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Top Six Signs That It May be Time to Upgrade Your Electrical Panel


Tallahassee-area residents are blessed with an abundant supply of electrical energy. It is primarily produced by the burning of clean natural gas. Tallahassee’s Electric Utilities Department delivers efficient service at competitive rates, and strives to provide a quick response to power outages and interruptions.

However, the dependability and quality of the electricity within your home or business is also subject the condition and type of its electrical panel. If your electrical panel is old, damaged, or undersized, it can cause localized power outages in rooms, make lighting flicker or dim, and cause other problems. An outdated or otherwise compromised electrical panel can also pose a fire hazard.

The electricity experts at Tallahassee-based Meeks Electrical Services know a thing or two about electrical panels. They can tell you if it’s time for an upgrade. They would be glad to assess your home or business’s electrical panel. The team has some tips on what signs might suggest that you should give Meeks a call for that assessment. Read on to learn more about electrical panels and the signs you should look for that suggest it might be time to upgrade yours.

What is the Purpose of an Electrical Panel?

Think of your electrical panel as the distribution center for meeting electrical power demands throughout your home or business. The panel takes the incoming electricity provided by the power line and safely distributes it to meet the electricity needs. It distributes to HVAC systems, appliances, lighting, outlets, or anything else requiring electricity. Breakers or fuses in the panel help ensure that correct electrical loads are delivered. They also break the flow of electricity when problems arise. You will typically experience localized issues with your electricity when demand for it exceeds the panel’s ability to distribute it. You may also have issues if the panel is damaged or starting to deteriorate.

Six Signs that Suggest You May Need to Upgrade Your Tallahassee Electrical Panel

  1. Your electrical panel has fuses instead of breakers—fuses are ancient technology that haven’t been in new electrical panels since the 1960s. If your panel has fuses, it’s more than 40 years old. It is past the average 25- to 40-year life expectancy of electrical panels. The advanced age of your panel is bad enough, but an ancient panel with fuses represents a distinct fire hazard.
  2. Your breakers constantly need to be flipped—breakers are the newer, safer replacement for fuses, but if your panel is having trouble distributing electricity, or your electricity demand exceeds its ability to supply, the breakers will trip. An occasional breaker trip isn’t typically cause for concern. If it becomes a persistent problem it’s a definite sign that an upgrade might be necessary.
  3. Lights that flicker or dim—If you notice that your lights flicker or dim when you turn on an appliance or use an outlet for a vacuum or other device, this indicates that there is too much electricity demand from that particular circuit. Your electrician may be able to add additional circuits to your panel, or you need a complete panel upgrade.
  4. You’re adding an addition to the home, remodeling, or bringing in new appliances—You should consider upgrading your electrical panel. If you’re planning to upgrade your home with an addition or remodeling, your existing panel may not be able to handle new electrical demand created by the renovations. This could also hold true if you are introducing new appliances or other electrical features to the home or business.
  5. You smell something burning—If you smell something burning, especially if it’s a plastic or electrical burning smell emanating from around the electrical panel. It could indicate a failure in the circuit breaker or wiring. This is a serious problem that needs investigation. If the burning smell is a one-time event that dissipates, or it seems to come and go, you should have your panel examined by an electrician. If the smell is ongoing and seems to be getting worse, call your fire department or 911.
  6. Likewise, if your electrical panel feels warm or hot, this could be a sign of a serious problem. An overheating circuit will trip a breaker. You might first become aware of an emerging problem when resetting the breaker. If the breaker trips again or the heat coming from the panel fails to subside, call your electrician.

Contact Meeks Electrical Services to Upgrade Your Electrical Panel

If any of these six signs seem applicable to your home or business, Tallahassee-based Meeks Electrical Services offers electric panel inspection and installation as part of its comprehensive roster of services. For all of your Tallahassee-area residential and business electrical needs, contact Meeks today at (850) 575-3201.