Common Electrical Panel Issues to Watch Out For

There’s so much that goes into a house’s infrastructure, and electrical panels are a big part of it. Without these vital components, your home’s electricity won’t work properly. However, since these are such important components, it is common for them to experience various problems over time. Knowing the most common electrical panel issues can help you better identify and address any potential problems you may have.


Corrosion occurs when moisture and dirt get into the box, which can cause corrosion over time. It can also happen when loose or missing screws and bolts aren’t properly sealed. Corrosion can create a serious safety hazard and should be addressed as soon as possible. It can also cause the breaker to trip more often, resulting in an interruption of power.

To prevent corrosion, check the box regularly for potential problems and keep it clean and dry. You should also seal all screws and bolts with a waterproof sealant. If you notice any corrosion, you should contact a professional electrician to have it repaired.

Worn Breakers

Breakers are designed to protect the electrical system from overloads, so it’s important to ensure they’re in good condition. Over time, however, these components can become worn out, meaning they won’t be able to protect the system as effectively. If you notice flickering lights or strange sounds coming from the panel, this could indicate that the breakers are worn or damaged.

To ensure your breakers are in good condition, test them regularly and replace any that appear damaged or worn out. They should also be replaced if they trip frequently, too.

Loose Wiring

Over time, the wiring in your electrical panel can become loose, posing a serious safety hazard. This can result from external factors such as rodents or insects or simply improper installation. Loose wiring can cause sparks and shorts, resulting in a power outage or even a fire.

To prevent loose wiring, make sure to have your panel inspected by a professional electrician regularly. If you notice any loose or frayed wires, make sure to have them replaced immediately.

Overloaded Circuits

This can occur when too many electrical devices are plugged into a single circuit, causing the breaker to trip more often. This can result from adding in too many new appliances or devices or simply neglecting to increase the number of circuits when your home’s electrical needs change. Overloaded circuits can cause your house’s electricity to become unreliable and even pose a safety hazard.

You should avoid plugging too many devices into a single circuit to prevent this issue. If you need more electrical outlets, purchase a power strip to help distribute the load more evenly. You can also contact a professional electrician to inspect your panel and add additional circuits if necessary.

Outdated Technology

The electrical panel likely has outdated technology if your property is more than 20 years old. This can lead to frequent breaker trips and an unreliable power supply. It’s important to have the panel inspected by a professional electrician to ensure it’s up to date and in proper working condition.

You can upgrade the panel with new technology, increasing its efficiency and safety if necessary. You should also replace outdated or damaged components, such as circuit breakers, to ensure that your house’s electrical system is safe and reliable.

Double Tapping

Double tapping occurs when two electrical wires are connected to a single breaker, which can cause overheating and even fires. This is usually due to improper installation. If double tapping is discovered, replacing the existing components should be done immediately.

To prevent this issue from occurring in the first place, make sure to have a professional install any new electrical devices and appliances. They’ll be able to properly secure the wiring and ensure the circuit isn’t overloaded.

Improperly Bonded Neutral and Ground Wires

This can happen when the neutral and ground wires aren’t properly connected, which can lead to various issues like shocks, sparks, and even fires. You’ll know if this is happening if you notice any sparks or a burning smell coming from your electrical panel. You might also notice that the panel is becoming very hot to the touch.

To prevent this issue, ensure your panel is inspected by a professional electrician every few years. They’ll be able to check the connections and ensure that everything is properly bonded. If any issues are discovered, they should be fixed immediately.

Poorly Connected Buses

The bus bars in the electrical panel are responsible for connecting all circuit breakers and other components. If these aren’t properly connected, then it can result in issues such as frequent breaker trips and overheating. They can also be damaged over time, leading to even more serious issues.

You should ensure the bus bars are inspected by a professional electrician every few years to check for any damages or loose connections. This will help prevent electrical issues and ensure your home’s safety.

Missing or Damaged Labels

The labels on your electrical panel are essential since they provide information about the circuits and breakers. Without them, it can be difficult to know which circuit is responsible for each outlet and device. Also, missing or damaged labels can lead to confusion and even a dangerous situation if you accidentally overload a circuit.

You should ensure that all labels on your panel are properly labeled and updated as needed. This will help you keep track of which circuits are responsible for which outlets and devices. Additionally, make sure to contact a professional electrician if any labels are missing or damaged. They’ll be able to accurately identify the circuits and provide the necessary information for any repairs or upgrades.

Badly Wired Circuits

Circuit wiring is an important part of the electrical panel and must be done correctly. Any issues with the wiring, such as loose connections or improper installation, can lead to problems with breaker trips and even fires.

During wiring installation and when replacing components, it’s important to ensure that everything is properly connected. If you notice any loose connections or improper installations, you should have them fixed as soon as possible.

Incorrectly Sized Breakers

The breakers in the panel are responsible for protecting the circuits from overloads. If they’re not the correct size, it can lead to frequent breaker trips and even fires. You should ensure that the right size breakers are installed in the panel to prevent any issues. The right size is determined by the current needed for each circuit. For example, if the circuit requires 15 amps, then a 15-amp breaker should be installed.

Purchasing the correct size breaker and having it installed by a professional electrician is essential for ensuring the safety of your electrical panel. If any issues are discovered, they should be fixed immediately.

By understanding the most common electrical panel issues, you can take steps to ensure your safety and protect your property. Regular inspections by a professional electrician will also help to identify any issues and prevent them from becoming more serious.

Cozy Home Services is a plumbing and HVAC service provider in Vacaville, CA that specializes in electrical panel inspections and repairs, solar panel installation, and water heater repair and installation. We also provide heating, cooling, and indoor air quality services. Our professional and experienced team of experts is available 24/7 for all of your electrical, plumbing, and HVAC repair needs. Contact Cozy Home Services today to schedule an appointment!