Are you living in an older home and now you’re thinking that the electrical panel needs to be upgraded? Are you planning on adding new appliances like refrigerator, air conditioning unit, hot tub, dryers, water heaters, or washing machine? Do you need to replace your fuse-based electrical system with circuit breaker?
Any of these are just some of the reasons it might be time to replace your electrical panel. The main electrical service panel, also known as the “breaker box,” can be thought of as a switchboard for all the electricity inside your house. This main panel is the central point that connects the wires from outside to the wires inside your home and how your electric service provider provides electricity to your home. If you want to turn on or shut off the power in your house, you do it at the main service panel.
Normally we don’t think much about the breaker panel or whether or not we need to upgrade or replace them. However, like other equipment in your home, electrical panels sometimes need to be replaced or upgraded. There are questions to ask when determining if you need to upgrade or replace your electrical panel.
Signs It’s Time to Upgrade Your Home Electrical System
If you answer yes to one or more of these questions, your home probably needs an electrical system upgrade:
- Do you frequently have circuit breakers tripping and/or fuses blowing?
- Are there outlets or lights in your house that do not have power, even after you flick the light switch or replace the light bulbs?
- Does your electrical panel feel hot to the touch? Do you smell burning or hear crackling when you stand near the electrical panel?
- If you know your electrical panel brand is it a Federal Pacific, GTE/Sylvania, Zinsco or I-T-E Pushmatic? If so, you need to have an electrical panel upgrade immediately for safety reasons! (All of these models have been recalled.)
- Do you use a lot of extension cords and/or power strips around the house?
- Are your outlet two-pronged outlets (as opposed to the safer, more modern 3-pronged, grounded and “Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter” GFCI outlets)?
- Are you building a new addition onto your home?
- Have you installed or plan to install a new large appliance that uses extra electricity?
If you answer yes to any of the above questions, you should call Zellner Electric. Electrical service upgrades are intensely complex, different in each house and definitely not DIY material—it can be dangerous if not handled by experts, and definitely go against most local ordinances and home-owners insurance policies.
What are the advantages of an upgrade?
These days, we use far more electricity than we did in the generation’s past. If you live in an older home, there’s a good chance that your home’s electrical system cannot keep up with the demand. As your family uses electricity, the electrical panel should be able to serve your family’s energy needs without any issues. Also, if you have damaged wiring, breakers, or fuses, they can pose a fire hazard and should be replaced promptly to protect your family’s safety.
If you have any of the above concerns, upgrading your electrical panel can resolve potential safety hazards while improving overall safety in the home. Upgrading your electrical panel will ensure steady flow of electricity and prevent potential electrical fire hazards. Doing this can help reduce your homeowner’s insurance. If you ever find yourself asking the question: why should I upgrade my electrical panel? The above reasons indicate that it is an excellent idea.