When Should Homeowners Consider An Electric Panel Replacement For Their House?

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Modern residential electrical systems are designed for decades of safe use even though they are constantly supplying power throughout the entire home. But even the most carefully designed and installed system can need to be upgraded periodically. One of the most important upgrades for a residential electrical system is replacing the panel.

The panel is where electricity actually enters the structure from the supplying utility and is divided into the circuits that run through the home. Since these circuits must operate safely to avoid damage to the appliances and the devices they power, having a properly working electrical panel is critically important. If you are a homeowner who is wondering whether or not you should schedule an electrical panel replacement for your home, the following information can help you make the right decision. 

When your home outgrows your current electrical panel

Enlarging your home is a key time to consider replacing your current electrical panel with a larger one. But this decision should not be based solely on an increase in square footage. Sometimes homeowners make changes and upgrades in their home without increasing the square footage that can require updating the electrical panel.

Some examples of these changes or upgrades often occur when homeowners switch from one type of appliance to another, such as when a gas furnace, clothes dryer, or kitchen stove is replaced with an electric model. Since the electric versions require 220-volt power, which takes up more space in the electrical panel, the installation of a larger one may be necessary.

When it's time to move from fuses to breaker switches

Electric panels that use fuses are usually safe to use as long as the panel is in good condition and the load on the fuses is kept within safe levels. However, if the fuses are lasting only a short time or the electrical usage in the home has increased substantially, replacing the panel is the best way to continue to supply safe, efficient power to the home. 

When lightning strikes the existing panel

Any lightning strike to a home's electrical system should always be taken seriously. This means having the panel inspected by a certified residential electrician before continuing to use it. The electrician will be able to thoroughly inspect the wiring, connections, and breakers that make up the panel for any indications of damage from excessive voltage. Signs of this type of damage include melted wiring, non-working circuits, and damaged breaker switches. 

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31 July 2018

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