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When Should You Replace Your Home’s Electrical Panel
When Should You Replace Your Home's Electrical Panel
December 11, 2021

Because it is the hub of all electrical activity, the electrical panel is frequently called the "brain" of the home's electrical system. It distributes electricity across each circuit in the house and works to guarantee that power is immediately cut off to any interior wires that get overloaded to prevent electrical fires.

Electrical systems in many older houses are not upgraded as frequently as they should be. Electrical systems that have been in operation for a long time can become unstable and dangerous to your home; therefore, outdated systems should be upgraded to match current requirements. When an electrical system begins to deteriorate, it may become an annoyance at best and fire danger at worst.

As a result, knowing when to upgrade your home's electrical panel is critical. Before commencing any electrical panel update, All In One Renovation always does its best to identify the best line of action for our customers, their families, and their houses.

What do you understand by an Electrical Panel?

An electrical panel is a sort of metal box with a door typically placed into a wall in a remote part of your home. Inside an electrical panel are all of your home's breaker switches.

These breaker switches can be toggled on and off. These switches will also shut down automatically if too much electrical current flows through them - that is their purpose.

The main circuit breaker regulates the electricity to the entire home and is located in the electrical panel. You'll also see separate breakers, each of which is in charge of supplying energy to a specific area of your home. Each breaker should be labelled with the region of the house it regulates.

Some older residences lack breakers and instead rely on fuses. You won't notice any switches on your electrical panel if you have a fuse box; instead, you'll find screw-in fuses. If you still utilize a fuse box in your house, you may have difficulties acquiring insurance or will be required to pay a higher premium.

An exterior electrical meter supplies the electricity to your house, which transmits power to your electrical panel. You may turn off the main power supply by utilizing the main breaker on your electrical panel. Your primary breaker also indicates the amperage of your electrical supply.

How does an electrical panel function?

When a circuit board is overloaded, the circuit breaker trips. They are safety precautions intended to protect electrical devices or the home itself from harm. Overloaded circuits might ignite fires or electrocute people if the breaker did not trip and turn off the electricity.

Each breaker controls one circuit, which usually corresponds to a room or a section of the house. Electric stoves and air conditioners, for example, may have their circuit breaker.

A breaker is designed to accommodate a specific electrical load; it will trip if the load gets too much for the breaker. This happens when too many gadgets are connected to a single circuit, for Breakers are available in several sizes based on the energy they must handle.

Like the home's electrical supply, individual breakers are classified based on the amperage they can drive. Breakers range from 15 to 200 amps, with the majority being 15, 20, or 30 amps.

To reset the breaker once it has tripped, turn the switch. In older homes with fuse boxes, you cannot just reset it; instead, the entire fuse must be replaced if it blows.

Why Must You Update Your Electrical Panel?

Electrical systems are generally a result of the era in which the house was constructed. Many older homes are only designed to withstand a very low amperage, which means that if an item is large enough and draws too much power from the system, the breaker or fuse that the energy runs through will trip more readily.

Breakers in older electrical systems typically fail to trip when overloaded, leading to overheating and fires. An old breaker can cause this, but it can also be caused by a loose connection inside the electrical system. Faulty wiring and unsecured connections can further increase the danger of electrocution. For these reasons, it is favorable to replace an older home's electrical system.

The Advantages of Upgrading Your Electrical Panel

People have developed new, safer methods of providing power to houses throughout the years, and one of these improved systems is a more robust electrical panel. Upgrading your electrical panel may make your house safer from overloaded circuits and electrical fires while saving you money, making your home more environmentally friendly, and saving you time.

Is it necessary to replace my electrical panel?

Before establishing if your electrical panel needs to be upgraded, you must first check it to assess its age and performance. Several indicators might alert a homeowner when their electrical system needs to be replaced. Still, the best way to be sure is to consult with a certified electrician.

When inspecting the electrical panel, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the house more than 20 years old?
  • Is the electrical panel still using fuses rather than breaker switches?
  • Is the electrical panel ever hot?
  • Is there ever a strange odour emanating from inside the electrical panel?
  • Do the breakers or fuses in the electrical panel regularly trip or break?
  • Are all of the appliances in the house operating at total capacity?
  • Do the lights in the house fade or flicker when a device is switched on?
  • Do you have any plans to renovate or add to the house?

If your reply is yes to any of the above questions, it is quite probable that the electrical panel has to be replaced. To avoid electric shock or electrocution, it is critical always to contact a professional electrician when making adjustments to an electrical system.

Converting a Fuse Panel to a Breaker Panel

All In One Renovation's licensed electricians can assist you in converting your property from a fuse panel to a safer breaker panel. Hundreds of outdated fuse panels have been replaced by our electricians over the years to help avoid electrical fires.

Our team will file all necessary paperwork with the local city department and BC Hydro during the service panel upgrade process. In most situations, we can upgrade your electrical panel with minimum disturbance to your routine.

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