Electrical systems can be a very vulnerable thing, and upgrading your electrical panels can sometimes be an important step towards keeping it all running smoothly!
But what makes residential electrical panel upgrades worth getting, even if you are not seeing any faults yet?
An outdated breaker panel can be a dangerous breaker panel. While industrial areas usually have all kinds of checks and countermeasures to prevent electrical fires, a residential space is not usually that lucky, and it only takes one broken panel to cause serious problems.
Most electrical panels are meant to be replaced between 25-40 years after being installed. This can seem like a long time, but it also depends on how much strain they are under, how old they are, how old the house is, and when you actually purchased the house.
As a general rule of thumb any electrician will tell you, you will want to get a breaker panel replaced at least once in your life. If you have lived in an older home for a good few years without issue, it might be a good idea to get it replaced as a preventative measure. You never know when it could suddenly develop a fault.
Electrical panels are generally built for the kind of requirements that an average household will need at the time, which can result in a panel over a decade old that is not really equipped for modern devices. This all depends on what you are using in your home, but it is important to be careful.
For example, a giant new television might not be enough to break the panel, but a few new televisions in different parts of the house could start to overwhelm it. The more excess load you are putting on an older panel, the quicker it can begin to deteriorate without you knowing.
This can also refer to day-to-day electricity usage, too. Even if you are within your panel’s limits, skirting the line of its maximum power load is still going to wear it out faster. The more strain you are putting it under, the quicker it will need to be repaired or replaced, so an upgrade can help avoid unexpected failures.
Hazards can vary heavily depending on where you live since they are an integral part of your home and how you use the space. For example, getting an electrical panel upgrade for your home in Walpole, MA, will require different things compared to another state and climate.
One of the most common risks you could face in some areas are power surges. While power strips can protect your devices, they will not necessarily protect the panels, which can still suffer major damage from a particularly bad surge. Getting them upgraded to stop the surges at the source can be very effective.
In general, an electrical panel upgrade can help you achieve multiple different benefits depending on the upgrades themselves. More circuit breakers might provide more safety while increasing the total amp service can allow it to handle more power as a whole. In an older home, a complete upgrade is the best way to keep yourself safe.