Winnipeg has been around for a long time. Not long compared to other cities around the world, but long enough to have some pretty aging infrastructure. We’ve talked about this endlessly on this blog, from knob-and-tube and aluminum wiring to Canada’s general aging infrastructure, but we haven’t tackled something that’s quite important to know about: your electric panel. There are a few reasons you might want to replace your electric panel; we can upgrade it for you.
The first reason and the one we’ve touched on previously is that your system doesn’t have enough capacity. Older systems had a 60 amp power load, not nearly enough to deal with present-day electric requirements; back when these systems were installed, we didn’t have washers, dryers, washing machines, air conditioners, electric furnaces and more all running on the regular. Most of these have now been replaced by 100 amp systems, but if yours hasn’t, you’ll need to upgrade; when this upgrade happens, your electric service panel will also be upgraded. Some homes even need 200 amps; for these homes, the upgrade process is similar.
You might also be inclined to upgrade if you’ve got an old fuse box. Fuse boxes aren’t strictly worse than new circuit breakers; the fuses are more sensitive, and so you’re less likely to have problems in the case of a surge. On the flip side, the maintenance for fuse boxes tends to be a bit more painful, because you have to manually replace the fuses yourself every time. There are also significant security advantages to modern circuit breakers; without going too deep into details, there are protective circuit interrupters called AFCI and GFCI that are required in new installations by the Canadian Electrical Code, and these don’t work with fuse boxes.
Another upgrade you might look to is sub-panels. Sub-panels are just what they sound like – smaller panels that feed off of your main panel. These are especially useful for landlords, because you can have a sub-panel for each unit; very handy for duplexes and other small to medium sized multi-unit dwellings. With sub-panels, your tenants can control the circuit breakers in their units without affecting other tenants, and, most crucially, without needing you to come and flip the switch of the main breaker. That means you can lock the breaker room while leaving your tenants the ability to manipulate their own electricity. Sub-panels can also be useful for new additions, like garages.
No matter what kind of upgrade you need for your service panels in Winnipeg, we’re here for you. We’ll have a highly qualified electrician head down to your home, take a look at your current electrical needs, find the right panel for you, and give you an estimate and a time frame. We’ll handle everything: getting the right panel, installing it, cleaning up, and showing you how to use it. When you have any questions, we’ll be there for you – just give us a call!