Should I Upgrade My Electrical Panel?
Wondering if it’s time to upgrade your old electrical panel?
If any of the following situations apply to you, it’s probably time to upgrade your panel:
Your current electrical panel is 40+ years old
You notice the signs of a deteriorating electrical panel
You’re adding new appliances or renovating your home
We’ll explain each of these situations in more detail to help you decide whether you should invest in a new electrical panel.
Situation #1: Your current electrical panel is 40+ years old
If your panel has already passed its 40th birthday, then it’s likely time to install a new one.
Here’s why: Many older panels are not up to current electrical standards (such as fuse boxes), and many are not powerful enough to support modern electrical appliances. For example, electrical panels in homes built before 1960 were designed to support a maximum load of 60 amps, while most homes today require a 150- or 200-amp panel.
Additionally, older electrical panels are more likely to break down or malfunction, which can lead to damage of your home appliances or even cause an electrical fire.
To avoid these costly issues, we recommend replacing your old panel sooner rather than later. If you’re unsure about the exact age of your panel, contact an electrician to come inspect the panel and determine its age.
Situation #2: You notice the signs of a deteriorating electrical panel
Certain signs indicate that an electrical panel (or the wiring that connects to it) is worn out or faulty, which means it should be replaced ASAP.
These tell-tale signs include:
Flickering lights when you use other appliances
Breakers that trip frequently and/or breakers that won’t reset
Scorch or burn marks on the panel
Corrosion or rust on the panel
The panel feels warm to the touch
A burning smell coming from the panel
If you notice any of the signs above, contact an electrician to find what’s causing the electrical issue. An electrician can repair minor wiring or circuit breaker issues that could cause the problems listed above, but if the source of the problem is the panel itself, it will need to be replaced.
Situation #3: You’re adding new appliances or renovating your home
Planning on adding new appliances to your home? If so, you may need to upgrade your electrical panel so it can provide more power.
Here's a quick explanation:
The National Electrical Code (NEC) requires all homes to have an electrical panel rated 100 amps or higher. While a 100-amp panel is the minimum requirement, 150- and 200-amp panels are increasingly common due to the increased demand of modern electrical appliances.
If you have a 100-amp panel but are planning on adding a large appliance, you’ll probably need to upgrade your panel to a more powerful model.
Examples of large appliances/home improvements that could require a new electrical panel include:
Installing a spa or hot tub
Adding an HVAC system (air conditioner or heating system)
Adding a washer, dryer or water heater
Constructing an additional room
To know what size panel you need, you’ll want to consult with an electrician. They can help you calculate your home’s total electrical demand and recommend an appropriately-sized panel based on your needs.
Want a free quote to replace your electrical panel? Contact Climate Design today.
If you think it’s time to upgrade your electrical panel, let one of our experienced electricians help you find the perfect replacement model.
With over 47 years of experience, we’ve helped thousands of Florida homeowners with their electrical needs. When you hire Climate Design to replace your electrical panel, you can count on honest pricing, first-class workmanship and 5-star customer service.