The first piece of information that you are sure to need is an answer to one simple question. What is an electrical panel? And the answer is not as complicated as you might think. The electrical panel in your home is located where the electrical service enters the house. It runs into the electrical panel and is reduced to separate circuits and distributed to the various spaces in your home. You might know this as your breaker or fuse box because this is where you go when there is an issue with your home’s power. With this basic knowledge, now we can dig deeper into an electrical panel upgrade.
What Is An Electrical Panel Upgrade
There are a few reasons to upgrade your electrical panel. The first is that the panel is old and outdated. This could be the case if you are still trudging down to replace a blown fuse when you have a power issue in your home. Fuses do the job. But in a more old fashioned manner. Breakers trip can be easily reset, while a fuse is actually destroyed and needs to be replaced. So no more buying fuses when there is a power surge or lightning strike that disrupts the electricity level entering your home. Just reset the breaker and go on about your busy day.
The second reason for an electrical panel upgrade is to accommodate an increase in amperage. This is often due to the addition or desire to add something that will demand a significant amount of power. You might be adding a new air conditioning system to your home or turning the garage into a woodshop with some massive electrical tools.
The difference between these two scenarios is that the first is often a need. There could be signs that your home needs a new electrical panel. In the second case, this is a planned update or upgrade to accommodate a want in most cases. Both are legitimate reasons. The only real difference is that one might need to be done immediately to keep your home functional and safe, while the other is planned at your leisure.
Signs Of A Needed Electrical Panel Upgrade
Unless you are into going and examining your electrical panel for entertainment, you might not understand how to know when your home needs an upgrade. If the panel looks outdated, you might think it needs to be replaced. But you don’t know it needs to be replaced. However, there will be some unmistakable signs from your home when it is time for an electrical panel upgrade.
You will notice lights flickering, odd sounds coming from the panel, and maybe even the smell of smoke or something burning. These are all indications that there is a severe issue with your electrical panel. And it is time to call in your trusted electrician to provide you with the answers you need and a safe electrical panel for your home.
Another Dead Giveaway
Even if you have never laid eyes on the electrical panel in your home, there are some other signs to let you know an electrical panel upgrade should be undertaken. Older electrical systems have old outlets. So if your home has a limited number of outlets in each room and they are two-pronged, it is time to call a licensed electrician. These two-pronged plugs are lacking a ground and are not as safe as the three-pronged models. Also, if your home does not have GFCI plugs, the ones with the tiny red button, in moist areas like at the kitchen and bathroom sinks, then you need an electrical panel upgrade.
Also, look for some of these indications that your electrical panel and system are out of date:
- Lights that dim for no reason
- Warm or singed outlets
- Crackling sounds from outlets
- A slight shock when plugging in an appliance
- Electrical appliances that are not functioning well
If you notice any of these alarming situations, call (703) 463-9866 to schedule a complete evaluation of your electrical system. A Circuit Doctors licensed electrician will arrive promptly to evaluate your electrical panel and system components to ensure the safety of your home and your loved ones.