Breaker Panel Replacements and Upgrades
Homes in Tampa use a lot of power compared to other parts of the country. Pool and spa equipment, air conditioners, and other appliances in Florida homes are notoriously power hungry. It’s up to your breaker panel to distribute all the electricity used in your home, making this single piece of equipment extremely important. At Hoffman Electric, we inspect and install breaker panels for Tampa area residents on a regular basis.
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What is a Breaker Panel and how does it Work?
Your breaker panel is where the electricity that enters your home is divided into the circuits that power your lights, receptacles, and so forth. The panel is also important because it contains circuit breakers. Circuit breakers are safety mechanisms that automatically “trip” and stop the flow of electricity to prevent damage to your electrical system when there is too much electricity running through the wiring. The breaker panel itself is located inside a grey metal box that will be located on a wall in your home or garage near where the power comes in.
Outdated Breaker Panels are a Safety Hazard
Older panels are not suited for the power demands of modern appliances and will often need to be replaced for that reason. However, Tampa homeowners should also be aware that many homes from the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s were built with breaker boxes that have since been found to be unsafe. These include panels manufactured by Federal Pacific Electric (FPE), Zinsco, and Zinsco-Sylvania. These panels are prone to malfunction and pose a fire danger. If you believe your home has one of these panels, please contact us to arrange for an inspection.
Signs that Your Breaker Panel Should be Replaced
Even if your breaker panel is not an immediate fire danger, it may still need to be replaced to ensure your electrical system functions properly. When breakers are going bad you may hear a buzzing sound coming from the box. You may also experience interruptions to your power even though none of the breakers have tripped. Or, more commonly, one or more breakers may trip for no apparent reason. Visual signs of scorching or other damage to the panel are another sign of trouble. Finally, you may find that your old circuits simply don’t have the capacity to handle the power demands of your home, and that you need an upgrade.
Why You Should Hire a Professional to Fix Your Breaker Panel
We are often asked if replacing a breaker panel can be a do-it-yourself project for Tampa homeowners looking to save money. The truth is that even for people with a fair amount of home improvement experience, the job can prove a bit much. For one thing, previous owners or tenants may have replaced components incorrectly. Our technicians are trained to spot these problems. Also, changes to the panel must comply with electrical codes, which change from time to time. Because breaker panels are complex and potentially dangerous, it is best to have them serviced by licensed professionals like the technicians at Hoffman Electrical & A/C.