Electrical Panel Upgrade – When Do You Require One?

Summary:
An older electrical service panel can lead to frequent tripping of the breaker or at least inefficiency in operations of your electronic appliances at home. Read and know when it is necessary to for an upgrade of electrical panel in your home.

An electrical panel is a board that connects to a number of circuits, and each of these consists of a circuit breaker that supplies power to every electrical component that is present in a building. At any time that there is a surge in electric current, the breaker trips – leading to the electric supply being disconnected and preventing risks of lines getting overheated and catching of fire. It is necessary to upgrade an electrical panel at a proper time, so as to keep homes protected from various electrical accidents. Find out when you need to carry out an electrical panel upgrade.

Faulty wiring

Most residential fires in the US occur due to defective wires. The risk is directly proportional to how old your building is. You need to upgrade the panel system in case the cables do not satisfy the standard code or there is deterioration in the insulation and the other components. The warning signs can be in the form of tingling sensation or small shocks when you touch an appliance, burning smell close to the electronic items, discoloration of the power outlets, sparks in sockets, flickering of lights etc.

Power and Extension Cord Strips

It is better that you opt for an upgrade of electrical service panel in case you lack enough outlets to plug all your electronic items or appliances into. Too much use of additional cords and strips can lead to higher fire hazard risks. Get in touch with an electrical contractor immediately, to get assistance with the setup of new circuits and outlets to keep your household safe from electrical mishaps.

Fuse Panel

Older homes that have been constructed prior to 1960 have some circuits that depend on fuses. Such fuses may handle just 30 – 90 amperes for the full home. This kind of a system does not work in a modern home that requires power in the 100 – 400 amperes. Such fuses only raise the risks of fire. You have to substitute these with circuit breakers. An electrical panel replacement might be necessary.

New Appliance or Remodeling

Your need for energy raises while renovating the living spot or buying a new appliance, like a hot tub or an AC that consumes much power. In the event that the amp capacity of your system does not satisfy the electrical requirements, the circuit breaker can frequently trip and cut the supply of power.

Abnormal electrical system behavior

As far as electricity is concerned, anything other than normal can be worrisome. It is important to take prompt action when your service panel crackles or your electronic appliances do not operate at peak power. At times, there is no tripping of breakers in case a connection is loose inside the circuit. Thus, even when no problem is apparent, you have to carry out a safety inspection at regular time periods.

Older electrical systems

If you have an older home, an upgrade is essential and you should not let the electrical panel cost influence your decision. In many older constructions, the electrical panels are of an older design and not capable of handling the modern electricity requirements. Two decades back, electricians could not have imagined how many electronic systems – TV, refrigerator, smartphones, microwave, DVR etc – would have to be supported by this type of system. If you have regularly been experiencing tripped breakers or blown fuses, an upgrade of electrical panel might be needed. If your lights are dim or flickering, a panel upgrade can be useful. If the panel has lower than 200 amp electricity or if your house is over 20 years old, a new electrical service panel is necessary.

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