Electrical Panel Upgrades
If you own an older home, today’s gadgets and devices can easily overload your aged electrical system causing hazardous conditions. The good news is that these electrical problems can be prevented with a panel upgrade.
What is an electrical panel?
Your panel is the heart of your electrical system. It’s the main distribution point for all of your circuits, and it provides between 100 and 200 amps of power to your home, depending on your load demand.
Power comes into your home from the utility company, through a service entrance and into the main circuit breaker which is the on/off switch of the entire panel.
Your panel is also made up of fuses or breakers that are connected to every circuit in the home. A breaker is a safety device that will stop the flow of current, in the circuit, if it detects a problem.
Where is the electrical panel in my home?
Electrical panels are typically mounted to your wall and can be identified as a gray metal box. Your panel will likely be in an accessible area of your home like the basement, garage or utility room. Some electrical panels can be found outside the home.
What is a minimum sized Panel?
A 100-amp service is the minimum requirement in new homes.
Back in the day new homes were equipped with a 60-amp service but today these same homes couldn’t possibly power all of the electronics we use today, This is of course assuming that these older homes never updated their service.
If no upgrade was made to the electrical panel, these older homes run the risk of overloading their circuits and posing a fire risk.
What are some of the warning signs of a faulty electrical panel?
Over time your electrical panel will start to degrade and can create hazardous conditions in your home. If you are experiencing any of the following warning signs or harbor any of these conditions, call a licensed electrical contractor right away.
- Your home runs on a 60-amp service.
- Your 100-amp service is insufficient for operating necessary appliances in your home
- Your breakers are constantly tripping.
- Your panel has no main breaker.
- The wires in your panel are broken or melted.
- There’s a crackling sound from your panel box.
- There’s corrosion or rust on the breakers or panel.
- Overheating electrical service conductors.
- Appliances running at less than full power.
- Two pronged (non-grounded) outlets.
- Missing GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupters) and AFCIs (arc fault circuit interrupters) in necessary areas.
- You use extension cords because you don’t have enough outlets in your home.
When does Birnie HOME SAFE recommend an upgrade?
Besides all of the reasons listed above, there are other instances that warrant a panel upgrade:
- You are renovating a particular room or your entire home.
- You are adding a home addition.
- You’re adding an appliance that requires its own circuit, i.e central heating and air, car charger, stoves, spas, garage power equipment, and more.
- You need/are adding outlets to your home.
- To meet your homeowner’s insurance requirements.
- You need to install a 240 volt circuit.
Can I upgrade my electrical panel myself?
You should always hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor (LEC), like Birnie HOME SAFE, for all of your electrical needs. An LEC ensures that the work is performed correctly, safely and to code.
Opting to perform a panel upgrade on your own could jeopardize your insurance policy and more importantly your safety.
What is the first step in booking my panel upgrade?
Let’s make sure you’re eligible for an electrical panel change or upgrade first. Reserve a no-fee preliminary assessment, by filling out the fields bellow, and let one of our Electrical Solutions Advisors create a custom action plan for your home.