Having Power Problems In Your Home? You May Need An Electrical Panel Upgrade
Unless your home is older with 12 gauge knob and tube wiring or aluminum wiring, an electrical panel upgrade could be the only solution you need for sufficient, safe power. However, the wiring may need to be replaced, repairs may need to be made, or a dedicated circuit may need to be installed to get the power you need. We use a lot more electronics and heavy appliances today than we ever have before, so it's not uncommon to have problems when trying to run everything at the same time.
An electrical panel should be inspected every ten years for a possible upgrade. Other than regularly upgrading the panel throughout the time you live in your home, there are some signs that mean it's time to take care of it soon.
You Have Fuses, Not Circuit Breakers In The Panel Box
If your home was built before 1960 and the panel has never been upgraded, you should have fuses in the panel box rather than breakers. Fuses can only handle up to 90 amps for the whole house. The average modern home needs between 100 and 400 amps of power, so upgrade the panel box because the fuses cause additional risk of fire.
You Need To Power A New Heavy Appliance
If the power load of your household is going to increase, your old electrical panel may not be able to fulfill the demand. Instead of risking an electrical overload, you can upgrade the panel and install a dedicated circuit to the area where the appliance will be used.
When You Remodel
If you are renovating or remodeling your home, it's a good time to upgrade your electrical panel. You may need to install additional outlets, lighting, or a dedicated circuit to a spa or hot tub. This is also a good time to upgrade to GFCI outlets no matter what rooms of the house you are remodeling. Otherwise, the circuit breakers may trip frequently if it can't handle the new load.
When You Hear Crackling Sounds Or Can't Power Appliances Together
One of the most common signs that you need to upgrade the electrical panel is when lights flicker as turn on the microwave. Sometimes using a blow dryer in the bathroom causes the breaker to trip. This usually happens in older homes. As with all electrical problems, an electrician will need to troubleshoot the system. Upgrading the panel may not be the only solution to your particular problem.