Electrical power comes into your home from the power line but is distributed to the various circuits from the main panel. The main panel serves your home for years but is hardly invincible. Soon you may need to consider a main panel upgrade. Learn all there is to know about this significant project in this article.
What does it mean to upgrade your main panel?
Upgrading an electrical panel usually involves getting a new breaker box with new electrical circuit breakers. It means changing the panel and making sure it’s up to code with recent electrical guidelines and the demands of your home or building.
Before you can opt for a main panel upgrade, there has to be a reason such as faults or size.
When you should upgrade your main panel
- Your current main panel is unsafe
There are several reasons your panel could be unsafe. First is age. Although the main panel is built to last, as it gets older, wear and tear can occur and make the panel unsafe for use. You would benefit efficiency and safety from changing an old panel for a new one.
There is also the issue of having old models like fuse boxes. Fuse boxes were widely used and approved for homes in the 1960s, but as technology advanced it became clear that fuse boxes were insufficient and dangerous for modern homes. Some old homes still have fuse boxes today, and it should be upgraded to a compliant main panel for modern homes.
Corrosion or rust is another sign your main panel is unsafe and should be replaced or upgraded. Corrosion occurs when parts of the panel have been exposed to moisture. Since electricity and water simply don’t mix, this is a serious safety hazard.
- You can smell, hear, feel, or see it
You should upgrade your main panel when certain signs or faults show up. These include;
- Flickering, dimming, or blinking lights consistently
- Warm wall outlets or burn marks on outlets
- Crackling, sizzling, or buzzing sounds
- Mild shocks from switches or outlets
- Breaker tripping frequently
These are all signs of problems with your main panel or electrical wiring. An electrician can confirm if you need a main panel upgrade to solve them.
- You just need more power
A home’s needs grow every day, and between endless modern appliances and your ideas for a smarter home, you could easily need more power. This often means changing your breaker size from the current amps to a larger one.
What’s involved in this main panel upgrade?
A main panel upgrade can be highly beneficial regardless of why you do it. The project can be quick and painless with the right electrical pro.
It can involve replacing/repairing individual circuit breakers, replacing the panel itself without an actual service upgrade, or a complete and total upgrade that includes service.
The power to your home will be disconnected while the work goes on, and electricians will also look out for any other issues with your wiring and installations.