You’re tired of dealing with flickering lights, blown breakers, and outdated appliances. Is it time to invest in a new electrical panel with more capacity? The answer depends on why you need it.
We’re going to dive into the most common reasons why homeowners choose to upgrade their electrical panels, and why you should hire a professional to do so:
Signs That It’s Time To Upgrade
On the fence about buying a new electrical panel? If you notice the following issues in your home, it might be time to call an electrician:
The electrical panel is older than 20 years
Think about how our electrical needs have changed over the past few decades. Years ago, most households only had a handful of electronics—now, it’s hard to count how many are in a single household.
There are computers, televisions, cell phone chargers, kitchen appliances, laundry machines, and HVAC systems that didn’t exist when older houses were built. If you own an older home, it may lack the capacity to power your frequently used appliances.
Breakers keep blowing
If you notice flickering lights, appliances that shut on and off, and breakers that frequently trip, then you probably require an electrical panel with a greater capacity.
Your current electrical panel uses fuses
Maybe you don’t trip breakers in your home because you don’t have breakers. Fuses tend to burn out and require higher maintenance than an electrical panel with breakers. Oftentimes, fuses can’t keep up with modern energy demands. They also lack safety features like GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupters).
You’re installing a new appliance
Heating/cooling systems, dryers, and water heaters—these appliances draw large amounts of power. You don’t want to install your new hot tub and then find out you lack the capacity to power it.
If you’re upgrading or installing a high-power appliance, chances are you’ll need a new electrical panel, too.
The electrical outlets are outdated
Ever wondered why old outlets have two prongs, but new ones have three? The third one is called a ground connector. By grounding the outlet, it prevents electrical shocks that can be lethal if the wires get damaged.
The third prong is an alternate route for the electricity to go if there is a fault. This modern safety feature prevents electrical hazards in your home.
Estimating Your Energy Demand
Once you’ve decided that your electrical panel requires an upgrade, you’ll need to figure out how much more energy you’ll need. Ideally, you want to have a little extra to avoid upgrading again in the future. But how do you calculate your energy usage?
Check out this energy consumption calculator to help estimate your usage. This will give you a ballpark idea of which size electrical panel will suit your needs.
Don’t Do This On Your Own!
With a new electrical panel, you won’t need to worry about blowing fuses or tripping breakers anymore. You can sleep easily knowing that your home is capable of safely meeting your energy needs.
But when it comes to electrical work, it’s always best to call a professional. This work is dangerous and complex, and those without the proper training risk starting a fire. In addition, failing to disconnect the power before doing work can be a lethal mistake.
At Powertec Electric, we offer commercial and residential electrical services in Winnipeg. If you’re considering upgrading your home’s electrical panel, we can help! Give us a call today for a free quote.