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Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric and Fireplaces, Inc. Blog

Is Your Home Asking for an Electrical Panel Upgrade?


Your home’s electrical system simply could not function without this very important component–the electrical panel. Of course, you might still have a fuse box instead, so your electrical system may still be functioning–but not as safely as possible (more on that below!)

The electrical panel serves as the “central station” for all the voltage coming through your wiring that gets separated into different circuits. Breaker switches in the panel help protect the electrical system from electric shorts in your home.

The thing is, no electrical panel will last forever–this is especially true with the increasing demands that homeowners put on their electric systems these days. The panels wear down as electrical demands in a house grow, and it’s not a great combination. Read on as we uncover some signs that your home is basically asking for an electrical panel upgrade:

The Age of Your Panel

As a general rule of thumb, your electrical panel should be replaced every 25-40 years. If your home still has its original electrical panel and is over 25 years of age, then you should really start to consider looking into a replacement as you weigh the other factors below. If you know it’s been beyond 40 years, then it’s definitely time for a replacement!

If Your Electrical Panel Was Recalled

Do you know if your home utilizes a Federal Pacific Electrical panel? Not all of them were recalled, but many that were installed between 1950 through the 80s were. The reason for this is that some of these panels pose a higher risk of electrical fires due to defects with the breakers that enable excess current that would otherwise trip the breakers.

This is more likely for homes that have increased their electrical demand significantly since that time, which is going to include yours! Check the inside of the panel door to see if you have one of these panels, and if you do please give us a call right away so we can advise you on the next steps.

You’re Still Using a Fuse Box

If your electrical panel doesn’t have breakers but is instead using a fuse box, something that isn’t common in newer homes but you can still find in older homes, it’s probably a very good idea to make an upgrade to a breaker panel. Fuse boxes are less convenient, for starters. They also cannot handle the modern residential electrical loads being placed on them without oversized fuses.

These fuses can actually create a huge fire risk. Our team can help though!

Your Circuit Breakers Are Constantly Tripping

It’s understandable to have a circuit breaker or two trip every now and then, especially in the height of summer or the dead cold of winter, when we’re using our powerful HVAC systems on a consistent basis. But if you find that you are constantly resetting the circuit breakers, it’s a sign that it’s time for an electrical panel upgrade–your electrical system is telling you it can’t handle the load being placed on it anymore.

At Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric and Fireplaces, Inc., your comfort is our promise! To set up an appointment in the Cedar Falls area, give us a call at the number above, email or schedule an appointment online with a professional electrician in Cedar Falls, IA.

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