Service and Panel Upgrade, Etobicoke

The electrical service and panels are responsible for ensuring enough electricity reaches all your devices. A panel upgrade will increase the safety of your home.
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Service and Panel Upgrade, Etobicoke

If you were asked the capacity of your service panel for a panel upgrade, would you know how to check?

Many homeowners know that when the lights go out, the first thing to do would be to go down to the grey breaker box to reset the circuit that has tripped, but not much further thought is given to the proper functioning of their service panel. Knowing the capacity of a service panel is an integral part of panel maintenance. To check the capacity of your service panel, start by taking a look inside.

There should be one breaker larger than the others, marked with an amperage amount. Amps are a unit used to measure how much electricity can safely flow through a circuit, meaning that the amperage amount marked on the breaker is the maximum capacity of your home’s entire electrical system.

Regularly checking your electrical panel is a good habit to have, as underlying damage to the system can manifest in rust or scorching. Even in cases where there hasn’t been a need for electrical fixes, incorporating these checks into the maintenance of your house is crucial. Being aware of your service panel’s capacity will also allow you to know when an electrical panel upgrade is in order. As a general rule of thumb, no electrical circuit should exceed 80% maximum capacity. 20% of this capacity is normally used for home lighting, while another 20% is used for appliances such as heating or air conditioning.

In situations where the electrical load has significantly increased, a panel upgrade will in most cases be recommended for safety and ease of living. Older homes are especially likely to have a low electrical capacity, which is highly incompatible with the amount of smartphone chargers, televisions, computers, and other technological devices used in the home today. In fact, a survey conducted in 2020 found that a large percentage of Canadians regularly use electronic devices that require constant charging. The electrical draw for the modern home has increased, and so has the demand for a higher amperage capacity.

In addition to the increased use of technological devices, homeowners frequently cite large additions or renovations as a reason for requiring more electrical power. This can include adding in a spa or hot tub, installing heating or air conditioning units, or adding in additional appliances, such as stoves or dryers. When adding additions to a home, the electrical panel should also be upgraded. Without an upgrade, the power is likely to go out do to a strain on the home’s electrical system. In even worse cases, this can be dangerous!

If your home has not had a service and panel upgrade in the past 25-40 years, it’s worth looking into, as an outdated electrical panel is a dangerous one, putting your home at risk for electrical fires. The modern demand of electronic devices has created the need for a much higher capacity more than ever before. Don’t take the risk — upgrade your electrical service and panel today!

Contact MADE ELECTRIC for more information, to learn more about service and panel upgrades, and to inquire about having a service and panel upgrade installed in your home! We operate within the GTA to ensure that your home and your electronics are safe.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are other reasons for getting a panel upgrade?

Besides the electrical demand of technology and additions, other reasons for upgrading service panel or replacing it with an entirely new one include mounting damage to older panels, having to change the panel’s location, or having one that contains old style metering.

How do I know for sure that my home can support the amount of appliances and devices that I’m using?

For peace of mind, a licensed MADE ELECTRIC electrician can be asked to do a load calculation to determine the maximum load of your home’s electrical service. This will depend on a number of factors, such as the physical size of your living space, the amount of heating and air conditioning used, the amount of cooking appliances in your home, etc. If your load is dangerously close to being over the maximum capacity, the electrician may suggest that you get a panel upgrade.

How much would a panel upgrade cost?

The cost of upgrading an electrical panel can vary depending on your location, as well as the size of the upgrade (how many amps it will be upgraded to), whether your service is above or below ground, or possible charges from the utility company whose power you will need to be shut off temporarily while the upgrade is occurring.

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