Have you ever been faced with flickering lights or even a blackout after plugging in one too many devices? It could be a sign that your home is due for an electrical service upgrade.
You may be asking yourself why having the latest recommended electrical service is important to the smooth functioning of your household and more importantly, to your safety. Every home has a limited capacity in the amount of electricity that is able to safely flow through at once, often indicated by a breaker in your home’s electrical panel. A general rule of thumb is that you should never exceed 80% of the maximum capacity.
Electrical demands of the modern home have increased
Homes built over 30 years ago will likely have panels marked with 100 amps of capacity. Times have since changed, and the significantly larger modern reliance on technology has created a demand for a greater amount of electricity. The service size of times past is simply not enough to accommodate the modern needs of a household today.
As of 2021, the minimum capacity that a home is recommended to have is at least 200 amps. This is to ensure that you will be able to safely use and charge a multitude of electrical devices while the remaining 20% is used passively by kitchen appliances, lighting, and heating/air conditioning.
An electrical service should be upgraded at least once every generation, so if you are a homeowner of at least a few years, it is important to check your home’s capacity and get in contact with a licensed electrician for a possible electrical service upgrade.
Increasing your electrical service size will increase safety
Going over capacity can pose a serious risk to the safety of you, your family, and your property. The best case scenario is having a breaker trip and having to go down to your electrical panel to reset it — however, in more dire cases, electrical fires have started as a result of exceeding a home’s low service size capacity. The constant over-pulling of electricity can create strain that may have long-term effects on the health of your panel.
In cases where you may be planning to make renovations or are thinking about additions (such as a hot tub, a pool, or new appliances), modifying your electrical service size is especially important, as these upgrades tend to increase your home’s overall electrical demand.
To ensure that your electrical usage is compatible with your current capacity, hire a licensed electrician to do a demand or load calculation. These calculations specify the service size needed for your home based on the square footage of a living space, heating/air conditioning loads, any appliances regularly running, and more. Designed to follow the guidelines provided by the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC), a load calculation should allow an electrician to let you know whether an upgrade is in order.
Ease of mind is also a major benefit to an electrical service size upgrade, as you can rest assured that you will be able to enjoy your new appliances without the worry of disruptions.
Recovering from an electrical fire can be devastating. Making an investment into your property practically pays for itself! Additionally, if for some unforeseeable reason you need to sell your house, having a recently upgraded service size will show due diligence and can potentially increase the value of your home, as it prevents the next homeowner from having to do it themselves.
Are you unsure if you need an electric service upgrade? Are you looking for an electrical contractor to get the job done?
Contact MADE ELECTRIC today! We are a trusted electrical contractor that operates in Toronto and the GTA, with a professional and fully licensed team. We provide the best local services for repairs and upgrades, ensuring that the work we provide is not only competent to ensure the safety of you and your property, but is of the highest possible quality.
We can be reached through our contact page, and are also happy to receive your calls at +1 (833) 623-3247, or e-mails at firstname.lastname@example.org.