A properly sized fuse protects as well as or better than a circuit breaker, but once they have done their job and blown, they need to be disposed of and replaced with a new fuse. Here is where one of their biggest flaws becomes evident. Most fuses can be incorrectly replaced with a fuse that has too high or too low a set point. This can cause inconvenience with an undersized fuse that blows too easily or it can cause overloading of the wiring systems if an oversized fuse is installed. This overloading can result in a fire. Over time we find that misapplication of fusing almost always ends at over sizing of the fuse in use. In extreme cases, desperate people have been known to install coins or other objects under a blown fuse completely eliminating any and all circuit protection. Over fusing is a hazard; bypassing the fuse is an insane hazard and should never be done we recommend electric panel upgrade.
The breakers themselves had a high rate of failure. When a breaker is overloaded, the unit should trip on its own to prevent electrical hazards. However, FPE breakers simply failed to trip when these electrical issues occurred. Some reports even found that over half of the breakers tested did not trip when overloaded, including brand new units.
1. Breaker constantly tripping.
Circuit breakers are designed to protect a home’s electrical system from drawing too much power. But if breakers are constantly tripping, then this could mean the electrical panel needs to be upgraded.
2. Breaker trips when a certain appliance is plugged in.
Some appliances require more electricity than others. Newer appliances can overwhelm an outdated electrical panel and cause problems with power.
3. Burning smell coming from the breaker box or outlet.
The only time a burning smell is welcome in the home is during a backyard barbecue. If an electrical panel has a burning smell in or around it, the cause could be a scorched plastic jacket covering the electrical wire melts, wood or insulation in the walls. It’s important to have the electrical panel replaced as soon as possible to prevent fire.
4. Warm or hot electrical panel.
A properly functioning electrical system should regulate how hot the electrical system can become. If an electrical panel is warm or hot to the touch, then the entire panel may need to be replaced.
5. Rust on the electrical panel.
The presence of rust indicates water damage, posing a serious threat to the electrical system. The electrical panel should be replaced as soon as possible. It’s also important to identify the cause of the water damage to help prevent future problems with rust.
6. Flickering lights.
If the lights flicker or dim when new devices or appliances are plugged in, then the electrical panel likely doesn’t have enough power to adequately supply all outlets. In these cases, an electrical panel may need an upgrade.
7. Electrical panel is over 25 years old.
An electrical panel that is over 25 years old is poorly equipped to protect the home’s electrical system from power surges due to normal wear and tear. At the very least, homeowners should schedule an inspection to make sure the electrical panel is working properly.
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