Considering the capacity of an electrical panel is an important part of home ownership that many forget to consider when looking at a home. If you plan to make home improvements or renovate one day, knowing the capacity of your electrical panel is crucial, as it will allow you to know if your home will be able to support the changes that may or may not have an impact on your electrical load. An electrical panel upgrade will provide more power to your home, opening up the possibility for further upgrades or additions.
An electrical panel of at least 200 amps is recommended for the modern home, since older breaker panels are more often than not unable to handle the sum of a home’s circuitry system today. With the continued use of outdated panels comes the increased likelihood of blackouts, which can happen when one too many devices have been plugged in. Not only is it a constant inconvenience, but it can pose a risk to your devices and even your home.
So how would you know when it’s time for a panel upgrade? If you and the people in your household tend to use a lot of electricity, you could be going over the limited capacity of what is considered safe. With today’s constant use of laptops, phones, and television screens, there has been an increased demand for electricity. The existing number of wall sockets in your home shows the current capacity of what can be held, but you may find that there aren’t enough plug-in slots to support the amount of electronics that you use. If you find yourself having to use power strips or extension cords, you may be using more electricity than the home was initially designed for.
Another time to upgrade your electrical panel is when you plan to install a new major appliance into your home (heating, air conditioning, hot tubs, etc.). This will significantly increase your electrical load (which can be calculated by a licensed electrician), so it is worth considering whether your current electrical panel has enough power to support it. Adding in appliances to a home that cannot support it will very likely cause the circuit breakers in your electrical panel to trip.
When looking to upgrade your electrical panel, consider whether you have any future plans of home improvement. If one day you would like to renovate or upgrade your home, it is important for future proofing to have a high electrical capacity. It will usually be less expensive to take future plans into consideration when upgrading once, rather than upgrading multiple times gradually. If you are having a licensed electrician come over for re-wiring your home or to conduct other repairs, consider bundling in an electrical panel upgrade to save time and cost. It may even increase your home’s value if you plan to sell it in the future.
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.