Service and Panel Upgrade, North York

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, North York

An electrical panel upgrade may be necessary for ensuring that your home is operating at its most optimal state. Older and more modern homes are typically divided into individual circuits that meet at the master service panel, which have a limited capacity in how much electricity can flow through them. Excess current creates the risk of overheating, and although circuit breakers are often built into service panels to cut the power if unsafe amounts of current are drawn, having these breakers trip constantly and having to go down to reset them can prove to be an inconvenience. This is why it is beneficial for homeowners to upgrade to a more advanced system.

The lower the amperage capacity of an electrical panel, the lower a home’s capacity for safety. The large amount of electronics in today’s home creates a high electrical demand, creating a draw of large amounts of amperage that, when constant, can very easily exceed the safe limits of the system. Most older homes were built with a 100-amp capacity, before the modern technological revolution of computers and smartphones. Nowadays, it’s recommended to have at least 200 amps of capacity in order to support all of the additional devices and appliances that are used in our day-to-day living.

Increasing a home’s electrical capacity will allow more wiggle room in the everyday use of electronics, and homeowners will be able to rest assured without worrying about overloading their home’s capacity. By far the most cited reason for Canadian homeowners wanting to upgrade their electrical panel is wanting to add something new to their home that will significantly increase the demand of electricity. This can include, for example, a garage door opener which will require more electrical energy and complex wiring. Another example is that homeowners could also be looking to install electrical vehicle (EV) chargers.

Regardless of the device or appliance, homeowners recognize that overloading their current electrical panels is a sign that more amperage is needed. So how can one get started on upgrading their electrical panel? The first thing to note is that electrical panel upgrades should be done by a professional and licensed electrical contractor. Working with electricity can not only be dangerous, but potentially lethal. Loose wiring can cause electrocutions, and a service panel that is wired incorrectly can very well start an electrical fire. Therefore, it is best to find an electrical contractor who is fully qualified to guide you through the process.

When working with an electrical contractor, it is best to get estimates for how much the project will cost. Communicate why the electrical work needs to be done, and when that is settled, the electrician can then be asked to conduct a demand calculation according to the standards of the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) to see how much amperage will be needed to support the home. The cost of upgrading your electrical service can vary depending on your location, as well as other factors such as your current electrical panel type and capacity, how old your home is, and whether any additional upgrades are required for your home.

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)

Do I need to do anything else to start the process of upgrading?

After an electrical contractor tells you what service size is needed for your home, they will inform you that an appointment must be made with your hydro provider to shut off the power on the day of the upgrade. This ensures that the upgrade can be conducted safely while the new service is connected and your new electrical panel is being installed. The process of doing so has been outlined here.

What should I do to prepare for the day of the upgrade?

To prepare for the day of the upgrade, it should be noted that the power will be out for at least 4 hours while the work is being conducted. The power may be turned on and off repeatedly, so it is best to ensure that all electronics are unplugged. The electricians working on your home will also be conducting most of the work on the panel itself, which could be either inside or outside. They may need access to the inside of the house to test the lights or receptacles.

Is there any further maintenance required after the upgrade?

Once your electrical panel is upgraded, you should be good to go to install whatever additions the newly-upgraded service supports, whether that is a new electrical vehicle charger, a new hot tub, or new appliances for your home.

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