Our lives revolve around electricity, as much as we may not think about it. The electric panel is a vital part of supplying electricity to every area and it is important to keep it functioning safely and efficiently. Knowing when to upgrade your electric panel can sometimes be tricky, so here are a few things to consider. If you have more questions, or you can get started on upgrading your electric panel now !

The manufacturer estimates that the life of an electrical panel is 30 years. It may look safe and work, but we recommend using new technology that has been around for over 10 years. It is much safer than the older panels.

Wiring Issues

Wires run throughout your home to bring electricity to every room and when a problem occurs, it can cause issues throughout your house. Knowing the signs of faulty wiring can help you catch problems early on – avoiding bigger issues, and the potential for a house fire. Some warning signs that you have faulty wiring include flickering or dimming lights, shocks when you touch an appliance, a persistent burning smell, and discolored outlets or sparks that come from outlets. If you see any of these problems, contact a licensed electrician immediately. They are signs of a bigger issue. If you live in an older home, old wiring is more likely to cause problems. Wire materials and insulation tend to deteriorate over time. Wiring that is not to code may have previously been installed by a previous owner. Keep your home and loved ones safe by having a licensed electrician inspect your electric panel and wiring. They will be able to tell you when to upgrade your electric panel.

New Appliances

If you are installing a new appliance that consumes a lot of energy (hot tub, refrigerator, HVAC system) you will need to check your existing electric panel to see how many amps it is made to handle. Panels are rated from 100 to 400 amps, and anything below 100 is illegal. If your new appliance requires more power than your current electric panel can provide, it is definitely time to upgrade. Otherwise, every time you use your new appliance, the circuit will trip and you won’t be able to use the appliance. If you are unsure about how to calculate the amperage your home uses, contact Asbury Electric. We are more than happy to help you determine if it’s time to upgrade your electric panel, if you are purchasing a new appliance.

Fuse to Circuit Breakers

If you live in an older home, there is a chance that your electric panel still contains fuses, rather than circuit breakers. If that is the case, then it is definitely time to upgrade your electrical panel. While fuses and circuit breakers serve the same purpose, fuses have become outdated. There are many reasons that circuit breakers are better than a fuse box. When electricity was first installed in homes, it was for a much lower amperage than we use today. So fuse boxes generally can’t supply as much power as a circuit breaker. Fuses can also only be used once. If a fuse or circuit breaker sense that there is too much power going through, they will break the circuit and stop the flow of power and keep things under control. Fuses will break the circuit by melting, which is why they can only be used once. Circuit breakers simply have to be flipped back on and can be reused multiple times. Because of the melting, fuses can also be considered a fire hazard. Some insurance companies refuse to insure homes that still operate using fuse boxes.

Too Many Extension and Power Strips

If you have an area in your home where you use a lot of extension cords or power strips, it may be time to get a new electric panel. When installing the new panel, it would be easy to install a few more outlets in areas that you need them. Most people know that overloading a single outlet can be a fire hazard, and upgrading your panel is an easy fix. Not only can you have more outlets installed, you can also increase the amperage your electric panel puts out. Knowing when to upgrade your electric panel is important for your home to function safely and efficiently.

Remodeling

If you are planning on remodeling your home, it is definitely worth the time and money. Knowing when to upgrade your electric panel to the latest technology during a remodel can take something off your to-do list. Our lives have become more and more entwined with technology, so who knows what kind of electrical capacity our homes will need in the next decade? When asking about upgrading your panel, as about installing structured wiring. These are heavy duty cables that are capable of handling the latest technology capabilities. It’s a lot easier to take on an electrical project during a remodel, rather than having to go back in and add the wiring and panel later on. Not only will new wiring and a new panel keep your home safer and up to date, it will also be a great resale feature to point out to potential buyers. Electrical installations and upgrades can be tricky, but Asbury is always here to help!

For more information on how to know when to upgrade your electric panel, check out https://lumelect.com/article/electrical-panels-when-to-repair-and-when-to-replace