How To Upgrade Electrical Panel In A Home
As a homeowner, you have likely encountered various maintenance and repair tasks that keep your home functioning smoothly and efficiently. One important aspect that often gets overlooked, however, is the electrical panel. This essential component is responsible for distributing power throughout your home, making it a crucial part of your household’s overall safety and functionality.
If you’re based in Cranston, Providence, or any other part of Rhode Island, you may be familiar with B&K Electric, a family-owned and operated electrical business that has been proudly serving the community for over seventeen years. As experts in electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation, we understand the importance of having an upgraded electrical panel in your home. In this article, we will delve into the details of how to upgrade your electrical panel and why it is a necessary investment for your home.
Understanding the Electrical Panel
Before we begin discussing the upgrade process, let’s start with the basics. The electrical panel, also known as the breaker box or fuse box, is the central hub for all your home’s electrical circuits. It receives the main power supply from the utility company and then distributes it to the individual circuits that power your appliances, lighting, and other electrical systems.
The standard electrical panel has a capacity of 100 to 200 amps, which is sufficient for most average-sized homes. However, with the introduction of newer and more powerful appliances and devices, many households are now in need of a higher amp capacity to keep up with their energy demands.
Signs That Your Electrical Panel Needs an Upgrade
There are several indications that your current electrical panel may need an upgrade. Some common signs include:
1. Frequent Tripped Breakers: If your breakers trip frequently, it could be a sign that your electrical panel is overloaded and is struggling to keep up with the power demands of your household.
2. Outdated Panel: If your home was built more than thirty years ago, chances are that your electrical panel needs an upgrade. Older panels were not designed to handle the level of power needed for modern appliances and electronics.
3. Flickering Lights: If you notice that your lights flicker or dim when large appliances, like your air conditioner or washing machine, are running, it could be a sign of an overloaded electrical panel.
4. Burning Smell: Any burning smell coming from your electrical panel is a serious red flag. It could be an indication of a faulty panel that is in need of immediate attention.
Upgrading Your Electrical Panel
Now that you know the importance of an upgraded electrical panel and the signs that indicate the need for one, let’s dive into the process of actually upgrading it. While it is possible to upgrade your electrical panel yourself, it is always recommended to hire a licensed electrician for this task to ensure safety and avoid any potential hazards or mistakes.
Here are the steps involved in upgrading your electrical panel:
1. Assess Your Electrical Needs: The first step is to determine the level of power supply your home requires. This is where a professional electrician comes in handy, as they have the expertise to assess your household’s current and future electrical needs.
2. Obtain Necessary Permits: Before any electrical work can commence, you will need to obtain the necessary permits from your local building authority. Depending on your location, the requirements may vary, so be sure to check with your electrician for guidance.
3. Disconnect Power Supply: For safety purposes, your electrician will start by disconnecting the power supply to your home. This ensures that there is no electricity running through the panel during the upgrade process.
4. Install New Panel: Once the power supply is disconnected, your electrician will begin the process of replacing your old panel with the new one. They will also take this opportunity to upgrade any outdated wiring and make any necessary adjustments to accommodate the new panel.
5. Reconnect Power Supply: Once the new panel is installed and all the necessary adjustments have been made, your electrician will reconnect the power supply and ensure that everything is running smoothly and safely.
Benefits of Upgrading Your Electrical Panel
Now that your electrical panel has been upgraded, you can start enjoying the benefits that come with it. Some of the advantages of an upgraded panel include:
1. Increased Electrical Capacity: With an upgraded panel, you can ensure that your home has enough power supply to handle all your energy needs.
2. Improved Safety: Outdated and overloaded panels can pose a serious safety hazard. Upgrading to a new panel ensures that all your electrical systems are functioning properly and reduces the risk of electrical fires.
3. Enhanced Efficiency: By upgrading your electrical panel, you can increase the efficiency of your home’s electrical systems, which can result in lower energy bills.
Upgrading your electrical panel may not be the most exciting home improvement project, but it is a necessary one. With an upgraded panel, you can ensure the safety, functionality, and efficiency of your home for years to come. Be sure to hire a trusted and qualified electrician, like B&K Electric, to ensure that the upgrade is done correctly and with the highest level of safety measures.