How To Know When To Upgrade Your Home’s Electrical Panel

Most homeowners assume that their home’s electrical system is in perfect condition as long as all of their electrical appliances and technology turn on and function. However, in the case of an older home, you could discover that the electrical panel is relatively outdated. Several signs will tell you you are exceeding the capability of your home’s electrical service. Or you might learn that you need to upgrade the service and electrical panel when you are making a significant upgrade to your home, such as a new central air system.

What Is Today’s Standard Residential Electrical Service

The quantity of electricity in your home is measured in amps. The minimum electrical panel amperage required by the National Electrical Code is 100 amps. It is sufficient to operate a medium-sized home and include 240-volt service for several appliances and air conditioning. However, with the uptick in technology and larger appliances in many homes, finding a house that offers 150 or even 200 amp service is not uncommon.

Older homes that have not been upgraded and rewired are likely to have significantly less than today’s minimum of 100 amps. In the 1950s, most houses only offered 60 amps, but that number increased to 100 in the 1960s. If you live in one of these older homes, you are probably noticing some of the signs that you need to upgrade your electrical panel and service.

Signs It’s Time For An Upgrade

When your home’s electrical demand exceeds the power delivered by the panel, you will notice many issues, including:

  • Lights that flicker often
  • Breakers that are frequently tripping
  • Lights that dim when a large appliance is running
  • You need to use many extension cords to run all of your devices and appliances
  • There is smoke coming from an outlet
  • Outlets have burnt or scorched marks on them
  • There is a burnt odor near outlets

Finally, if your home is using fuses rather than breakers in the electrical panel, it is past time for an electrical upgrade. These devices offer far less safety than breakers. In addition, they were never designed to handle the amount of power found in modern homes. Call the licensed electricians at Reliable Electrical Services for a free price quote to upgrade your electrical panel to adequate power and much safer breakers.

Other Reasons To Consider An Upgrade

If you are remodeling or adding to your home, it is the perfect time to have your electrical service brought up to current standards. Unfortunately, many new appliances and electronics require more power than your 60 or 100 amp service can deliver. And the longer you try to make do with the insufficient service, the better the chances for damage to your expensive devices or an electrical fire in your home.

Some of the common items that require additional electrical service include:

  • An air conditioner if you never had one
  • A newer and larger air conditioner than you are currently using
  • A sizeable electric range or chef-quality kitchen appliance upgrade
  • An additional washer and dryer
  • A home theater system
  • A hot tub or swimming pool installation

Most of the time, the contractor installing the new upgrades will inform you that you need to have an electrical inspection and possibly an upgrade to accommodate your new feature. But if you ever have a question about your electrical service or its safety, you can call (877) 577- 2759 to schedule an inspection with the pros at Reliable Electrical Services. Our staff is available 24/7 for any electrical emergency. And all of our work is backed by a full parts and labor warranty.