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Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Blog

Do You Need to Upgrade Your Home’s Electrical Panel?


The electrical panel for a home is the crucial “switching station” for the building’s electrical system. It’s where electricity from the municipal grid enters the home and divides into the separate circuits to power appliances and lights around the house. Breakers in the panel protect the system from overload, tripping to cut off the voltage flow when it spikes.

The panel does a major job for a home, and it’s important that the one in your home can handle your daily electrical demands and operate safely. But if you have a damaged or outdated panel, call an electrician in Van Nuys, CA to examine it and see if it’s time to install a new one. We have the certified electricians for the job. We specialize in helping to make upgrades for older homes.

Ways to Tell You May Need a New Electrical Panel

The need for a replacement panel may not be immediately obvious—which is good, because an obvious sign might be the panel catching fire! Here are some of the ways to tell it’s time to call us to inspect the panel.

You have a fuse box: If your electrical panel is a fuse box rather than a circuit breaker panel, it’s out-of-date and we advise replacing it as soon as possible. The electrical loads for modern homes require putting in bigger and bigger fuses, which increases the chance of fire hazards.

You have a Federal Pacific Electrical panel: Look at the inside of the panel cover to see if it was manufactured by Federal Pacific Electrical. These were common panel installations through the 1980s, and they often malfunction by not tripping when they need to. This is a hazard and we recommend having a new panel installed at the earliest possible time.

Tripping breakers are the norm: How often are you wandering out to the circuit breaker box because yet another circuit has tripped? This shouldn’t be normal for your home. If a single breaker is constantly tripping, that may be an issue with the appliance plugged into it. But when multiple breakers are tripping, your house’s electrical load is probably too much for the panel.

The current panel doesn’t match demand: For an older home, the panel may not be powerful enough for a modern electrical load. The amperage recommend for a contemporary home is 200 amps, and you may have a 100 amp panel, which will lead to plenty of problems if it isn’t upgraded. 

You have appliance upgrade plans: If you are looking to make an upgrade on one of the major appliances for your house, such as a bigger refrigerator or a high-efficiency air conditioning system, you may want to consider upgrading the panel as well. We can also add a dedicated circuit for the appliance if the electrical panel is otherwise good for the rest of the house.

You can trust our electricians for quality service and honest answers to all questions about your household electrical system. We have over 30 years of experience retrofitting homes for the best electrical service.

Call our certified service technicians 24/7 for exceptional customer service! Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical serves Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.

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