Electrical systems are a necessary part of any business. Large buildings, especially in the industrial sector, require one or more electric panel boxes to control the entire electrical system. When more electricity is being pulled than what an electric box is able to handle, it gets overloaded. Even with safety precautions in place, an overload can be dangerous if not handled properly by a commercially licensed electrician.

By knowing what to look for, you can catch the problem before it gets serious. If you notice any of these 6 danger signs, you may have an overloaded electric panel box.

  1. Tripping circuit breakers. Circuit breakers are designed to trip when too much power is being drawn. This is a safety measure that simply cuts off electricity to the outlet or area where the electricity overload is coming from.
  2. Dimming lights. If the lights seem to dim randomly or especially when fixtures or equipment is turned on, it’s a sign that the electric box is overloaded and cannot supply sufficient power for everything that is connected to it.
  3. Electrical appliances and tools lack sufficient power. Does it seem like your power tools are running sluggishly? Are appliances a little weak? These are signs that electrical equipment is not getting the necessary amount of electricity from the box as it should, most likely due to an overload.
  4. Outlets or outlet covers feel hot. Excessive electricity creates heat. When your electric box is over loaded and too much electricity is being drawn to and from it, things start to get heated. Heat is just one step before fire, so it should be taken seriously. If electrical outlets, wires, switches, or electrical components of any kind feel hot, discontinue use of them immediately.
  5. A burning smell coming from any electrical source or equipment. Where there’s smoke, there is usually fire. If you smell something burning, then something has become hot enough to burn. An electrical smell is unique to other burning smells, so you should know that the source is something in the electrical system. As stated before, discontinue use of electronics until the source of the burning is discovered and repaired.
  6. Buzzing sound coming from an electrical outlet or switch. Buzzing is typically due to an overloaded circuit or electric box. When too much electricity is surging through a circuit, vibration occurs, causing the buzzing sound. This is often a warning sign that one of the above signs is likely to occur next.


Safety Should Be Your Top Priority

Electric panel box overloads are not something to take lightly. Electrical systems are still the most common source of building fires. To keep your people and your building safe, call a licensed electrician at the first sign of an electrical overload. If even one of the above danger signs is present, turn off electricity to the box in question (or the entire building to be safe) and seek help from an experienced commercially licensed electrician, such as Varney Inc. Call (540) 343-0155 or request service.

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