If you live in an older home, you may have an electrical panel that is out of date and not suited to your needs or those of the people in your household. The amount of electrical power the average home uses has undergone significant changes within even the last decade, and the difference between today and the early ‘80s is so staggering that you almost certainly need a panel upgrade if your house was built in that era.
An outdated electrical panel can cause many problems in a home. If your old panel uses fuses instead of circuit breakers (common in homes constructed before 1960), you should not hesitate to call for a new installation right away: fuse boxes are unsafe when confronted with modern electrical loads and are potential fire hazards. They are also plain inconvenient: when a circuit breaker trips, you just have to reset it, whereas a blown fuse needs to be fully replaced.
But even if you have a circuit breaker panel, if it is more than a decade old if may have trouble keeping up with the increased electrical demands in your home. You probably use twice the amount of electrical power on a daily basis than you did ten years ago, thanks to the addition of more computers, charging stations, entertainment centers, etc. If you find yourself needing to reset circuit breakers every month or so, the panel is overworked and should receive an upgrade.
Finally, your old panel may be wearing down from use. Just like any complex component, an electrical panel will eventually require a replacement when it can no longer do its job. Corrosion is a common trouble with older electrical panels, and breakers can suffer mechanical wear that won’t allow them to trip properly, which can ignite a fire. If you are unsure about your current panel’s condition, have an electrician inspect it.
Putting in a new electrical panel is not a do-it-yourself project. Any major electrical work for a home requires that a licensed electrician handle it. This will ensure that the new panel is matched to the needs of your home and presents no safety risks.
Call on Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical for electrical service in Los Angeles, CA and the surrounding areas. We have decades of experience helping homes upgrade their electrical systems for better performance and safety.