An electrical panel upgrade is an essential part of home maintenance. By regularly having a licensed and professional electrician inspect your electrical panel, any underlying issues (such as old or faulty wiring) can be identified quickly and resolved. Older wiring in particular is more likely to be faulty and can be a serious danger, as it is one of the leading causes of house fires. Indications of faulty wiring can include overheating of the electrical panel, flickering lights or appliances, or sparking and scorch marks on power outlets.
Another sign that your home is due for an upgrade is if it still has a fuse box. Fuses function in the same way as circuit breakers — when there is too much electrical current flowing through the system, the circuit breaks to prevent any further flow from entering your home to keep it safe. However, ironically enough, some fuses can end up being fire hazards. Fuses are single-use and can melt due to the heat of high currents, and replacing them can end up being a hassle. This is why newer homes are no longer built with fuse boxes, but older homes may still contain them if the box has not been upgraded to an electrical panel.
Circuit breakers are much more modern and can be reset if tripped. Additionally, having a fuse box makes it less likely that insurance companies will cover your home since they see it as a safety risk. Upgrading has many benefits, one of which can include if you eventually decide to sell your home. Having a recent upgrade shows that your home is modern and up-to-date, potentially increasing its value.
Even if the service is currently in good condition, increasing the demand of electricity by renovating or installing additions to the home will require more circuit breakers to be installed, or even other specialty breakers that prevent hazardous situations, such as a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) or an arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI). Since older panels cannot accommodate the greater demand for electricity, a panel upgrade would be needed.
Before an estimate for a panel upgrade can be given, a licensed electrician will do a load calculation. During this process, you should communicate any future plans you foresee for the next five years, since they will have to ensure that the panel or service size is big enough to handle the additional load. This is also an important step since before a panel upgrade, you will have to notify your utility company to shut off the power while the work is being done. The utility company will usually require proof of a demand calculation to approve the request.
Whether it’s to resolve the issue of constantly tripping breakers or flickering lights, to make the switch from outdated fuses, or because your insurance company has requested that you do so, there are many reasons to upgrade to a high capacity electrical panel.
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.