What’s an Electrical Panel and Why Does it Matter, Anyway?
“What even is an electrical panel?” you ask? Think of the electrical system of your home like the body’s circulatory system. The electrical panel is like the heart, “pumping” electricity throughout your home.
Unlike our bodies, though, electrical panels have built-in “heart attack” prevention. When there is too much electricity demanded of a circuit, the electrical panel has switches that will automatically flip off, called breakers.
These breakers should prevent wiring in your home from becoming overloaded, overheated, and potentially causing a fire. The electrical panel also has a limit to just how much power it can provide to your home; if you are pulling more power these days, it’s time to look into an upgrade. Having a “healthy heart” of an electrical panel is essential to the safety of your home.
How Would I Know if I Need an Upgrade?
Panel upgrades can be necessary for a variety of reasons. Here are some signs that it’s time:
- You’ve Added Rooms On to Your Home - Your electrical panel was wired and set up to accommodate the power needs of the home as it was built. If you have expanded your home, your electrical panel needs to expand as well. Makes sense, right? Just like if Bob puts on a few pounds, Bob’s heart will need to work harder.
- Your Home is 25 Years Old or Older - Electrical panels installed before 1990 may not be up to current safety standards, and even older panels may not handle the power needs of today’s home life.
- You Trip Breakers Regularly - Do you find yourself going to the electrical panel and flipping a breaker switch every time you have more than one appliance running? This is a sure sign you are drawing too much power from the electrical panel.
- You’re Adding a Major Appliance or New System - If you are adding a new appliance such as a dryer, or even a pool or hot tub, the electrical panel needs to be able to handle that extra load!
- You Notice the Lights Dim and Flicker - Do you notice that the lights dim a bit when there are multiple appliances or systems running? For instance, when you are cooking dinner and the air conditioning turns on or the pool pump runs? This is a sign there may be problems with your electrical panel.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s time for an electrical panel “checkup”. Contact us today and let our experts help make your electrical panel upgrade a smooth process from start to finish.
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