When to Upgrade Your Electrical Panel
The electrical panel is an essential part of your home. It helps to safely provide electricity throughout your house in order to power your appliances and electronics.
However, if you own an older house, then odds are your electrical panel might be getting up there in age as well. Older electric panels weren’t built to handle the amount of electricity that is often used today with all of the new technology that homeowners are introducing into their homes.
The following are signs that you may need to upgrade your electrical panel:
- The lights in your home are flickering on a regular basis. This means your electrical panel is having difficulty keeping up with the amount of electricity your home needs.
- The circuit breakers in your electrical panel are tripping regularly. This means that your electrical panel can no longer handle the electricity loads that your home needs.
- You need to turn one appliance off before using another.
- You have identified electrical wires that have melted.
- Your circuit breaker isn’t tripping when it’s supposed to, resulting in shocks, overheating or fires.
- Your electrical panel is producing crackling sounds.
- You notice rust or corrosion developing on the electrical panel.
- The electrical service conductors are overheating.
- Your appliances are running at less than full power.
- Your home has two-pronged outlets (non-grounded outlets) and no three-pronged outlets.
- You are over dependent on extension cords.
- You have to use surge protectors in order to protect your appliances from short circuiting.
- Your home is built with a 60 amp electrical service and still runs on that.
- Your home uses an electrical panel that doesn’t contain a main breaker, such as a split-buss panel or a fuse block panel.
You may also need to upgrade your electrical panel for the following reasons:
- You are planning to renovate your kitchen and are going to make use of more kitchen appliances.
- You are adding an addition to your home, thereby increasing the amount of electricity you need as well as the space that will need it.
- You are adding another major appliance to your home that takes up a lot of electricity to run, such as a spa or garage power equipment.
- You are planning on adding more outlets to your home.
- You have to add a sub panel.
- Your current electrical panel doesn’t meet your homeowner’s insurance requirements.
You may simply want to replace your old electrical panel in order to make your home function better.
Sometimes, you simply need a better electrical panel to help provide the electricity your home needs.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that older electrical panels may pose safety issues as well – especially if you don’t think they can handle your electrical needs any longer.