Gladiator Electric LLC - Licensed Electric
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In this blog post, we’ll discuss whether you should upgrade your electrical panel.

You’ve been living in the same house for several years, and you notice that your lights are dimming frequently or the outlets don’t seem to have as much power as they used to. In fact, you’ve gotten accustomed to frequent blackouts and power outages.

You hate to admit it., but something’s wrong with your electrical system, and in most scenarios, the electrical panel needs an upgrade. If you’ve heard about upgrading your electrical panel or replacing it entirely, it might be high time to get your system up to speed. But before deciding on the upgrade necessary for your electrical panel, you must first acknowledge why this equipment is so important.

Electrical Panel: How Does It Work?

The electrical panel is called many things, depending on who’s describing it. It could refer to the circuit breaker, fuse box or distribution board. Anyhow, it’s a critical component of your home’s electrical system, with the main function of distributing electrical power into subsidiary circuits throughout your home while providing a protective fuse or circuit breaker for each circuit in a common enclosure.

When the power line from your electric utility company enters the living space, it directly feeds into the electrical panel. This panel, typically a metal box installed in a utility area, i.e., basement or garage, houses circuit breakers or fuses – safety devices designed to disconnect circuits in instances of power surges or overloads. Each breaker is assigned to a particular circuit in your home, feeding electrical power to appliances and outlets.

Inside the panel, the incoming supply is split into separate circuit lines, each controlled by a circuit breaker. So, when there’s an overload or short-circuit – an instance when electricity flow is incorrectly directed – the relevant circuit breaker will trip, cutting off the supply to the specific circuit. The objective of the entirety of the system is to prevent potential electrical fires while also safeguarding your appliances from damage.

Being cognizant of how your electrical panel works is your weapon of choice in maintaining safety and efficiency in your electrical system. But no matter how much you pay attention to your panel, age will eventually take its toll – and it’s something that can’t be ignored.

Why You Need an Electrical Panel Upgrade

The electrical panels of the old days were robust on their own, but with the ever-increasing demand for electricity today, they’re largely outdated to meet modern power requirements. Older models have fewer circuit breakers, limiting your ability to install multiple new appliances or devices.

You must weigh the risk of electrocution and fire from outdated electrical systems. With an upgraded model, you’d have enhanced safety measures in place that could protect your home and family from threats that’ll lead to serious injury or even death.

If your home was built before the ’90s and the electrical panel is still in its original state, then it’s time to upgrade it for improved safety. You must also consider your growing family size and their increased demands on your power supply. For instance, an upgrade is necessary if you intend to install a new pool or hot tub or even just have more appliances in the house.

A modern electric panel is expected to provide up to 200 amps of power and add more value to your home should you consider selling it anytime soon. Accordingly, installing a new, modern electric panel is necessary for your safety and to increase the market value of your property.

Signs Pointing to the Need for an Electrical Panel Upgrade

There’s no shortage of telltale signs that an electrical panel upgrade is in order. Be mindful of these situations:

  1. No Breakers in the Electrical Panel: If your panel lacks breakers, it’s a clear sign that it’s outdated and requires an upgrade. Modern panels are equipped with individual circuit breakers that keep each circuit separate. This ensures safety and prevents overloads from affecting the entire system. The absence of breakers only means one thing: you’re living in a major hazard.
  2. Age of the Electrical Panel: As with any system that offers convenience to your life, your electrical panel will show signs of wear and tear as it ages. If it’s over 30 years old, it’s highly likely that it isn’t up to par with modern electrical demands. An older panel is likely incapable of handling the number of appliances and devices used in today’s households, resulting in frequent overloads.
  3. Insufficient Outlets in Your Home: If you use extension cords or multi-outlet converters frequently, it’s an indication that your home lacks outlets. It isn’t merely a matter of convenience but also safety. Overusing a single outlet ultimately leads to overheating and potential electrical fires. An upgrade of your electrical panel allows for the installation of additional outlets to meet your power needs.
  4. Sparks When Plugging In: If you notice sparks when plugging in devices or appliances, it’s a warning sign of a potential problem with your electrical panel. Sparks indicate a short circuit, which poses a fire risk. An electrical panel upgrade addresses this issue, ensuring your home’s safety. Not only that, an upgrade will also protect your electronics from getting damaged.
  5. Home Remodeling Plans: If you’re planning a home remodel or an addition, it’s the perfect time to consider an electrical panel upgrade. It’s especially true if you’re adding new appliances or increasing the number of outlets in your home. An updated electrical panel is meant to handle the additional power load and make your renovated space more efficient and safer.
  6. Flickering Lights: If your lights flicker or dim periodically, it’s best to have a professional assess your electrical panel. Over time, the wiring in older panels becomes loose and causes a decrease in power efficiency. An updated panel includes wires and components designed to last longer and handle more current without issues.

Final Thoughts On Upgrading Your Electrical Panel

Truthfully, we can’t think of any reason you should put off upgrading your electrical panel once you notice any signs we just discussed. Remember, the concern here isn’t just convenience or efficiency; your safety is at stake. Not to mention the assurance you’re getting from being sure that a short circuit or power surge won’t take out your entire electrical system.

If you have any questions about your electrical panel, please don’t hesitate to contact Gladiator Electric today or fill out or contact form.