An electrical panel, or breaker box, is a steel box designed to hold the circuit breakers for your home. Since your electrical panel stores the breakers that send electricity to different parts of your home, it’s critical this panel stays in good condition to ensure power is safely routed throughout your home. Even if you keep your breaker box in the best condition over time, you may eventually need an electrical panel upgrade.
What Is An Electrical Panel Upgrade?
An electrical panel upgrade refers to the replacement of a damaged, malfunctioning, undersized, potentially unsafe, or too old electrical panel with a new and improved breaker box. Typically, the upgraded breaker box will have a higher amp service, meaning it can provide more power to your home and accommodate more devices and appliances that require electricity. Due to the potential hazards of electricity, this new panel will meet the latest safety standards and regulations, and your electrician should be properly licensed and insured before beginning the upgrade.
How Do I Know If I Need to Upgrade my Electrical Panel?
Most of the time, you probably don’t think about or even notice your home’s electrical panel. However, you should be on the lookout for a few main signs that indicate your current panel is nearing the end of its life, becoming unsafe, or getting to a point where it can’t meet your power needs. Check out some of the most common signs you need an electrical panel upgrade below:
- You still have a fuse box: Fuse boxes were regularly installed in homes before the 1960s, and if you still have one, it’s best to replace it with a breaker box. Since blown fuses have to be replaced and come with a greater risk for electrical hazards, homeowners often choose to replace them with an updated breaker box.
- Constantly tripping breakers: Breakers trip when areas of your home attempt to use more power than your electrical panel can safely handle. While an isolated breaker trip usually won’t mean you need an upgrade, constantly tripping breakers means your current electrical panel doesn’t have a high enough amp service to handle your power needs. Fortunately, an upgraded electrical panel with a higher amp service can prevent your breakers from always tripping.
- You need more outlets: If you never seem to have enough outlets in your home and your electrical panel can’t accommodate more circuits, you’ll likely need to upgrade your electrical outlet. With an upgraded electrical panel, you can ensure it’s large enough to let you add more outlets to your home and handle an increased electrical flow.
- Noticeable scorch marks or exposed wires: Scorch marks or melted wires shouldn’t be visible anywhere on or near your breaker box. If you can see any of them, you’re in danger of electricity arcing and causing a fire. To ensure your electrical panel is safe, you might want to opt for an upgraded panel and a full electrical inspection to find out why the scorching occurred in the first place.
- You’re adding new appliances: When you add appliances that require a great deal of power and have an older electrical panel, you may need to upgrade your electrical panel to accommodate them. An electrician can help you determine if your electrical panel needs to have a higher amp service to run those appliances without overheating or tripping your breakers.
- Burning smells or overheating: Burning smells near your breaker box should be addressed immediately by a trained electrician. Since failing breakers can create a fire, an electrician may need to repair your panel or replace it with a new upgraded one depending on the cause of the smell. Additionally, if your electrical panel is warm or hot to the touch, you may have a serious problem that needs an expert electrician’s attention as fast as possible.
What Should I Do If I Need an Electrical Panel Upgrade?
If you notice any of the signs above, you’ll likely need an electrical panel upgrade. Instead of risking electrocution, it’s a good idea to hire a certified electrician to perform the upgrade. As you search for an electrician, ensure they’re licensed and insured before you hire them.
Once you’ve confirmed they have the necessary credentials, they should first inspect your existing panel and understand your home’s electricity needs. After they know how much power your home consumes, they should be able to recommend the right breaker for your home and install it for you.
Choose Bonney for Electrical Panel Upgrades in Sacramento
If you’re looking for an electrician near you in Sacramento, Bonney has you covered. When your breaker box shows any of the signs it needs to be replaced or upgraded, you can trust our certified electricians to provide an electrical panel upgrade. Our team will make sure your upgraded electrical panel is installed safely, can service enough power to cover your future electricity consumption, and is manufactured by a trusted brand.
Alongside our electrical panel upgrades, our team offers several other electrical services, such as installing GFCI outlets, EV charging stations, and LED lights. To ensure our services work for your budget, we offer multiple coupons and flexible financing options.