Should I Upgrade My Electrical Panel?: How To Know When It’s Time
An electrical panel houses your home’s breaker switches. This panel is often overlooked until you begin to experience electrical problems in your home. Once you start to experience problems or you think about your electrical panel, you may start to wonder if it’s time to upgrade your electrical panel. Knowing when to upgrade electrical panels can help prevent problems, such as your breakers constantly tripping, that may occur when your breaker panel needs to be replaced. Here are a few of the signs that now is the time to upgrade your electrical panel.
The Age of Your Electrical Panel
If you are wondering when to upgrade your electrical panel, you should consider the age of your panel. Most panels last anywhere from 20 to 40 years. If your panel is 40 years or older, it is definitely due to be replaced. If your panel is between the 20 to the 40-year mark, you will want to watch for signs that are indicative of an electrical panel that may need to be replaced. Many of these signs are listed below.
How Many Amps Your Panel Is
Another common indication that your electrical panel may need to be upgraded is the number of amps for your panel. Over 20 years ago, it was common for smaller homes to have 60 amp panels installed. These days, homes need a bare minimum of 100 amp panels. Homes use a lot of electricity for appliances, to light the home and to charge and power electronic items. If your home has a 60 amp panel, it may be struggling to keep up. You may notice your home is struggling to keep up if your lights dim when you turn on an appliance. This is a key indicator that you need a large amp electrical panel.
Your Breakers Are Tripping
You may start to wonder if your electrical panel needs an upgrade if your breakers seem to be tripping often. If your breakers are tripping, it is wise to call in a professional electrician. Tripping breakers can be a sign of a variety of electrical issues, including wiring that is wearing or broken or a sign that your electrical panel needs to be replaced. An electrician can examine your home’s electrical system and determine why the breakers are tripping and if a new electrical panel may help solve the issue.
Your Electrical Panel is Running Warm
The final sign that you need to upgrade your electrical panel is that the electrical panel is running warm. If you place your hand on the cover of the panel, it should not feel warm or hot. If it does, there is something going on with the panel. The panel may be overloaded, struggling to keep up, or running hot due to a wiring problem. In most cases, a warm panel will need to be replaced to prevent potential electrical fires.
If your electrical panel is starting to show signs that it needs to be upgraded, or you are adding on to your home and need more electrical capacity, now may be the perfect time to upgrade your electrical panel. Here at Tidal Electrical Services, we can help you assess your electrical panel and install a new one if needed. Reach out to us today to learn more.