet gets overloaded, the wire moves some of the power to the rod to prevent fires and other damage. Your maintenance checklist should include a full inspection of all grounding. Ensure that the rod and wire are both in good shape and can safely move the excess power away from your home.
It doesn’t take long to put together an electrical panel maintenance checklist. The top things to add to it include looking at the grounding, connections, and breakers and for any signs of damage. Why handle the maintenance yourself when experts are available to help? Call us at Sublime Electric in Boise, ID for electrical panel assistance today.