There are a variety of reasons why electrical panels need to be upgraded.
One is because they may not have the capacity for current load, which can lead to overheating and equipment failure in the panel.
Another reason is if there are too many circuits or not enough breakers.
These circumstances can cause circuit overloads that will trip and blow breakers as well as cause other problems with your home’s electricity. Luckily, upgrading an electrical panel is usually pretty easy and inexpensive to do!
In this post, we’ll discuss when you should upgrade your electrical panel so you don’t end up with any serious issues!
Signs You Should Replace or Upgrade the Electrical Panel
There are a few instances where you’ll want to replace your electrical panel as soon as possible. These include:
Outdated Electrical Panels
Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) and Zinsco electrical panels were common choices from the 1950s to the 1980s. Unfortunately, as years passed people started realizing that they weren’t functioning properly too often–the panels would fail to cut off power when there was a short circuit or if there is too much current going through it. If your electrical panel does not trip correctly when an electric hazard occurs then you could risk starting a fire which can be devastating for any home or business owner!
If you’re still using an old panel, your home may only have 60-amp electrical service rather than the 150 or 200-amps of modern homes. Contact a professional electrician if this is the case!
The panel is already older than 30 years and it’s showing signs of aging. This can be dangerous because they may not have the capacity for current load, which can lead to overheating and equipment failure.
Underpowered Electrical Panel
Have you ever wondered about the strength of your electrical panel? Every electrical panel in your home has a maximum power rating that dictates how many breakers it can have.
The original fuse panels had 60 amps and were followed by standard breaker panels at 100 amps, which is also what NEC requires for most modern builds or upgrades. If you’re planning on doing some remodeling or adding to your house–you may need to replace the electrical panel in order to keep up with today’s standards.
For those who are experiencing frequent tripping breakers, speak to an electrician about the potential of adding more power.
One of the most important aspects to consider when installing an electrical panel is safety. Oversized breakers, circuits doubled-up on a single-pole breaker, and wires crossing over the panel’s center are all problems that can affect your home’s overall safety level. These issues should be addressed with help from professional electricians before it becomes too unsafe.
Call an electrician right away if you notice:
- Frequent tripping of breakers
- Buzzing sounds
- If you smell burning plastic or wires
- Overheating of wall plates, outlet covers, cords, and plugs
- Sparks around any electrical item
Recent research has revealed that many electrical panels are defective and should be replaced. They were simply manufactured with defects. Problems with these faulty panels include breakers failing to trip, breakers that fall out of place, and non-standard designs (resulting in improper installation).
If you live in an older home and are considering getting a new washer/dryer or other large appliance, it is important to make sure your electrical panel has the capacity for the device.
This will ensure that there’s enough electricity going into the machine without tripping any of its circuits. In some cases, if wiring isn’t up-to-date already (if not then this should be), installing a subpanel might also need to happen first before anything else can get installed successfully!
Lights that flicker are a sign of faulty wiring. Not only will they cause flickering, but they can also contribute to other problems such as burnt smells and shocks when touching certain appliances in your home, like microwaves or laptops. Another thing you should watch out for is if the panel feels warm.
Tripping Circuit Breakers
Turning off the air conditioner isn’t a problem, but when you turn it on- circuit breakers are tripped and shut down. So what is happening? Circuit breakers trip because of an overload in your electrical system.
With an old electric panel, your home may experience blackouts daily. When this happens, you know it’s time to upgrade your electric panel!
This is because circuit breakers trip and shut off electricity when a load exceeds the capacity of a given circuit. For instance; if too much power gets routed through one wire at once – as in turning on both air conditioning units simultaneously- then there isn’t enough space left for other appliances that might need to be powered up or down all at once.
Water Leak Near Electrical Panel
If you experience a water leak near your electrical panel, keep away from the area and call an electrician immediately. If there is any evidence that the panel has been exposed to water including rust stains or corrosion on wiring, it will probably need to be replaced.
Power Strip Usage In Your Home
Do you ever feel that there are never enough outlets in your home? The number of sockets on a wall can seem like an infinite resource, but overloading them with power strips and extension cords is not a smart thing to do.
Houses have limited wall sockets, and if you use a lot of power strips it means the electric panel can’t handle as much electricity.
If there are too many extension cords and power strips in your home then it may be time for an upgrade on that electrical system.
So when you have a lot of devices that need to be plugged in, it’s tough for your power panel. The best way to avoid this is by upgrading the electric panel and getting more wall sockets installed so there are enough spaces available.
Home Safety and Your Electrical Panel
Upgrading your home’s electricity capability is the first step to ensuring that it will be safe for you and those around you. By upgrading, not only are we lessening the risk of fires and other electrical disasters from happening in our homes, but this action can also increase its value when trying to sell or rent out a property as well.
Want a FREE quote about a new electrical panel or do you need an electrician?
When you need help with your electrical panel or wiring system, call a professional electrician. A licensed and qualified electrician can handle all of your needs from adding new circuits to replacing the entire breaker box so that you are not compromising on comfort or safety!
If you notice any of the items above, contact an electrician immediately. Even if you don’t notice any of these issues but still feel something is wrong, call an electrician and consult them. You can never be too safe when it comes to electricity!