Electrical Panel Upgrade
As a homeowner, it is essential for you to have a basic understanding of your home’s electric load and when you should call an electrician for an electrical panel upgrade. Ofcourse, we always recommend calling AC Electric for all of your electrical needs!
More times than not, there will come a time when you need to fix or replace something within your electrical panel. If you clearly comprehend the rudiments of how a house’s electrical systems function, you’ll have a solid understanding of when it’s a simple flip of a switch, or a job for a licensed electrician. Even though the thought of an electrical panel and fuse boxes may sound somewhat intimidating, they’re easy to understand once you have the knowledge of some of the basics.
Let’s take a look at electrical panels, what they are, signs that you need an upgrade and the panel that’s suitable for your home.
What Is An Electrical Panel Upgrade?
An electrical panel distributes incoming power from the primary source (grid) to the secondary circuits to supply power in the whole home or building. Typically, they serve you for about 25 to 40 years, after which you need to replace or upgrade them.
So what is an electrical upgrade? This is when you need a better panel, usually one that can distribute more or the same power as the previous one. It would be best if you had a professional check it frequently, even when you don’t necessarily require an electrical fix. Particularly, you should check for scorching or rust since these two are signs of a significant issue to the electrical system.
Electrical maintenance should be done regularly. Sometimes customers think that this is because we want a consistent source of revenue, however, this is the furthest thing from the truth. Having a reliable and trustworthy electrician can save you money and potentially even danger from faulty or soon-to-be faulty electrical equipment.
How Do I Know if I Need an Electrical Panel Upgrade?
If you have seen any of the following inside your house, you might need to upgrade your service panel:
- Regular panel tripping – if your service panel trips regularly, or if it produces a clicking sound, it might be a sign that you need a new and upgraded panel.
- Flickering lights
- Discolored outlets or a burning smell
- If your house is over 20 years old
Is a 100 Amp Panel Enough for a House?
Typically, most homes need an electric panel of not less than 100 amps. This is the minimum amperage requested by the NEC. This panel will provide electrical power for a medium-sized house, including a few 240 volts devices and air conditioning. If you have a bigger home or more appliances, you should consider upgrading to a 200 amp panel. Consulting with your electrician will help you determine the electrical panel you may need.
What’s The Difference Between a 100 Amp & 200 Amp Panel?
The significant difference between these two panels is that the 200 amp panel is larger. The bigger size of a 200 amp translates to more available circuits as compared to the 100 amp panel. More circuits will provide more opportunities to add outlets and other electrical sources to your home. For example, we have worked with customers that want to install an inground pool. What most people don’t realize is the extra load this will take on their electrical system. Especially if you have pretty lights and heat. This customer had zero circuits available to use to power the pool. We had to add a new electrical panel and that’s all that was needed to add more available circuits in order to take on the extra load from their pool
Before you decide on an electrical panel size, make sure to consult with a certified electrical contractor. They will be able to provide you with an accurate measure of how many circuits you may need to handle the load in your house.
For any questions or tips, feel free to call AC Electric today!