Our modern lifestyle is built on the many appliances, gadgets that all use electricity. When electricity comes into your home from the utility company, it goes to an electrical panel which manages the load through various circuits. From here electricity runs throughout your home to electrical outlets and hardwired appliances. But like everything else in your home, your electrical panel needs to be working properly in order to effectively power all of your electrical applications.
With the addition of computers, cellphones, game consoles, electric car chargers, and whole-home automation, electric panels (or circuit breakers) are simple not able to handle the demands. Your electrical panel box could be struggling to handle the power demands of your home or commercial space. Here are a few of the things to consider before deciding to upgrade your panel.
- The panel is 25+ years old
If you live in an older home with an original electrical panel, it may be time to upgrade your electrical panel. Families today use much more electricity to power their lifestyles. As technology grows, so does the load on your home’s electrical panel and circuits. As a general rule, electrical panels should be replaced every 25-40 years, so if your home is that age, there’s a likelihood that you will need to upgrade.
- Adding new electrical features to your home
If you are upgrading your home to include a new hot tub, pool, electric car charger or other major electrical appliance, you may want to have an electrician do an audit on your electrical system to ensure your panel and electrical demands can be met. An upgrade may be required.
- Your panel uses fuses
Because electric shock is always a concern at home, especially in the bathroom, ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) are recommended in areas where water is present, such as the kitchen or bathroom. If your home’s electrical panel uses fuses GFCI outlets are not compatible, so an upgrade to a new panel with modern breakers is recommended. A panel with breakers is more efficient for modern electrical loads and much easier to reset should a circuit pop. With no need to buy fuses, you’ll save time, money and aggravation of ensuring you have fuses purchased and in stock when needed. Panels that use breakers are also easier for an electrician to repair if needed.
- Other reasons
If fuses keep blowing, lights are flickering, or your hear buzzing or crackling sounds from your electrical outlets or circuits, call an electrician immediately. These could be symptoms of a fire hazard. It could also mean that there are short circuits somewhere in your home that have the potential to cause a fire. Do not delay. It’s better to be safe than risk the devastation of a fire. Your electrician can determine whether your panel needs to be upgraded or whether the issue is isolated to another area.
Who should upgrade my electrical panel?
Whether you’re upgrading your electrical panel at home or at your place of business, a qualified electrician will be able to tell you whether you need to upgrade your electrical panel and what the appropriate size is for your current and future use.
The most obvious reason to hire an electrician to work on every electrical issue in your home or office is safety. Electricians know the dangers and are trained to set up your electrical service while remaining safe themselves and leaving the environment safe for your family.
A professional electrician will also be aware of local building code requirements and can be trusted to adhere to those codes for your safety.
XCalibur Services can help you choose the right panel for your home or business needs.