Your home may have outgrown its current breaker box, otherwise known as a panel. If your home was built before the 60’s or 70’s, there is a good chance that your panel might be using outdated technology.
It can be dangerous and frustrating if you are not getting a consistent, reliable power supply from your panel. Here are a few key factors you need to know about upgrading your breaker box.
1. Signs Your Breaker Box Needs an Upgrade
An older home doesn’t automatically mean your panel needs an upgrade right away, but there are a few key warning signs that shouldn’t be ignored:
- If the panel looks old and you can no longer make out the labels, it’s likely that your panel is outdated and needs to be upgraded.
- If any of your electrical wires overheat or melt, this is a bad sign.
- If you can hear any audible noises from the panel, get an inspection right away.
- If you notice any heat coming from the panel, that is a dangerous sign.
- If there are any burns or rust on the interior of the box, then your panel may not be safe. Get an inspection from a licensed electrician as soon as possible.
In addition to physical signs that your panel is outdated, you may also have experienced flickering lights, fuses that blow or frequent circuit breaker trips.
2. The Panel Upgrade Process
When upgrading your panel, the first step is to contact a licensed electric company. They will arrange a home visit to assess the panel and talk to you about your needs.
You will receive an estimate for the panel upgrade, and once you have accepted that, the work will begin right then or be scheduled for a date in the near future. Usually, the upgrade will be planned to ensure that there is minimal interruption for you and your family.
3. Plan For the Future
While the electrician is at your home upgrading your panel, be sure to let them know about any changes you might have to your power needs in the future. This could include a home addition, new outlets, appliances or appliance circuits. By allowing for a little expansion in your electricity plans later on, you can save money later by not having to pay for another upgrade.
Keep in mind that panel upgrades should only be done by a licensed electrician. Not only is it unsafe to work on any type of power unless you have experience, you may also have trouble with your insurance company later on.
At Graf Electric, we take your safety seriously. Contact us today at 316-854-8363 if you have any concerns about your electrical panel being outdated or dangerous.