Why Maintenance is Important on Panelboards

Panelboards are very important parts of our homes and buildings but we often don’t realize how much maintenance and attention they need. Often locked away in the attic or basement, this key component of the building’s electrical system is sometimes left there to gather dust for years before an electrical failing reminds us of its importance.

But even if we never experience power failings in our homes, we need to pay attention to our panelboards, at least every once in a while. Why? Because without proper maintenance, these units can fail, and when they do, they can cause serious damage.

Powerboard failings can cause fires?

According to the US Fire Administration, electrical distribution systems and lighting circuits rank fourth in the leading causes of fires in homes and buildings. Every year, 50.900 fires are generated by failings of electrical circuits, resulting in an average of 490 deaths and 1440 injuries. A staggering number, that shows how much room for improvement there is in terms of home safety and precaution

Of these 50,900 accidents, many are originated in panelboard and electrical systems that have gathered dust and haven’t received proper maintenance for long periods of time. Preventing this type of incident is one of the biggest reasons to have a full yearly revision of electrical installments in your house.

Particularly, problems related to poor maintenance are the ones that are the easiest to prevent. Knowing that danger of fire or malfunctioning is around the corner should motivate most homeowners to pay more attention to detail in their house’s electrical system

Issues with panelboards can be caused by several reasons:

  • Extreme overload of the house’s power system
  • Poor ventilation in the power board room that causes overheating
  • Dislodged cables and power leads
  • Accumulated dust in important outlets
  • Bad placement of wiring that ends in the power board

For safety reasons, it’s recommended that only panelboards that have safety switches and circuit breakers built in be used.

In order to prevent fires and failings, there are some things that can be done in terms of regular maintenance:

  • Be aware of all plugs and make sure they are securely connected to the main board
  • Have a reliable ventilation system in place for the board room
  • Look for damaged leads and signs of deterioration regularly

If you are yet to install a powerboard in your house, there are also some guidelines you should follow in the planning process. For starters, it’s not the same to install the main board inside or outside of your house. Indoor panels have to be properly ventilated, while the ones set up outdoors require more reliable safety measures.

As with all matters that are highly technical and potentially dangerous, getting assistance by a qualified professional should be considered. Even though some level of maintenance is recommended to be done by homeowners, they should always be following guidelines set by an electrician who is familiar with the building’s system and can take care of the more dangerous tasks, like fixing leads or rearranging power cables.

Being careless about your electrical system is very dangerous, but it can be just as dangerous to try to fix everything yourself. Be aware of the maintenance that has to be done in your house, but also be smart about getting professional assistance when it’s necessary.