5 Signs It’s Time to Update an Electrical System

5 Signs It’s Time to Update an Electrical System

Industrial growth and increased energy demands often go hand in hand. Businesses may come to rely on heavy machinery or large-scale computer systems to handle their consumer needs. While technology advances, the buildings used to house the new technology may be left behind. Older buildings may not be optimized to handle massive energy demands. This mismatch in advancement between technology and buildings often puts a major strain on electrical systems. Although updating electrical systems can seem like one more expense, electrical components must always be considered seriously. A lagging electrical system can cause increased operational cost and endanger employee safety. Here are five signs that an electrical system is overdue for an overhaul.

Lights Flickering

Regularly flickering or dimming lights are a sure sign of an overworked electrical system. Flickering and dimming may be most prominent when heavy equipment or HVAC systems are turned off and on. In this scenario, the electrical system can’t generate the power required to keep both the lights and equipment functioning optimally. The common culprits of this problem can be anything from bad circuits and faulty wiring to degrading light fixtures and burn fuses.

Overloaded Breakers

If a company has added new machinery or industrial additions to an older building, the current electrical system may not be able to handle new electrical load. This will cause blown breakers on a regular basis. Profits and productivity will be lost during the downtime it takes to get electrical systems back in order. Ideally, large power tools and large systems should have dedicated circuits to keep them from overloading. Strategically increasing the electrical system’s power capacity can solve this complication.

Evidence of Electrical Fires

Electrical fires caused by compromised wiring can lurk inside walls long before detection. Aluminum wiring, arc faults, and overloaded breakers can all causes wires to spark. Sparks may ignite insulation or other building materials. Although the fire may not be noticeable at first, it will continue to build if left unchecked. If you notice any discolored marks or an acrid smell from your circuit breakers, this can be the first warning of electrical fire. While the culprit could just be a malfunctioning switch or outlet, it can be difficult to tell if the problem is much larger. Generally, the safest bet is to evaluate and replace the entire system.

An Old Fuse Box

Fuse boxes can be decades old and very outdated. Besides degradation or malfunctions that occur over years, a fuse box may never have been built to handle a large wattage. As a result, it’s rare for a fuse box to supply enough power to a modern commercial building. Old fuse boxes often have another potential problem. Fuses are all the same size, no matter what amperage they’re able to draw. A 15-watt fuse can fit into the same socket as a 30-watt fuse. Sometimes, small fuses can be replaced with larger fuses as a stop-gap measure. This results in a fuse box drawing far more power than it should be. Finally, an outdated electrical system may not have all the appropriate safety features or be up to current building codes.

Recent Safety Inspection

Finally, if an electrical safety inspection was performed in a building, and recommendations were given for updates, then it’s important to take this advice seriously to help ensure that your building’s wiring works properly, safely, and efficiently.


If you’ve noticed any of the above signs are more, it is time to update and move your electrical system into the future. This will ensure safety, protect your investments, and increase productivity. Ultimately, an optimized electrical system will increase profits over time. Brandt’s electrical engineers have the experience and tools to retrofit your existing buildings and suggest improvements that will pay you back. Reach out to us today and learn more.