The electrical panel is a vital component of your home’s electrical system, providing the power for every outlet and switch in your house. But this panel has a tough job, and if it’s not up to the task, it could put your household at risk of electrical surges, power outages, or even fire.
A residential electrical service panel is the central nervous system for all of your home’s wiring and electrical devices, distributing the electric feed from the main line into the individual circuits throughout your house or business. Your electricity will run up to the electric meter, then through the panel before it runs through your appliances and electronics.
When a new electrical service is installed, the panel will often be upgraded to meet the increased electrical load that’s generated by modern appliances and devices. However, some homeowners and businesses may find that their electrical panels need to be updated for other reasons.
One of the most common reasons to consider an electrical panel upgrade is if you’re adding new major appliances to your home. Adding a new refrigerator, air conditioner, washer and dryer, or water heater to your home can significantly increase the amount of electricity that’s being used in your home. If your older electrical panel isn’t up to the task, you may experience frequent breaker trips or even a fire in your attic as a result.
An electrical panel upgrade can also be necessary if your home or business is still using fuses instead of modern circuit breakers. Having an electrical panel that uses fuses rather than circuit breakers is a serious safety hazard and is almost always an indication that it’s time for an upgrade. These old fuses are prone to overheating, which can lead to a fire and create dangerous shock hazards. Modern breakers are designed to trip when they detect inconsistencies in the flow of electricity, preventing overheating and keeping your house or business safe from fires and shocks.
An electrical panel upgrade can also help you add more outlets and switches around your home. This will increase the amount of available power and make it easier to keep all of your appliances and electronic devices running at full capacity. This is especially true if you’re looking to do major renovations in your home and need to add more outlets, or if you have a growing family that needs more power than your current home can provide. In these cases, a sub-panel can be added to your existing service panel to allow for more space for additional breakers. This is a less expensive option than a full replacement of your electrical service panel.