Circuit breakers are responsible for routing electricity throughout building structures. It is not uncommon for some to become outdated and need to be replaced. Property owners may not understand why their electrical systems appear to be acting differently. Sometimes the signs are subtle or may seem insignificant. However, if a circuit breaker keeps getting overloaded, it can pose a threat to safety and property. The following points identify a few signs that it is time to buy a new circuit breaker.
Circuit breakers can last for many years before a replacement is needed. There are factors that can make it necessary to add a new breaker before the estimated lifespan is reached. A new breaker may be required to back up an existing one because more electricity is needed. Alternatively, the property owner could choose to upgrade to a more robust unit. Property owners should never continue to use a circuit breaker that has reached the end of its lifespan even if it appears to be working.
New Machinery or Appliances
When new things are purchased, more power will be needed for the property. Even if old machines or appliances are removed from the property, their replacements will likely consume more energy. This might be evidenced by strange occurrences such as lights flickering when too many things are being used.
Frequent Power Surges
Circuit breakers are designed to shut down when they get overloaded. The property owner might view this phenomenon as an inconvenience. However, it is a sign that the existing circuit breaker(s) cannot handle the electrical overload, and that it is time to buy a new circuit breaker(s). Power surges can damage equipment and appliances, which is why it makes sense to get an upgrade to handle the electrical demands.
This is a serious sign that something is amiss. Circuit breakers typically don't make noises. If yours is making sound, it is most likely an indication of an issue that might be related to faulty wiring or a loose connection. The sounds might sound like buzzing or hissing. Faulty wiring and connection issues can lead to electrical fires or electrocution.
Burnt odors mean that something in the electrical system is overheating. This can happen when systems continuously get overloaded. Circuit breakers may get hot when this happens, and it is possible to cause an electrical fire. Electrical wiring may overheat when breakers cannot handle their electrical load. The burnt odors may be caused by the hot wires making contact with building materials such as insulation behind walls.