Should I Upgrade My Electrical Panel?

Your electrical panel is the nerve center of your electrical system, distributing electricity to all the plugs, appliances, lights and outlets in your home. As you add more appliances and use more power, your circuits can become overloaded.

The average house is typically served with 100 amps to 150 amps. But if your electrical panel can’t keep up with demand, you may need to consider having a professional electrician replace it with a 200-amp panel.

Even if you don’t need additional amperage to your home, there are scenarios when it makes sense to upgrade your electrical panel. Here’s how to tell your load center is due for a replacement

Your Home Still Has a Fuse Box

If your home was built before 1960, chances are good that it still has a fuse box. If that’s the case, you should consider having an electrician change it out for a modern electrical panel with circuit breakers. That way, instead of having to replace burned-out fuses, you can simply reset the circuit by flipping a switch.

Your Electrical Panel Trips Often

Circuits trip when appliances are demanding more power than the system can supply. This is a good thing because it prevents wires from overheating, which is a very real fire hazard. However, if circuits frequently trip, you may need to trade up for a larger panel.

Your Lights Flicker or Dim

If your lights flicker or dim when an appliance is on, that could be a sign that your panel is undersized. Maximum amperage information is usually located on a sticker inside the door. Upgrades are recommended for 60-amp electrical panels as well as those 100-amp panels contributing to dimming or flickering lights. Loose connections may be the cause of your lighting issues is well, so contact a local electrician to help you determine if an electrical panel upgrade is the right decision. 

You’re Upgrading or Installing New Appliances

Many kitchens and laundry rooms are already running at maximum amperage, so any additional demand will take a serious toll on your system. Adding a hot tub or upgrading to a larger capacity refrigerator might push your load center over its limit. If you plan on installing a new appliance, consider increasing the amperage to your house.

Bottom line: If you find yourself needing more power than your home's present electrical system can provide, then the time for an upgrade is now. To schedule an appointment with Anderson, Plumbing, Heating & Electric at (334) 231-6980.