When Should You Upgrade Your Breaker Panel?

As a general rule, a home’s breaker panel lasts 25 to 40 years. However, if you have an older home with a fuse box or outdated circuit breaks, it is time consider an upgrade right away. If you have a modern panel, what are some signs to look for when you should upgrade it?

This blog from AGK Electric is here to answer those questions:

Breaker panels are usually located in either the garage or basement. The panels receive the electrical supply into your house from the power company and then distribute it throughout your house to your outlets, lights, appliances, etc. Circuits will overload if the amount of watts exceed its capacity. When that happens on a frequent basis, that’s a sign it’s time for an upgrade because your circuits are not able to keep up with your electrical demand.

Other indications to look for on your panel include rust, burn marks, a buzzing sound, or a burning smell. Any one of these are signs of an issue, and you should call us. If it feels warm to the touch, you should immediately have the panel inspected.

Keep an eye out for flickering or dimming lights. This is another sign of exceeding the circuit load. Getting shocked when you plug something into an outlet is another troubling indicator.

Home remodels are another consideration for when you should upgrade your panel. Expanding by adding another room, finishing a basement, building a patio, etc. means that you will increase your electrical usage. Your breaker panel may not be equipped to handle the extra load, so the upgrade will become necessary.

The last reason involves installing new appliances. Many new appliances require 240 amps instead of 120. If your panel is not equipped to handle that, your circuits will regularly trip to protect from an overload.

To have your panel inspected or upgraded, contact us at AGK Electric. One of our certified electricians will come to your home and evaluate your panel. If it needs upgrading, you can trust us to provide exceptional service and a job done right.