When Should I Upgrade My Electrical Panel

Electric panel upgrade tips

Having an electrical circuit breaker unable to handle all the devices in your home can be a frustrating experience. We can understand how inconvenient it is to have the circuit breaker trip frequently, especially if you’re in the middle of a task that requires electricity.

When you’re renovating your home or adding new appliances, it’s essential to make sure that your electrical panel can handle the additional load. In our case, upgrading from a 100-amp service panel to a 200-amp panel was necessary because your home had more electrical appliances than the panel could handle.

An electrical panel upgrade ensures the home’s safety, improves the electrical system’s efficiency, and saves energy costs. An outdated electrical panel can become a fire hazard, may not be able to handle the electrical load of modern appliances and electronics, and can lead to increased energy bills. 

What Kind of Electrical Panel Do You Use At Home?

electrical panel replacement

Before discussing the advantages of upgrading your electrical panel, it is essential to identify the type of panel currently placed in your home. Perhaps it’s a little more recent if it features sleek black controls that regulate the power in your house.

Failures are more likely to occur on an old panel. If your electrical system is over 15 years old, you should upgrade your electrical panel immediately.

How long does an electrical panel typically last?

The average lifespan of an electrical panel is 60 years, according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). However, your service panel’s lifespan may be significantly limited if it has been subjected to severe circumstances, such as high humidity.

It’s also risky to utilize an electrical panel, fuse box, or components from some manufacturers (such as Federal Pacific Electric) that need to be updated.

Implications of Using an Antiquated Electrical Panel

Replacement of electric panels is recommended every 25-40 years. Therefore, the age of your house should be your first consideration. Consider replacing the board in your home if it is in that age range and older, and you still need to do so.

It’s possible that electrical wiring was connected to the breakers of your home at some point in the past, especially if your house is rather old. Some homes may have double-tapped or connected two wires to a single breaker to save money. As a result of either of these issues, the circuit breaker panel may become overloaded. Arc flashes and electrical fires are more likely to occur in crowded conditions. A trained expert may examine your setup and advise whether a new, larger panel is necessary.

This is useful if you want to upgrade many electrical system components simultaneously. GFCI outlets, for instance, are required in many newer kitchens and bathrooms, especially those located near water fixtures like sinks. In addition, installing surge protection in your electrical panel is recommended if you have a lot of expensive electronic devices, such as in a home office.

When Should You Upgrade Your Electrical Panel?

There are several signs that your electrical panel may need an upgrade. Some of these include:

  1. Frequently tripped breakers or blown fuses: If your electrical panel is constantly tripping them or blowing fuses, it may be a sign that your board is overloaded and can’t handle your home’s electrical load.

  2. Old age: If your electrical panel is over 20, consider upgrading. As technology has advanced, so have electrical panels’ safety and efficiency standards.

  3. Rust or corrosion: If you notice rust or corrosion on your electrical panel, it could signal that it needs an upgrade. Rust and corrosion can cause damage to the board and can lead to electrical fires.

  4. Frequent power outages: If you experience frequent power outages in your home, it could be a sign that your electrical panel is outdated and unable to handle the electrical load.

  5. Adding new electrical appliances or electronics: If you’re adding new appliances or electronics to your home, it may be necessary to upgrade your electrical panel to ensure that it can handle the increased load.

  6. Difficulty in finding replacement parts: If you find replacement parts for your electrical panel, this may indicate that it needs to be updated, and an upgrade would be beneficial.

  7. Flickering lights

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It is essential to consult a licensed electrician if you suspect fault or experience the above signs. They will be able to assess the condition of your board and determine if an upgrade is necessary.

Why should I upgrade my electrical panel?

Upgrading to a newer panel can help prevent electrical fires, improve the efficiency of the electrical system, and ultimately save money in the long run. Upgrading an electrical panel is essential for the following:

Safety

Outdated electrical panels can pose a severe fire hazard to a home. As appliances and electronics have become more advanced, the electrical load on a home’s system has increased. An older electrical panel may be unable to handle this increased load, leading to overheating and potentially causing a fire.

Additionally, older electrical panels may not have the same safety features as newer models, such as ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) and arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs), which can detect and prevent electrical fires. Upgrading to a newer panel can help prevent electrical fires by ensuring that the board can handle the increased electrical load and adding these safety features.

Maintaining a safe electrical system in the home is crucial, and upgrading an electrical panel is essential. Primarily when handled by a licensed electrician.

Increased Efficiency

A newer electrical panel is designed to handle more electrical load than an older panel, which can improve the efficiency of your electrical system. This means that your appliances and electronics will run more smoothly, and you may see a reduction in your energy bills.

Newer panels are equipped with advanced technology like intelligent breakers, which can monitor the electrical usage of different circuits in the home and adjust accordingly. This allows for better management of energy usage and can help reduce energy waste.

Improve Performance 

Moreso, upgrading an electrical panel can also improve the overall performance of your electrical system. This means that you may notice that your lights are brighter, your appliances run more efficiently, and your electronics have fewer interruptions.

Upgrading to a newer panel can provide long-term benefits and save you money on energy costs in the long run. It can also improve the overall performance of your home’s electrical system and increase the value of your home.

Cost-Effectiveness

Upgrading an electrical panel may seem like a significant expense, but it can be cost-effective in the long run. An outdated electrical panel can lead to increased energy costs and the need for costly repairs. Upgrading can prevent these issues and ultimately save money in the long run.

Additionally, incentives and rebates may be available for upgrading an electrical panel. These incentives can vary depending on location, so it is worth checking with your local utility company or government to see if any are available.

Another cost-effective aspect of upgrading an electrical panel is that it can increase the value of your home. 

A newer, more efficient electrical panel can be a selling point for potential buyers and set your home apart from others on the market.

It Can Help Reduce Insurance Premiums

Whether or not the home’s electrical panel and system are up to code can have an impact on property insurance. After upgrading your electrical panel, your home is less likely to sustain harm or injury.

The licensed electricians may check your home for safety hazards, including the possible need for an electrical panel update. Your home’s electrical system is a significant investment, and we can help you make the right choices.

Can I do DIY Upgrade?

Only a qualified electrician should replace or update a panel. It is exceedingly risky to upgrade an electrical panel without experience in the electrical field. 

When considering upgrading an electrical panel, call an electrician to ensure the upgrade is done correctly and cost-effectively. They can provide a detailed cost estimate and help you determine if upgrading is the best financial decision for your home.

Conclusion

You can do a lot to ensure the safety of your loved ones and your properties by upgrading your panel.

See if a new service panel is needed by calling an electrician. An electric panel upgrade is at the top of the list regarding increasing your home’s worth and giving yourself peace of mind. 



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