Your electrical panel is an important part of your home. It is designed to keep your appliances and systems running, which is more important than ever before in the modern age of electronics.
While many homeowners fail to consider the importance of their electrical panel until something goes wrong, there are significant benefits to upgrading your electrical panel. In this post, we’ll explore nine reasons why homeowners might decide to spring for an upgrade.
What is a Breaker Panel?
Before we jump into the benefits of an electrical panel upgrade, you’ll want to understand the kind of panel that’s already installed in your home. If your system has round glass fuses, chances are that it’s extremely old. If it has black switches designed to control the flow of energy into your home, it may be somewhat newer.
An outdated panel has a greater likelihood of experiencing failures. If you’ve got a system that is 15-20 years old, you’ll definitely want to read on to discover the benefits of an electrical panel upgrade.
The Hazards of an Outdated Electrical Panel
The general rule of thumb is that electric panels should be replaced every 25 to 40 years. So the first place to start is with the age of your home. If your home falls into that age bracket and you’ve never replaced the panel, it’s time to start thinking about it.
If your home is particularly old, there may have been wires added to the breakers in the past. In some instances, homeowners may have added dual wires to a single breaker, a process known as double-tapping. Both of these conditions could create an overcrowded breaker box. Crowding increases your risk of arc flashes and electrical fires. An experienced professional can take a look at your system and see if it might be time to replace your existing, overcrowded panel.
This can also be helpful if you want to upgrade other components of your electrical systems at the same time. For example, many modern kitchens and bathrooms require GFCI outlets, especially by the sinks or near sources of water. If you have a ton of sensitive electronic equipment, perhaps for a home office, it may also be a good idea to add surge protection to your system through the electrical panel.
The bad news is that you can’t enjoy many of these upgrades with an outdated electrical panel. The good news? When you turn to the team at W3 Electric, we can help you to experience all of the benefits of an electrical panel upgrade at an affordable price.
Your Electrical Systems Are Inconsistent
Perhaps you’ve been dealing with problematic wiring for years and haven’t really given it a second thought, especially if you live in an older home. While homeowners sometimes get used to the quirks of their outdated systems, some of these quirks may be dangerous.
Indications that you may have problematic wiring include:
- Flickering lights
- Lights that dim when you turn on larger appliances
- An unusual burning or ozone smell
- Scorch marks or other kinds of discoloration on your outlets
- Sparks when you plug things in
- Small shocks when you touch an appliance
- Warmth around your panel
- Electrical cords that feel warm
- Frequent circuit trips or blown fuses
- Hissing noises in your breaker box
Any of these could be signs that you need an electrical panel repair or replacement.
Frequent Repairs and Replacements
At one time, fuses were considered to be state-of-the-art electrical equipment. You can still find them in a few different sizes in larger or more rural hardware stores. Now, they’ve gone the path of the dial telephone or vinyl records.
If you’ve had to regularly replace your fuses, searching to find the right size on dusty old shelves, your system may be telling you that it’s time for an upgrade. Instead of chasing down outdated parts to keep your existing system going, turn to a trusted professional to help you replace your panel. You’ll save time and money in the long run with a system that’s designed to bring you into the modern era!
Increased Power Demands
If you’ve been splurging on new appliances for your kitchen or home office, you’re likely putting a lot of new demand on your system. That great big new TV and hot tub room will take a lot of power.
When it comes to electricity, when your electrical usage is higher, your electrical panel may not be up to the task anymore.
You’ve Got Power Strips Everywhere
In a modern household, odds are that there are at least four phones, three laptops, two tablets, and a partridge in a pear tree charging in your house right now. Even with modern electrical capacity, you may have half a dozen power strips plugged in, charging all those devices. If you do, you might be using a lot more power than your original panel was designed for.
While surge protection has its place, it can’t add power to your home. If you find that you’re relying on surge protectors to extend your capacity, it’s time to consider an upgrade.
Increased Power Surges
You can buy power strips that are designed to prevent power surges from killing your electronic devices. But it’s much safer to prevent the surge at the source. Make an appointment with an electrical professional instead. Qualified electricians can help you to set up the electrical panel upgrade your system needs to truly protect your home from power surges.
Decreasing the Risk of Fire
If your wiring is old or faulty, your home is at a much higher risk of a fire. Adding new circuits with your electrical panel upgrade can help to safeguard your property. It can also give you huge discounts on your homeowner’s insurance by reducing the risk of a fire.
Selling Your Home
A full re-wiring of your house can be expensive. Telling potential buyers about a recent electrical panel upgrade will let them know that your home is ready for the future. Anyone looking to buy your home is going to have that same stack of digital devices and other power-demanding appliances that you do. Being able to tell them your house is ready to handle it all is a great sales tool.
What is an Electrical Panel Upgrade?
Depending on the current state of your system, an electrical panel upgrade can include a lot of different things. It might mean adding more circuit breakers to your existing box or upgrading your service from 100 to 200 or 400 amps. It can also mean tearing out an old fuse box and replacing it with current circuit breakers that can supply all the power you need safely.
When you work with a trained electrician, they can inspect your system and make recommendations based on the size of your home, your usage, and your budget.
Ready to Make the Switch?
Ready to join the modern era and upgrade your electrical panel? The team at W3 Electric is here to help! We’ve served the local community in Rowlett, Rockwall, Allen, and McKinney, TX, for years, and we’re ready to help you, too!
When you call our experienced electricians, we’ll send out a team member to help you right away. We’ll assess your system, putting together solutions that are designed to suit your budget and your specific needs and answering any questions that you may have along the way. Give us a call today to discuss the benefits of an electrical panel upgrade.