A functioning electrical panel is essential for any home. Your panel, which is essentially the heart of your electrical system, is what controls power to your home’s receptacles and switches. Its job is to protect your home if a specific device is pulling too much power. If you’re experiencing a problem, then an electric panel upgrade may be indicated.
So, continue reading until the end to determine the top ten signs you need to look for to determine that your electrical panel needs to be upgraded. Then confer with a licensed electrician to determine the cost to upgrade an electric panel in your home or business.
#1 You Live in an Old Home
If you live in an older home in an area like St. Louis and you are unsure when y last changed your electrical panel, it is a wise idea to have an electrician inspect it. Older electrical panels are frequently incapable of meeting the electrical requirements of modern homeowners. Furthermore, between the 1950s and the 1980s, many American homes were constructed using Zinsco brand panels and Federal Pacific Electric.
Over time, it became clear that these panels had certain design flaws, making them more prone to sparking, shocks, and electrical fires. If you live in a city like St. Louis or Detroit, many homes and buildings are older, and some still have fuses or ancient panels. So, understanding the problems and safety concerns associated with old fuse boxes and the importance of Electrical Panel Upgrades in St Louis is in everyone’s best interests.
#2 You Are Not Getting Enough Power
As previously stated, older electrical panels may be incapable of supplying enough power to meet your advanced electrical requirements. Once, the benchmark for electrical panels was 60 amps, but this has since been increased to 120 amps.
Keep in mind that using any device with a 240V circuit increases your chances of drawing high levels of power regularly. Not to mention that if you live in St.Louis or northern Michigan, you may have deep-water wells, which are becoming more common in the state and require 200 amp service to function correctly. As a result, in this scenario, an electric panel upgrade to 200 amps is usually the best option for keeping it operational and safe.
#3 Instead of a Circuit Breaker Box, you have a Fuse Box.
As I previously stated, circuit breakers are almost always used to prevent excess current flow in modern electrical panels. Fuse boxes are usually standard in older panel boxes. Whereas most fuse boxes operate practically, circuit breaker panels can be inconvenient because you must replace them every time a fuse blows.
Fuse boxes also lose effectiveness as they age, and in some cases, this can result in fire. The most common solution is to replace your fuse box with a circuit breaker panel, which is also the best choice for making life easier and safer for everyone in your home.
#4 You Make Use of a Lot of High-Drawing Electrical Devices
It would help if you tried to limit your electrical usage as much as possible for the sake of the environment and your power bill. However, as I said before, older panels often can not handle our advanced electrical needs.
Running a lot of devices daily, such as your dryer/washer combo, water heater, or HVAC system, can put a strain on older electrical panels. When this happens, the panel might catch fire. As a result, replacing your panel is usually the best option to keep it from becoming a fire hazard.
#5 You’re Having Issues Getting Enough Power
Have you ever noticed that when you use specific devices, your lights flicker or some of your electrical devices burn out before they should? This could indicate that you have an older panel struggling to provide enough power. But, again, replacement is the way to go for more consistent performance.
#6 You Are Frequently Experiencing Power Surges
Power surges happen when the flow of electricity in your home is disrupted or when an excessive amount of current flows through your system simultaneously. When this happens, you will lose power for a short period, your electrical devices may be damaged, and you may discover that data on your computer or other devices has been corrupted. An electric panel upgrade capable of 120-200 amps should reduce the frequency of this occurring.
#7 You Have Been Experiencing Partial Power Outages
Power outages typically occur due to a storm or other external factor overstretching the power grid, causing it to shut down and cut off the supply of electricity to your home. As a result, a power outage is usually irreversible.
However, if your panel is old and stretched too thin, you may be more prone to partial outages, in which one part of your home loses power for a while. Evaluate what external factors may be creating these outages in your household, and if you can’t find the source of the problem yourself, call an electrician to see if your panel is to blame.
#8 Your Homeowners Insurance Is Too Expensive
Some insurance companies may charge you more for coverage if you live in an old house with a fuse box. Therefore, it’s worth contacting your insurance company to see if a panel replacement can lower your premium. You should also check to see if you are qualified for refunds and discounts from your local electrical company.
#9 Your Electricity Bills Are Continuously Rising
High electric bills are frequently an indication that the performance of your panel is worsening. If you are not pulling a large amount of power and your utility bills are still rising month after month, you may want to consider an electric panel upgrade to a newer model.
#10 You Have Decided To Move
If you are planning to leave your current home and know that your electrical panel is old, you may want to consider replacing it before you move. You can also consider installing solar panels in your new home. I understand that this may appear to be a hassle. Still, new buyers will be less interested in a house with an ineffective electrical system, and it may increase the value of your property, allowing you to get more money in the sale.
I hope this article will help you to understand when you should get your electric panel upgrade and updated. Contact a licensed electrician to size and install your new service panel when you are ready to upgrade your electric panel.