How to Tell if My Electrical Panel Is Too Old For Solar Panels?
Many people don’t bother to check their electric panels as long as everything is fine and running smoothly. However, you might realize that your electrical panels are outdated when you want to do something important, like installing solar panels, getting a hot tub, or installing an HVAC system. All these need extra efficiency and safety precautions, and any qualified electrician will do a thorough inspection of your panel before proceeding with the work.
We’ll know that you won’t be able to do solar paneling in an outdated electric panel. But since we’re not electricians, knowing how to tell if my electrical panel is too old for solar panels is not something we come across every day. You’re not experts in solar energy or electric systems, and knowing such is not easy. But many visible signs will guide you when it comes to this kind of knowledge. But before we get to that, let’s find out why you should upgrade your electric panels before harnessing solar energy.
Why You Need to Upgrade Your Electric Panel before Installing Solar Panels
Most homeowners and business people have realized the importance of solar energy when it comes to power cost-saving, efficiency, and the need to protect the environment. Nature has given us free energy from the sun, which gets wasted on the roofs. But thanks to technology, we can harness this power and use them in place of electricity in our homes and commercial premises.
However, before solar paneling and installation of all the necessary equipment are complete, an upgrade to the existing electric panel is essential, especially when they are too old. Sometimes your home may need a new installation or an update of an existing one to comfortably accommodate your solar panels. You’re going to feedback the energy you harness from the sun to your building through the electric panels already in place.
You have to consider issues with capacity, safety, and compatibility. With these in mind, you must ask yourself whether your home’s electric panels can handle all these. Well, many households won’t support these because the panels are all worn out and too old. But you won’t tell this yourself without the help of an experienced electrician. You need to know the signs that tell you if your electric system is too old for your solar panel. Here are some of the things to consider if you want to know this.
Your Home is Old
If your home has been standing for too long, say more than 20 years, there are high chances that your electric panels are starting to wear out, and solar paneling will require more work. Most electric panels can only go for 20 years, and anything beyond that period is worth checking before you can start doing any kind of work on it. Older houses, therefore, have older electric panels, and you don’t have to wait to see them causing some trouble before you think of inspecting and changing them. Just because your panels are still working correctly doesn’t mean they’re in good shape. So, if you plan to introduce a new system like solar energy, replacing the old electric panels is necessary.
Noises in the Panel
When you move into an existing house, it won’t be easy for you to tell how old the panels are, especially if the previous owner didn’t disclose it. However, some things should give you a red alert. Old electric panels are likely to produce some cracking and buzzing sounds. You should not ignore these sounds as these are some of the things that tell you it’s not safe to install your solar panels. Talk to an electrician to check the panels as soon as possible before the problem can escalate.
Your Appliances Are Overheating
If you notice that your electric appliances are overheating, it can be a sign that you have faulty panels, and installing solar panels on them will not be a good idea. When your electric panels are wearing out, they start sending too much electricity to your appliances, causing them to overheat. It goes beyond saying that this kind of heating can destroy your devices or even create a fire outbreak. Sometimes, the overheating problem can be an issue with one appliance meaning the problem is in the specific gadget. However, when one or two of them overheat, the problem will be your entire system. Ensure you check everything, including the wiring and your insulation.
When your breaker is prone to tripping often, especially if you try to turn on some appliances, this is a sign of trouble. You need to have them checked before installing your solar energy. A worn-out electric panel will not support any kind of gadget, be it the power-hungry ones or the lower-electricity devices. It will be hard for an old panel to support your entire house’s power needs, and anything can result in an overload, hence tripping. When your breaker trips often, then you should not wait until it destroys your expensive gadgets. Even if you don’t intend to install solar panels yet, tripping should be a sign that you need to do a replacement as soon as possible.
Rust or Blackened Spots in Your Breaker Box
It’s necessary to check your breaker box before you decide to install a solar energy supply. Some of the old panels have visible wires, and inspecting them yourself will not be a problem. If you notice that the breaker box or the cables have burned or blackened marks, this should be a sign of trouble. Signs of rusting also indicate that they need replacement. Don’t leave your panels in place with all these signs because it will be unsafe for you to keep using them.
When you notice the wires in your panel aren’t in a place like they should be, it can be a sign that your electric panel is outdated. If you live in modern homes, you should not see any sign of wires in your circuit breakers; visible cables should be a sign of a problem. For older homes, you might be able to see the cables, but when they are in perfect condition, they are neat and contained in an organized manner. If you notice a mess of loose wires, you should talk to your electrician to address the issue before proceeding with solar paneling.
You’ll get many benefits from your electric system upgrade, aside from connecting the solar panels effectively. If you care about your home’s safety and the efficiency of your power supply, you won’t wait for your electric panels to get too outdated before you can carry out a replacement. If you intend to sell your home, these kinds of upgrades are essential to increase its value. So, if you’re planning to harness the solar energy, you should think of what will comfortably accommodate your solar panels and serve you best. If you’re still asking how to tell if my electrical panel is too old for Solar Panels? You have all the answers above.