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5 Signs You Need a New Circuit Breaker

Image of a man's hands and a circuit breaker panel. He is holding a flashlight in one hand, flipping a switch with the other.

More than ever, a reliable electrical system is a crucial component in keeping your home environment safe and comfortable. You can’t have a reliable electrical system without an efficient circuit breaker. To ensure that your electrical system remains reliable it’s important to know the signs of a failing circuit breaker and understand when a circuit breaker replacement might be required.

Our expert electricians at Kolb Electric have put together this guide to help you recognize the signs that your circuit breaker is failing. Here are the five key signs that it might be time for a new circuit breaker:

Frequent Tripping

One of the most obvious signs that your circuit breaker needs attention is frequent tripping. If your circuit breaker trips at a frustrating frequency, it’s a sign it might be struggling to keep up with the demands of your home. For instance, you should be able to run your toaster and your microwave at the same time without a hitch.

Burning Smells or Burn Marks

Notice a strange burning smell or see scorch marks around your circuit breaker box? That’s a major red flag. A burning smell coming from your circuit breaker box or visible burn marks on the breakers are serious indicators that your circuit breaker poses a danger to your home. These signs usually point to overheating, which can lead to electrical fires if not dealt with quickly. If something doesn’t smell right, don’t wait. Avoid serious fire hazards and call in the pros.

Age of the Breaker

Circuit breakers aren’t designed to last forever. They are generally reliable for 25 to 30 years. If your home’s circuit breaker is over 30 years old, it’s time to consider a replacement. Older breakers may not trip as they should, which can leave your home vulnerable to electrical issues. Upgrading to a modern circuit breaker can enhance your home’s electrical safety and efficiency.

Unusual Noises

Buzzing or hissing sounds from your breaker box aren’t just creepy — they could signal serious electrical problems. These noises could indicate loose connections, faulty breakers, or other potentially dangerous problems. Such sounds often precede more serious electrical issues, making early detection and replacement crucial. Any unusual noises coming from your circuit breaker panel are not to be ignored.

Physical Damage

If your circuit breaker looks like it has seen better days, it might be time for a replacement. Visible signs of damage to the circuit breaker, such as cracks, frayed wires, or a deteriorated casing, can impair its functionality. Physical damage can compromise the safety features of the circuit breaker, leading to an increased risk of electrical mishaps.

Schedule a Circuit Breaker Replacement Today

Don’t wait for your electrical system to fail before addressing issues with your circuit breaker. At Kolb Electric, we make replacing your circuit breaker easy and stress-free. With over 90 years of experience, our team of friendly, reliable, certified electricians provides top-quality electrical services that keep your home safe and your systems running smoothly.

Family-owned and -operated, Kolb Electric proudly serves the Maryland, Virginia, and DC areas with efficient, reliable service including 24/7 emergency repairs. Trust your electrical systems, especially your faulty circuit breaker, to the professionals at Kolb Electric.

Ready to upgrade your circuit breaker? Contact Kolb Electric today and ensure your electrical systems and your home are safe and efficient!

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