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Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Blog

Is It Time for an Electric Panel Upgrade?


The electric panel is one of the most important parts of the electrical system for your home. Possibly the most important, because it is the “central station” for the electricity from the grid entering the house where it is divided into different circuits. Breaker switches in the panel help to protect the electric system from electric shorts in the house. 

No electrical panel will last forever, and at some point, you will need to have your current one replaced. Not only do these panels wear down, they can also be made obsolete because of the changing electrical demands in a house. In this post, we’ll give you some guidelines for when you should consider calling us for electric panel and circuit breaker upgrades in Studio City, CA or elsewhere in our service area.

Panel Age

As a general rule of thumb, a panel should be replaced every 25 to 40 years. If your house still has its original electrical panel and is more than 25 years old, you should start to consider a replacement as you weigh the other factors. But 40 years is simply too old, and it’s best to have it replaced as your first possible convenience.

Federal Pacific Electrical Panels

This is a specific case, but an important one. Federal Pacific Electrical panels were installed in numerous homes from the 1950s through the ‘80s. These panels pose a higher risk of starting electrical fires because of defects with the breakers that allow excess current through that normally would trip the breakers. You can check the inside of the panel door to see if you have a Federal Pacific panel; if you do, we recommend you have it replaced ASAP. 

You Still Have a Fuse Box

If your electrical panel doesn’t have breakers but is rather a fuse box—something you might find in an older home—then you definitely need to make the upgrade to a breaker panel. Fuse boxes are not only less convenient, but they are unable to handle modern residential electrical loads without oversized fuses. These fuses can create a major fire hazard. Our team specializes in working with older homes, and we can help revamp your electrical system if you have a fuse box.

Constantly Tripping Breakers

If you’ve noticed that you are having to reset breakers more often than before, this is another warning the electrical panel is wearing down or your electrical demands have surpassed what the panel can handle. 

Charring or Scorch Marks on the Panel

These marks on the panel surface of the breakers indicate an electrical fire has occurred inside the panel. This is serious: you need to have the panel inspected and possibly replaced right away as it’s already showing signs of becoming dangerous.

When you have any doubts about your electrical panel or the electrical system of your home in general, you can trust our licensed electricians to provide you with the best advice as well as the finest service.

Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical is an older home specialist. Call our certified service technicians 24/7 for exceptional customer service!

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