Just like the rest of you home, your electrical panel needs a little TLC to keep you and your family safe. When performing an inspection on your panel or a panel change, rule number one is to call a certified electrician. Any certified electrician should be able to provide you with the proper certification card. Residential electrical is a red seal trade and contractors that have this certification have worked hard to get it and are more than happy to show it off.
Regardless of the age, type or size of your panel an annual inspection is something that we highly recommend for the safety of your home. There are many items that are checked during a routine electrical inspection, here are just a few:
- Wires – Checking the wires attached to the panel for heat damage and cracks and to ensure all wire connections are tight and connected properly. LOOSE WIRES CAUSE FIRES!!
- Breakers – Overtime breakers get old and worn. They also may heat up. This is a sign that they are on the verge of failing. If they are not making a proper connection with the buss bar this will cause arcing and can be a potential fire hazard just like loose wires. Also checking the size of the breaker compared to the load on it. It is very important that the breaker and wire are sized properly to compliment the load. All breakers should be of the same manufacturer as the panel they are in. Fire inspectors will look for this and it could potentially void your fire insurance.
- Grounding/Bonding – It is extremely important that your electrical panel be properly bonded.
- Holes and Covers – Having the proper covers on your panel and all holes capped is a huge safety issue.