Most homeowners often don’t realize the importance of their electrical panel. However, it’s quintessential to your home’s electricity supply. You couldn’t power your appliances without it. 

An electrical panel takes incoming power and distributes it where necessary. Electrical panels usually have numerous circuits installed, determining your home’s overall electrical capacity. These are circuit breakers providing electricity to specific parts of your home. 

Some older homes use fuse boxes instead of electrical panels. If your home uses fuse boxes, you’ll want to consider upgrading them immediately. Getting home insurance can often be challenging when you have a fuse box because they’re obsolete, comparatively dangerous technology that insurance doesn’t want to cover. As a result, you’ll either struggle to get insurance or pay higher premiums. 

Considering the importance of electrical panels in homes, you’ll want to ensure they’re in optimal condition. Like all things in life, electrical panels also have a lifespan. Homeowners generally aren’t averse to upgrading electrical panels. However, they often don’t know the appropriate time to do so.  

When to Upgrade Your Electrical Panel?

You don’t have to worry if you’re a confused homeowner unsure when to upgrade your electrical panel. Here are some signs that indicate an electrical panel upgrade is due. They include:

Your Home Still Uses Fuses

Fuse boxes were common in old homes. However, technology has come a long way since. Today, fuse boxes are antiquated and dangerous. Insurance companies view them as a significant safety hazard. If a fuse blows, the electricity inside the panel doesn’t always shut off, posing serious fire hazards. Therefore, consider upgrading your electrical panel immediately if your home still uses fuse boxes. 

Most insurance companies require homeowners to upgrade from fuse boxes to electrical panels to receive insurance. 

A person pulling out a cordAge

Electrical panels have a finite functional and safe lifespan. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, most residential electrical panels have a lifespan of around thirty to forty years. On the flip side, some experts argue that electrical panels require replacing every fifteen to twenty years.  

The reality is that the answer lies between the two. Various factors can affect your electrical panel’s lifespan, including maintenance, electrical panel type, electric disturbances, etc. The Consumer Product Safety Commission states homes with minimal electrical disturbances can expect their electrical panels to last their expected lifespan. 

As a result, it’s safe to say that your electrical panel’s lifespan will vary based on the environment. But one thing is certain – the older an electrical panel, the more wear and tear it acquires. You’ll generally want to consider replacing your electrical panel once it’s past the fifteen or twenty-year mark. 

Flickering Lights

Are the lights in your home constantly flickering despite changing the lightbulbs? It’s a sign your home’s electrical panel has become faulty. You’ll want to consider replacing the electrical panel and upgrading it. Faulty electrical panels cause electrical connections to loosen, resulting in flickering lights. However, making matters worse, these are usually precursors to more significant issues like damaged wires that can lead to fires. 

Burning Smell

Have you ever walked past your electrical panel and caught a whiff? You’ve got a problem if there’s a pungent burning smell. Burning smells and electrical systems never mix well. A burning smell from your electrical panel generally indicates a bad circuit or connection. You’ll want to check your electrical panel to see if it’s also giving off heat in such instances. If the answer’s yes, you’re at risk of a fire. Consider calling an experienced electrician to assess your electrical panel and consider replacing it immediately. 

Breakers Don’t Stay On

Another sign that you need to replace your electrical panel is when you’re constantly fiddling with the breakers. Consider changing or updating your electrical panel if you’re resetting or flipping your breakers regularly. Generally, such problems are related to one or two individual circuit breakers. However, consider upgrading your electrical panel to be on the safe side. 

Increased Power Demands

As previously stated, your electrical panel’s circuits determine your home’s overall electrical capacity. It’s no secret that homeowners are incorporating more electronics into their homes, like smart LED bulbs, home assistants, etc. Naturally, these appliances increase your energy consumption. Splurging on these appliances might make your life convenient, but it places immense pressure on your existing electrical panel. Consider replacing your electrical panel as you incorporate more appliances into your home.

Why is a New Electrical Panel Beneficial?

Installing a new electrical panel can have several benefits. Firstly, you’ll reduce the risk of an electrical fire or other safety hazards associated with faulty electrical panels. As a result, you’re also less likely to damage your appliances or electrical equipment. Installing a new electrical panel also increases your home’s value while simultaneously enabling you to install newer, modern equipment. Finally, upgrading your electrical panel will improve energy efficiency and reduce utility bills.

The Bottom Line

Handling electrical panels isn’t straightforward. As a result, you should always leave the task to professionals. If it’s time to upgrade your electrical panel, give All Electric LLC a call today. Our teams of certified electricians are trained and equipped to perform every type of electrical maintenance your home or business might need.