Today’s homes have bigger power needs than ever before. With TVs in nearly every room, game consoles, computers, and multiple smart phones or tablets, we rely on electricity for much more than we did just 20 years ago. If your home is more than 10-15 years old, your electrical system may not be able to handle the load required for all your technology. This isn’t just an inconvenience; overloading your home’s electrical panel is dangerous, and can lead to fire or shocks.
Fortunately, Graf Electric can upgrade your service panel to ensure the right amount of power reaches your house.
What is a Service Panel Upgrade?
The electrical or service panel is a metal box that may be gray, or painted to match the surrounding walls. Some people call it a fuse box or breaker box. It’s usually mounted on the wall in an area in your home such as the laundry or utility room, but yours could also be in a closet or even in the garage. This box is where the electricity comes in from the main line at the utility pole outside and then gets distributed throughout your house.
When your electrical panel gets upgraded, your older, smaller panel is exchanged for a newer one that can handle a bigger electrical load. This may involve upgrading from fuses to circuit breakers, and/or running a new line to increase the service amps to the house. This will allow more outlets to be safely added throughout your home.
How do I Know if I Need a New Electrical Panel?
Even homes built as early as the 1980s may not have enough outlets to safely connect all the devices you want to. Here are some common reasons for upgrading electrical service:
- Not enough outlets to power your devices.
- Regularly using power strips and extension cords.
- Lights that flicker on and off.
- Frequent blown fuses or tripped breakers.
- Unable to use multiple appliances at the same time.
- No GFCI outlets (ground fault circuit interrupters) in kitchens and baths.
- Outlets that are non-grounded (two prongs).
- Electrical wires that have melted, or rust and corrosion in the panel.
- A crackling sound coming from your electrical panel.
- The home’s electrical service is only 60 amps.
- The home has 100 amp electrical service, but it’s not enough for your needs.
- Overheating or shock from electrical equipment, including service conductors.
- The home’s electrical panel doesn’t have a main breaker (split-buss or fuse block panel).
- Major home renovation or addition.
- To meet the requirements of your homeowners insurance.
- Adding new major appliances, a spa, furnace or air conditioner.
- Adding an electrical sub panel.
- Adding a 240 volt circuit.