How to Know When to Upgrade Your Electrical Panel

How to Know When to Upgrade Your Electrical Panel

The electric panel is one of the most important part of your home’s electrical system; it’s the place that controls the circuits that distribute power through the building. But as technology is rapidly evolving, your panel might not be up to the strain of distributing power in a modern home. So how do you know when it’s time for an electrical panel renovation?

Electric SocketUnusual Behavior

One of the biggest indications that your panel needs to be replaced is that it is behaving oddly or appears worn out. If you find rust or corrosion on your breakers or panel, if the box is overheating, or if you hear crackling sounds coming from it, then you should have the panel replaced as soon as possible. A damaged panel can represent a safety hazard to you and your home.

Poor Service

You should also have the panel replaced if it is not fully serving your needs. If your appliances are not running at full power, you do not have sufficient outlets, or you have recently added a new large appliance such as a stove, furnace, or spa, then you should probably have the panel replaced.

Age

Finally, panels should be replaced whenever they get too old. If your panel is older than thirty to forty years, it’s probably time for an electrical panel renovation. If you need to upgrade your outdated electrical panel, be sure to consult a qualified electrician to help guide you through the process.

A Homeowner’s Checklist for Electrical Inspection

When you buy a new home, own an older home, or have renovated or added a major appliance you want to make sure your home is safe. An electrical inspection in these situations should be done by a licensed electrician, but there are some things you can examine yourself.

room

  1. First locate your electrical panel. It is usually found in the garage or basement.
  2. Look for dark or smoky residue and wear and tear on the panel.
  3. Check the fuses. Round fuses are out-of-date and should be replaced.
  4. Examine the panel for any wear or rust and replace if necessary.
  5. Next look at your house’s wiring.
  6. Start by determining if your house was built before 1973. Older houses may have aluminum or knob-and-tube wiring which can be safety concerns and may need to be replaced.  The wiring should also be checked with an electrical inspection.
  7. Do a sweep of the outlets in your bathrooms and kitchen. These outlets should have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) which prevent overloading and accidental electrocution.
  8. Make sure that all lights in the bathrooms and kitchen are at least several inches away from water sources.
  9. Don’t forget to scan your outdoor outlets for GFCIs. Outdoor outlets are exposed to rain, snow, garden hoses, and other water sources.
  10. Indoor outlets should also be inspected even if they are not near water sources. Look for loose or malfunctioning outlets as they may need to be repaired or replaced. See if there are any scorch or smoke marks and listen for sounds such as humming or clicking sounds. If you see or hear marks or sounds, be sure to notify your electrician so he can be sure to take a look during his electrical inspection.

When Do Electrical Projects for Your Home Require a Pro?

Home-Improvement

DIY projects are great for your budget and can give you a sense of pride in a job well accomplished. However, there are some types of home projects where you are better off calling a pro. Any time your project involves electrical work, you should carefully consider the benefits of doing things yourself or hiring an experienced professional.

The Advantages of DIY

A home project can be a lot of fun. You can get great satisfaction from completing a project by yourself, and DIYs tend to save you money. When you do a project yourself, you are also in complete control. You get to make the decisions and set the timeline. You can even learn a new skill. However, when it comes to electrical projects, there are a lot of factors to keep in mind.

When to Go Pro

Safety is always a concern when working with electricity. You can end up doing more damage and spending more money than you originally intended if a DIY project goes bad. There is also a danger that DIY work may not pass inspection if you decide to sell your home down the road. Some jobs that seem simple on the surface can be much more complicated in reality. For example, installing new plugs or switches, putting in new lights or repairing fixtures, and installing a ceiling or exhaust fan may seem like simple projects, but they really need a licensed electrician to do the job right.

Contact us if you are looking for an expert to make your home a dream!