You might be wondering what an electrical panel is. It is an essential component of your home. It is your home’s load center (which is an important operating system) and distribution board. It delivers power to all parts of your house, giving you electricity and light, which in turn give you comfort and convenience. The distribution happens when the panel brings electricity from the grid into your house, then routes it through circuits to wherever it is needed in your house.
Modern homes use more electricity than before, as they have plenty of devices to power. Some homes have entertainment centers, electric vehicles, multiple computers, security systems, and video game consoles. The problem is, some households are still using older, outdated panels, which is cause for concern. Chances are the old electrical panel won’t be able to support and sustain much electricity.
If you’re wondering if the electrical panel in your home needs an upgrade, here are five signs that show you need to do so:
Old Home with No Upgrade
The most obvious sign that you need an electrical panel upgrade is if your home is already old, and if its electrical panel has never been upgraded since it was built. Back in the day, all you needed to power your house and everything in it was a 60-amp electrical panel. Today, you need an astounding 100 or even 200-amp panel for all your appliances and gadgets. If your home and its electrical panel are old, they won’t be able to handle your electronics.
Use of Extension Cords for Permanent Solution
Another visible sign is if you are using extension cords as a permanent solution. Some households use extension cords for long-term solutions. However, they aren’t as safe as you think they are. Extension cords were created for short-term use only. Besides, they can create clutter and you can trip over them. They may get damaged, which can endanger your home and everyone in it. If you plug too many electronics into your extension cords, those cords can become fire hazards.
Tripping Electrical Breakers
You may also notice that your breaker keeps tripping. This happens when there is too much electricity running through it. The truth is, this serves as a safety feature. If your breaker doesn’t trip, chances are your home will be susceptible to fire. So the moment you find yourself constantly resetting the circuit breaker, that means you need to get an upgrade for your electrical panel.
No Circuit Breakers
If you don’t even have circuit breakers, that means you really need an electrical panel upgrade. What are you supposed to do then? If your panel is still using a fused-base system, then you need to contact a professional to upgrade it as soon as possible. You now know that circuit breakers trip if they’re overloaded. But fuses won’t trip; they’ll melt, short-circuit or blow instead. Therefore, they must be replaced immediately for your safety.
Panel Upgrade for New Appliances
Finally, the simplest reason to upgrade your electrical panel is when you have new appliances at home. It’s the most practical thing to do if you’re replacing appliances and other gadgets that consume a lot of electricity, like an air conditioner or hot tub. It’s best to seek an electrician’s help. He will make sure you have the electricity you need to power your new appliances and devices properly and safely.