Need to upgrade your electrical panel box or replacement? Call the electrician you can trust to get the work done right!
Checking Your Electrical Panel
Your breaker box needs a checkup, especially if it’s more than 25 years old but don’t stop at the breaker box, take a good look at the entire electrical system. Here are the signs to look for to see if you might need a new electrical panel:
- You hear crackling sounds from the breaker box panel.
- You see corrosion and rust on the breaker switches.
- The interior of the breaker box feels warm.
- Appliances are running at less than full power.
- Your home has two-pronged outlets, not three-pronged grounded outlets.
- Outlets near water sources – such as sinks, tubs, dishwashers, and clothes washer lines – are do not have GFCI in them. These outlets stop the electricity if an appliance comes into contact with water, preventing electrocution.
- You need surge protectors for computers and other valuable appliances.
- You are always using extension cords.
- Your home has a 60-amp electrical service.
- Your home has 100-amp electrical service, but it still can’t operate some appliances.
- Your older home has a fuse block panel or split-buss panel, which do not have a main breaker.
Owning a home has many benefits. Unfortunately, one of the disadvantages is that things break. Sometimes, you have no clue why something isn’t working. Diagnosing the problem is only half the battle. When it comes to electrical issues, most homeowners have little idea what exactly the problem is, much less how to fix it.
If you’ve had trouble with electricity or appliances working properly, this post will shed some light on if you need to upgrade your electrical panel, how to determine your panel’s capacity and why hiring an electrician is probably the best way to go.
What Is a Breaker Panel?
Before we discuss how and why your electrical panel might not be working, let’s talk about the breaker panel itself. An electrical panel is a central point that connects the wires from outside to the wires inside your home and how your electric service provider provides electricity to your home. It’s often also called the main breaker box or fuse box. This is where you go when you need to flip the breakers off and on to get the power back on when you’ve tripped the breaker. It is usually located in the garage, on your home’s exterior or in a utility room, but can be anywhere in your home.
Most of the time, you don’t think much about your breaker panel. However, like other equipment in your home, electrical panels sometimes need to replaced or upgraded. There are a variety of reasons for this.
Should I Upgrade My Electrical Panel?
Circuit breaker panels typically last 25 to 40 years. There are other questions to ask when determining if you need to upgrade or replace your electrical panel, such as:
DOES YOUR HOME STILL HAVE A FUSE BOX?
If your home still relies on an old-fashioned panel with fuses, which is common in homes built prior to 1960, then you probably want to upgrade to an electrical panel with circuit breakers. Fuses burn out and need to be replaced and circuit breakers just need to be reset with a flip of the switch.
IS YOUR HOME MORE THAN 20 YEARS OLD?
If your home is more than 20 or 30 years old, you may need an upgrade. Older homes typically have panels that top out at 60 or 100 amps. Newer homes usually have 200-amp panels which fit our lifestyles. Today’s electricity needs are greater than before with high-definition televisions, computers, smart refrigerators and other appliances.