An electrical panel is a central hub for your commercial property's entire electrical system. It receives electricity and routes it to different circuits. There are times when upgrading your commercial electrical panel and other electrical components is necessary. This upgrade can be triggered by various factors, such as enhancing workplace safety or saving on energy costs.
Here are three signs commercial electrical panel upgrades are necessary.
Frequently Tripping Breakers
Circuit breakers protect the electrical system in your commercial property. These components protect an electrical circuit from damage, especially from high electrical current. In this context, the breaker is designed to trip due to dangerous current levels.
If circuit breakers frequently trip, it might be time to consider a commercial electrical panel upgrade. A circuit breaker trips for various reasons, such as when the circuit attempts to draw a greater load than it is purposed to carry. This is common when too many fixtures or appliances are operating at the same time. A breaker may also trip when there is a short circuit, ground fault, or arc fault.
If tripping affects only a single circuit, the issue may be due to damaged wiring or a problem with an appliance that's plugged into an outlet. However, if the problem affects multiple breakers, it is likely that the panel is severely damaged and needs an upgrade.
Overheating Electrical Panels
It's normal for your electrical panel to get warm since electrical current is constantly passing through it. During normal business hours, the back and sides of the system will often feel hotter than the knob. However, if the breaker components become too hot to touch, that's a sign that something is wrong with the entire panel.
There are several reasons why a circuit breaker overheats, including loose connections or a current level that exceeds its handling capacity. These two problems can be easily diagnosed and fixed. However, if the panel is hot and you also notice flickering lights, the panel itself could be faulty. In such a case, a full electrical panel upgrade should be in your cards.
Corroding or Rusting Panels
You should also check for other indicators of deterioration on the panel, such as rust and corrosion. If the panel is not replaced, rust can create extra resistance and cause the panel to overheat. In severe cases, electrical arcing and excess heating can cause a fire in your commercial property.
Corrosion and rust are serious red flags in an electrical panel. Even when rust appears on the outside, you should call a professional electrician to check the panel's interior. Typically, corroded breakers may be slow to trip or fail to trip. In other words, the problem may cause the panel not to function correctly.
Like other electrical components in your business property, electrical panels will reach their end of life at some point and would need an upgrade. If any of these three signs sound familiar, consider an electrical panel upgrade for your commercial property.Share