Electrical Panel Upgrades: Should You Upgrade?
Chances are that you have increased the number of appliances and devices in your home over the years. Also, you are more likely now to use mutli-outlet surge protectors and extension cords than in the past. This extra electricity demands puts extra strain on your home’s electrical system. Unless your home is fairly new, chances are that you need a panel upgrade. Here are some of the signs and reasons why you should upgrade your electrical panel.
Signs That You Need an Electrical Panel Upgrade
If you haven’t thought much about your electricity for a while, then you may not realize that your system is outdated until you start to have problems. Here are some signs that your electrical system is at capacity and is in need of an upgrade.
If your lights flicker, or you notice brown outs with your other appliances and devices, then you may be at your home’s electrical load limit. However, if only one appliance or light is affected on a single circuit, then the problem may be a short in that circuit or a problem with that appliance.
Fuses wear out, so an occasional blown fuse is not necessarily a sign that you need an upgrade. However, multiple blown fuses over a short period of time is a classic sign of an overloaded panel.
Usually, circuit breakers are more durable and harder to trip than fuses. However, even they can reach their breaking point. If you only have a problem with one breaker, then you may have a problem with just that circuit and only need to reduce that circuit’s electrical load. If multiple circuits break in a short amount of time, then you probably need a panel upgrade.
If you experience a lot of static electricity, or flat out sparks, whenever you either touch your appliances or get close to an outlet, then you need to upgrade your electrical panel. The same also goes for if your outlets frequently burn out or you smell burning wires often.
Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Electrical Panel
Even if you don’t experience any of the symptoms listed above, you may want to upgrade your system to support a modern home or if you plan to do renovations. Here are some reasons to upgrade your home’s electrical panel even if you don’t currently have problems.
Your Home is Old
Older homes were designed for less electrical load and often have substantially less amperage capacity than you now need. Not only that, these panels may not be as safe as a new one.
Your Current Panel Is Inefficient
Newer panels are more energy efficient and have features that automatically manage your home’s energy use. Smart panels give you real-time usage information so that you know which appliances use the most electricity. This can help you make adjustments to lower usage and save money.
You Have Added Several New Appliances
Any time you plan to make major appliance changes, you must upgrade your electrical panel. For example, if you want a more powerful air conditioner, then you will need to ensure that your panel can handle the extra electricity demand.
You Wish to Add More Outlets
If you feel that you don’t have enough outlets for all your devices, and you wish to add more, then you must upgrade your panel and wiring. More things plugged into more outlets means a higher electrical load.
For best results, and safety reasons, have a professional electrician upgrade your electrical system. A professional electrician will give you advice about how much amperage you need or if you need to change your panel’s location. Campbell & Company can help you with your home or commercial wiring services. Call us or use our online form to set up an appointment.