Service and Panel Upgrade, Oakville

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, Oakville

An electrical panel upgrade will provide your home with more power. Having more power will allow you to safely upgrade and renovate your home with additional features and appliances, without the hassle of worrying whether your home will be able to support it. To know when it is time for an upgrade, consider the situation that your home is in. Are you planning on installing a new major appliance? Does your home have a problem with blackouts or flickering lights? When getting in contact with an electrical contractor, communicate any current issues or future plans so that they can ensure your electrical panel is up to date.

Upgrading an electrical panel that has a service of at least 200 amps is not only an important investment, but is an event that will likely need to occur at some point in the lifetime of a home. It is generally recommended to have an electrical panel upgraded or replaced at least once every generation. Doing so will allow your home room to grow, especially if you are considering renovating one day, as it is likely to have an impact on your electrical load. Additions such as backyard pools, hot tubs, new heating/air conditioning, or upgrades to a home office or theater can end up being huge power sinks, even with the most modern equipment. 

A service or panel upgrade will allow you to safely expand your home and makes financial sense, as older panels have a tendency to decrease the likelihood of insurance payouts. Insurance companies are likely to see older electrical panels as a safety risk and will as a result be more hesitant to insure it. The financial loss caused by an electrical fire can be overwhelming, even more so knowing there may not be a payout if the homeowner is found to be negligent.

Having a capacity that meets your home’s needs is a great start and a good reason to upgrade your service size, but upgrades to the panel itself may also be required. Individual circuits are often limited in capacity, and smaller panels tend to have only so much room for circuits, which usually have a lower amperage draw. If upgrading your service is not an option, getting more circuits added can also allow you to use more on the same capacity, as it can prevent you from overloading your circuits.

Prior to the upgrade, an electrical contractor will request that an appointment be set up with your hydro provider (usually Hydro One) to shut off your power. Booking a disconnection has been detailed for your convenience here. Since the power will be off, the worksite will likely be dark depending on the time of day, so it is best to keep the area clear for technicians to complete the job quickly and safely.

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)

How do I know when my electrical panel was last updated?

It is best to get the advice of a licensed electrician, as on your own, there is no definite way of knowing when your electrical panel was last updated. However, certain things may give clues as to how old or how modern it is. When opening up the electrical panel, the amperage amount should be marked on a circuit breaker that looks slightly bigger or different from the rest. Older panels will often have a 100-amp capacity, which usually tells you that you are due for an upgrade. You should also check if there is any rust or scorching. This is a sign that the panel is outdated.

What happens if I go overcapacity?

Going over the system’s limit can cause a breaker to trip, making it so you need to go down to the electrical panel to reset it. This is not the worst possible outcome, since at best, it can be a minor inconvenience and occasional annoyance. The worst possible outcome however, especially within older systems, is that it can spark an electric fire. Especially if there is nothing protecting the home, going overcapacity poses a huge risk to you, your family, and your property.

What does the upgrade process look like?

When contacting an electrical contractor, they will usually ask you a few questions about your home, your already existing appliances, and your regular electrical usage. An inspection will allow the electrician to confirm your demand calculation, after which they will usually give recommendations on whether you need an upgrade and how much it costs to do so. Once the upgrade is decided on, they will ask you to co-ordinate the appointment with your hydro provider to have your power shut off while the upgrade is being completed. The power should be off for a minimum of four hours on the day of the upgrade. After it is completed, power will be restored, and all that’s left to do is rest assured and enjoy your new upgrade!

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