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When to Upgrade Your Electrical Panel

Residential Electricity | 9 March 2023

Your electrical panel is a crucial component for your home as it provides electricity to all connected devices while helping to keep your home safe from various electrical hazards. To keep your home safe and running smoothly, it is crucial to know when to upgrade your electrical panel. As an experienced residential electrical contractor, BNR Electric knows how difficult it can be to determine if your electrical panel is outdated or otherwise unsuitable for your home. That is why we have compiled a list of 5 signs to look for to help you determine if it is time to upgrade your electrical panel.

Learn how to spot 4 signs of outdated electrical wiring in your home.

5 Signs That it is Time to Upgrade Your Electrical Panel

For most homes, electrical panels should be replaced or upgraded by a professional electrician every 25 to 40 years. In addition to age, it is important to watch for the following signs to determine if it is time to replace your electrical panel:

1. Not Enough Power

If your home is several decades old, there is a chance that it may be equipped with a smaller electrical panel. While some of the first electrical panels were rated for 60 to 100 amps, this is considered insufficient for modern homes. Most modern electrical panels are rated for 200 amps, so it may be worth upgrading to ensure that you have enough power for every device in your home.

2. Frequently Tripped Circuit Breakers

If your breaker trips now and then, this is typically normal. On the other hand, if you notice frequent tripping, this can be a sign of a severe problem with your electrical panel. Frequent tripping can be caused by an overloaded electrical circuit, an electrical fault in the circuit, or undersized electrical wiring. If your breaker trips multiple times per week, it may be time to replace your electrical panel.

3. Damaged or Outdated Wiring

Damaged or extremely old wiring systems can pose many safety hazards for homeowners including electrocution and electrical fires. If your home features ungrounded wires, aluminum wiring, or knob & tube wiring, these will likely need to be replaced alongside your electrical panel to ensure optimal safety for your home.

4. Flickering Lights

Consistent flickering of your lights throughout the day is a common sign that your electrical panel needs to be upgraded. Lights often flicker due to a lack of power provided by the panel. This means that flickering is more common when installing new/modern light fixtures in a home with an outdated panel.

5. Too Many Power Strips

If your home does not have enough outlets for every device in your home, you are likely using power strips as a makeshift solution. While this can help you run your devices, it is not a permanent or safe solution as your electrical panel is not designed to handle this increased load. When installing a new electrical panel, you can ask your electrician about installing additional outlets in your home, alleviating the need for power strips while ensuring that every device has the power it needs to operate safely.

To learn more about our residential electrical services or to inquire about replacing your electrical panel, get in touch with BNR Electric. Our team can be reached through our online contact form and will work with you to deliver the perfect solution for your needs.

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