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Do You Need an Electrical Panel Upgrade?

electricians-working-on-electrical-panelAlso referred to as the circuit breaker panel of your home, the electrical panel is the central hub of your entire electrical system—where the incoming electricity is routed to the different circuits. The breakers are designed to shut off circuits in case of voltage overload. If you have an older circuit breaker panel, you should ensure you aren’t overdue for having it replaced.

If you suspect or wonder if it is time for you to upgrade your electrical panel, the best thing you can do is call in a professional electrician in Cedar Falls. In the meantime, we’ve provided some questions below for you to ask yourself when determining whether or not your electrical system could use this type of upgrade.

Does Your Home Still Use a Fuse Box?

This is pretty rare these days, but if your home was constructed before 1960, it could still have a fuse box instead of an electrical panel with circuit breakers. This means that rather than tripping a breaker when there’s excess voltage, one of the fuses burns out to stop the flow of electricity.

We’ll put this simply—with today’s electrical demands, fuse boxes are simply not as safe anymore. If you do have a fuse box in place, you should upgrade it to an electrical panel ASAP. In addition to the safety benefit, circuit breaker panels are also more convenient than fuse boxes.

How Old Is Your Home?

Regardless of whether or not you have a fuse box, if your home is over 3 decades old and still has the same electrical panel installed, it’s time to get a new one. It’s not so much a safety issue in this case (though, any worn out electrical appliance can become a hazard), but rather a matter of electrical capacity.

Circuit breaker boxes of this age can handle 60-100 amps, while newer panels can handle up to 200. This is much more suited to the rise in electrical demands in modern households that comes from high powered appliances, charging stations, computers, and increased electronics. The good news is, you can check the amps yourself—it’s likely printed on a sticker inside the panel door.

Are Your Circuit Breakers Constantly Tripping?

It makes sense that you don’t want to make regular visits to the panel during the week to reset tripped breakers. If this is just happening with a single circuit, it’s likely a problem with whatever appliance is hooked up to it, or a wiring issue. You’ll definitely at least need electrical repairs.

However, if multiple circuits are tripping, you likely have a worn down electrical panel that can no longer meet the electrical demands of your household.

Do You Have Frequently Flickering Lights?

First off, no, you probably aren’t dealing with a poltergeist. Flickering lights most often indicate small power surges in the home, connected to powerful appliances coming on and placing a high demand on the electrical system. The panel might be at fault, as well. It if can’t be repaired in a cost-effective manner, it’s wise to have a new electrical panel installed.

At Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric and Fireplaces, Inc., your comfort is our promise! To set up an appointment, give us a call at the number above, email customerservice@daltonphc.com or schedule an appointment online.

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