Just like most things in a home, some elements of an electrical system need to be replaced from time to time, and this might include the electrical panel. These systems become old and outdated and could be beneficial to upgrade, and it might even be necessary for safety reasons. For homeowners who are thinking about updating their home and are wondering if an electric panel replacement is necessary, there are several things to consider that determine if this is a necessary or beneficial update.
An Old Home
If an electrical system is more than 30 years old, this is a good reason to consider updating or replacing the electrical panel. There are a few reasons for this.
One thing that is easy to forget is that we have more electrical devices than we did even in the 1980s. Certain rooms might be drawing more electricity, so if a home was designed to accommodate the power needs of past decades, the panel and wiring might not be able to withstand the amount of amperage that is currently running through the box and wires.
Like all things, panels can wear out. When wiring is in use, the amperage moving through the panel becomes hot and expands. When the electrical wiring is not in use, it cools off and contracts.
Changes in Technology
In past decades, fuse boxes were installed. Fuse boxes are similar to circuit breakers regarding their function, but they operate quite differently. When a fuse becomes too hot, a piece of wax melts, and every time that wax melts the fuse needs replacement. Circuit breakers can be tripped many times without requiring replacement.
If a home has a recently added addition or will have one added in the future, it’s wise for the homeowner to make sure that the existing panel can handle the increased amperage that the new addition will require. For smaller additions, such as a bump out on a kitchen, an update on an existing panel might be sufficient. However, another option with more substantial additions, such as a guest house, is to add a separate subpanel for the guest house.
Selling a Home
When it’s time to sell a house, having updated electrical wiring and making all repairs, if necessary, is imperative to show a potential buyer that the house is safe. If it’s time to sell but the breaker box is getting old enough, an electric panel replacement will be imperative.
Signs Your Panel Needs Replacing
There are a few signs that indicate that it’s time for a replacement. Many of these signs, if ignored, could lead to significant safety issues such as a house fire.
1) Breakers Tripping Often
If a particular breaker switch is often tripping, this is usually a telltale sign you’re in need of a replacement. A breaker switch that trips frequently is a sign that there is more amperage running through than what the breaker switch can handle, causing it to trip off.
2) Burnt Circuit Breaker Switch
If there is brown scorching on the circuit breaker, you’ll need a new panel. Burns are signs of a short circuit, which means that a “hot” wire, or a wire that carries amperage, is touching a neutral wire. This also means that the circuit breaker is getting too hot, and it could result in a fire.
3) Flickering Lights
Flickering lights are a sign that a home is very old, and the panel was designed for about 60 amps of electricity. Today, since the average home needs at least 100 amps or more, lights can flicker because they are not receiving enough amperage to stay alight.
4) Appliances Don’t Power-Up Or Stay Powered Up
Dealing with flickering lights or appliances that don’t power up? These are a sign that the electric panels aren’t getting enough amperage and a new panel is needed.
Benefits of Electric Panel Replacement
One of the most significant advantages of an electric panel replacement is the peace of mind knowing your home is less susceptible to a house fire because of a new panel. This replacement also means that your appliances are at less risk of being overloaded and damaged.
Electric Panel Replacement: Not a DIY Project
One of the disadvantages of DIY is that, with an electric panel replacement, there are codes that need to be adhered to. Professional electricians will be up to date on the most recent electrical codes in the area, keeping you from costly violations. Another reason is that electricity can be dangerous when not handled properly.
When hiring a certified, professional electrician from Hop2It, homeowners can relax knowing that the job will be completed safely and on time, saving money in the long run. Give us a call today!