When is it Time to Upgrade your Electrical Panels?
Also known as a breaker box, your electrical panel is the main switchboard that controls all of the power that comes into your house and gets distributed throughout. In recent years, the development of new more advanced appliances and electronics has prompted many people to seek an upgrade for their existing electrical panels. A panel’s energy capacity is usually measured in amps, with the residential standard usually being about 100 amps. With the developments of these newer, bigger appliances and the abundance of electronics such as phones, tablets, laptops and smart TVs that are almost constantly drawing power in one way or another, the original 100 amp capacity on your electrical panel may actually be insufficient. Below we’ve listed a few things to keep an eye out for when determining whether or not it is time to upgrade your own breaker box.
Practical Reasons for a Replacement
As we have previously stated above, the old standard for electrical panel capacity was 100 amps. There are a number of reasons to upgrade to the new standard of between 100 – 200 amps that have very little to do with the actual functioning of the electrical panel. Many insurance companies actually require residents to upgrade to a minimum of 100 amps, after a certain period of time. In addition to this, it is usually a good idea to upgrade you existing electrical panel if you are planning on selling your house in the near future. This will certainly add value to your home since you will be sparing the future owners a big expense. Even partially upgrading the breaker box to allow for more power in the kitchen or bathroom can help increase the market value of your home as well.
Having to constantly reset or replace breaker switches in your electrical box can not only be a hassle, it could potentially be dangerous particularly for a person who is not entirely familiar with electrical systems. Frequent interruptions in the electrical system such as breakers tripping, fuses blowing, or lights that flicker or rapidly burn out are all signs of trouble. Breakers that often trip or blow due to a short or overcurrent do so because they simply cannot handle all the power being transferred though the panel. By upgrading to higher amperage, you can spare yourself a lot of trips to the basement to reset the electrical box.
The main issue with an inadequate amperage capacity in your electrical panel has to do with the safety of your home. You may hear friends or neighbours talking about how they have never had an issue with their 20 or 30 year old panel, but this should not encourage you to follow their example. Quite simply, an older electrical panel with an inadequate amperage capacity is not as safe as a newer panel. They are just unable to provide the same protection from overloads as a newer panel, and can cause a fire far more easily. This is why the National Electrical Code is upgraded every three years, to ensure homeowners are as safe as possible in homes that are drawing more and more power each year.
For homeowners and residents living in the Surrey, White Rock and Langley areas who may be thinking it’s time for a new electrical panel, BPM Electric is ready to help you find the best and safest panel for your home. To find out more about the quality electrical services we offer, feel free to check out the rest of our website, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook to receive details on our latest updates and promotions.