Tag Archives: electrical repair

If Your Home Is 20 Years Old, Your Electrical Panel Needs an Upgrade

Most homeowners don’t think about their electrical panels…ever. Why would you? If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, right? At Jeremy Electrical, Heating & Cooling, we think about electrical panels every day. That’s because we see the effects of time, use, and environment on residential breaker boxes.

What Makes Electrical Panels Go Bad?

“What do you see?” you might ask. We’re glad you did.

  • outdated breaker box tips suggestionsWe see the incorrect style of breakers installed or breakers that are installed incorrectly.
  • We see loose terminations (the connections that hold the wires to the breakers). This creates arcing and can damage the breaker and the bus bars in the panel.
  • We see damaged breaker boxes that have had moisture inside them. Moisture creates oxidation and corrosion on the bus bars inside.
  • We see breaker boxes with fuses – yikes, that means they’re really old
  • We see old brands of electrical panels that are not safe. If you have one of these, replace it immediately.

Related Read: My Electrical Panel Is Out of Date. Should I Be Concerned?

4 Electrical Panel Brands That Are Dangerous to Have in Your Home

Old electrical panels pose several hazards. Old panels can cause fires if overloaded. If fuses blow or circuit breakers trip frequently, it may be an indication that your home’s circuits are overloaded. If you notice burn marks, hear buzzing or crackling, or smell burning plastic around or inside the electrical panel, have a qualified electrician check the panel immediately. Here is a list of electrical panels that are dangerous to have in your home. If you have any of these brands, call an electrician immediately to replace them:

FEDERAL PACIFIC
These breakers were commonly installed in homes around the United States from the 1950’s to the 1990’s. Several tests over the years have shown that one in four of these breakers will be defective and not properly trip, causing a fire hazard.

ZINSCO
While there are very few of these breakers in operation today, they were once very popular. As society’s electrical demands increased though, these breakers were not able to keep up. It was found that they would allow electricity to burn until it runs out or the wires melted, leaving homes at risk of fire and homeowners at risk for shock.

ITE/BULLDOG PUSHMATIC
These types of breakers are older systems that don’t have any replacement parts that are manufactured anymore, which is part of the problem. They’ve also been found to be grease-fed breakers, which means that if they are not used and serviced regularly, they become difficult to operate.

SYLVANIA
Sylvania panels were used in US in 60s and 70s. They were Zinsco panels, bought out by Sylvania, and the only major change in the panel was the Sylvania logo. They have the same problems as Zinsco panels. If you have one of these breakers, they are also uninsurable.

If you think your electrical panel is out of date, call Jeremy Electrical, Heating & Cooling today at (913) 375-0070. We can come to your home and give you a free estimate on replacement.


Top 4 Things to Check Before Calling an Electrician

Check for Electrical Problems Image When you have electrical problems at your Kansas City area home, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the problem before calling an electrician and paying for a service call. At Jeremy Electrical, we want to make sure you’ve exhausted all of these possibilities before you call in the professional electricians.

Check the Electrical Outlet

This sounds like a simple solution, and it is. But, many times, people will assume that there is something wrong with an appliance when it doesn’t work. Instead, plug the appliance into a different outlet to clarify if it’s the outlet or the appliance that is malfunctioning.

Check the Appliance

If the appliance works when plugged into another outlet, the outlet is the problem. However, just because it is not producing electricity, it may still be operable. Some outlets are controlled by switches. This is most common in living rooms and bedrooms. Leave the appliance plugged in and flip any nearby switches to see if they control power flow to that outlet. If it goes on, your problems are solved.

Check GFCI Outlets

Sometimes the trouble is not caused by a lack of electricity, but rather the outlet itself. GFCI outlets or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlets work like mini-breakers and cut off the power when there is a danger of a surge. GFCI outlets will be located near water and are typically found in the bathrooms or kitchen and sometimes outside. When switched off, they must be reset by pressing the red button in the middle. You will usually hear a click sound when it resets.

Related Read: Does Your Home Have These 4 Electrical Hazards? 

Check the Circuit Breakers

Find your breaker box and look for the breaker that is out of place. Flip it off then on again. They should be labeled, but this isn’t always the case. If all of the breakers seem to be in the on position, go ahead and flip them all off and back on. If nothing changes, be aware that some homes have more than one breaker box. Check both the basement and garage for another breaker box.

If none of these troubleshooting tips rectify the situation, call one of the professional electricians at Jeremy Electrical to come figure out the problem. You can reach us at 913-375-0070. We are available 24 hours a day.