Panel Upgrades

About Panel Upgrades

Upgrading or Replacing a Panel for Safety
Zinsco Electric Panels
Fuse Boxes
Pushmatic Electric Panels
Federal Pacific Electric Company Electric Panels

Upgrading or Replacing a Panel for Safety

There are some electric panels that were installed several decades ago that have since been discovered to be inadequate or unsafe. The following list includes some of the older panels that are known to be problematic.

Zinsco Electric Panels

Zinsco panels stopped being manufactured in the 70s due to design flaws that resulted in circuit breakers melting and posing fire hazards. In some cases, the circuit breakers looked like they flipped, but were in fact still allowing power to flow.

Fuse Boxes

Fuse boxes are something from the past. Instead of circuit breakers, the electricity flowed through fuses. Unfortunately, fuses were only designed to handle 30 to 60 amps of power. In today’s world, our appliances require anywhere from 100 to 200 amps or more. Fuse boxes are likely to be overloaded often and you may discover you are replacing fuses often. To read more about 200 amp panel upgrade click here.

Some may assume they will just use bigger fuses to compensate, but this is a dangerous choice. Using bigger fuses when the box was designed for smaller fuses can result in overloading and overheating. This can spark a fire. Another major risk with fuse boxes is the fact that while changing a fuse, you could accidentally stick your finger in the slot where the fuse goes and end up with a life-threatening electric shock.

Pushmatic Electric Panels

Pushmatic panels are known to be lacking a main breaker that allows you to cut power with the flip of a single switch. The panels also have a problem with breakers tripping and not wanting to be reset. The breakers are likely weak and will not stay on.

Federal Pacific Electric Company Electric Panels

This is an extremely common electric panel with millions being installed throughout the 1950s to the 1980s. The “Stab-Lok” panels have been proven to be flawed and can cause electrical shock or fire. According to consulting engineer, Dr. Jesse Aronstein, “The presence of a Federal Pacific panel in a home should be classified as a ‘Safety Defect.’…There is no question but that the Federal Pacific Stab-Lok® panels should be replaced. There is no practical and safe alternative.”

Because the issue is so serious, the state of New Jersey brought a lawsuit against the company due to the lack of testing and safety violations in relation to the manufacture of these electric panels.

If you know you have one of these panels give us a call to get a 200 amp panel installation or 100 amp panel installation. If you are not sure, call us and schedule a home safety inspection where we can tell you what kind of panel you have as well as if it should be upgraded or replaced.

Panel Upgrades FAQs

When Should I Upgrade My Electrical Panel?
What is an electrical panel?
Is my panel too small?

When Should I Upgrade My Electrical Panel?

If you have heard about electric panel upgrades and are wondering whether or not you need one, this information will help you make a decision.

There are 2 main reasons you should upgrade your panel.

  1. The panel is too small and not keeping up with your electrical needs.
  2. The panel is unsafe and is at risk of causing a fire or causing an electrical shock.

What is an Electric Panel?

The best way to explain an electric panel is to compare it to a tree. Your panel is the trunk and the breakers are the branches. The electricity from the power company flows into the electric panel, which distributes the electricity to the various breakers much like the roots of a tree gather nutrients and water and go through the trunk and throughout the branches all the way to the smallest twigs. The electric panel moderates how much electricity flows to each branch. If too much power were to go through, wires would melt and it could possibly start a fire.

If you happened to touch a melted or damaged wire, you could receive an electric shock. The electric panel is designed to control the electricity flow to prevent such things from happening. One of the methods of stopping the excess electric flow is to trip a breaker or blow a fuse. It is absolutely essential to your safety that you have a properly functioning electric panel and circuit breakers that will trip should too much electricity start flowing.

It is important your electric panel is big enough to handle the amount of electricity you need in the house. If you add a large appliance or something like an air conditioner, you may need a panel upgrade. The bigger panel is necessary to handle the extra electricity demand.

An electric panel may be called many different things. Below are the terms that are associated with electric panel.

  • Breaker box
  • Circuit breaker panel or box
  • Power breaker
  • Fuse box
  • Fuse board
  • Load center
  • Panel board
  • Electrical service
  • Residential service
  • Service panel
  • Main panel
  • Distribution board

Is My Panel too Small?

There are a couple of reasons that will likely require you to upgrade your electric panel or what is sometimes referred to as your service panel. We can provide you with a 100 amp panel upgrade.

  • Adding an air conditioner
  • Adding a hot tub, spa or pool
  • Renovating the kitchen
  • Adding on additional rooms
  • Adding a home office
  • Putting in a new refrigerator
  • A house that doesn’t have enough power for your needs
  • Breakers frequently trip when you turn on an appliance

Panel Upgrades Reviews

“The work proceeded exactly as discussed, and they made sure that inspections and DWP work took place quickly. I will definitely use them for other electrical work.Excellently. Everything was done as promised – the building inspector actually commented that this company always does excellent work!”
The Electric Connection
5 / 5 stars
“They were great. They were on time and did a fast and professional job. FYI, I originally had them quote an additional job (at the same time) for an entire kitchen re-wire. My brother and I were doing the remodel and although their quote was reasonable, my brother convinced me that he could do the work. When I agreed with Electric Connection to only do the panel itself and not the entire job they were totally OK with that; I really respect that they didn’t mind only doing part of the job, which they did great!”
The Electric Connection
5 / 5 stars
“The Electric Connection, from my first conversation with Luis on the phone, to the estimate (by Hugo), to the work being done by Alex Soriano and Hector Armenta, was completely professional! They stand head and shoulders above any experience I’ve had with electricians in the last 20 years. They were punctual and priced right in the upper middle range of the estimates we received. I cannot say enough about how good they are and how happy we are with their work. They will do any electrical work I need done in the future.”
The Electric Connection
5 / 5 stars
“I called The Electric Connection and was put right through to Kim, the owner. We discussed upgrading to a 200 amp service, which would require a new panel box — which would first require a DWP inspector to come out and spot placement for the new box. Kim explained they normally don’t give an estimate before the box is spotted, but because we were without A/C in the extreme heat, he arranged for Hugo to be at our home within an hour to give us their estimate. Kim also contacted the DWP inspector, who came and spotted the box the following Wednesday afternoon. The next morning, Ernie showed up on time with Balthasar, his junior technician. Even though we put up tarps to screen the sun, it got up to 112 degrees. They worked all day in the heat and never once complained or faltered in their work. All that, plus they have a lifetime guarantee on all their work.”
The Electric Connection
5 / 5 stars
“Excellent service. Very professional. Good communication. Explained everything clearly. Considerate of our time and space.”
The Electric Connection
5 / 5 stars
“Hugo did a very thorough job of looking at the current configuration and count of the switches, outlets and lights. We talked about adding a few outside lights to areas that seemed like it would be difficult such as the bottom of beams on the front porch. Quote was given to me on the spot. The communication from the company was excellent, and I can’t say enough good things about the crew that was sent to do the work. Ernie and his crew were extremely clean, professional, and friendly. All spoke very good English, so communication was never a problem. I never worried about leaving them in my home alone. Always on time. Switches moved to consistent level. Work permitted and passed inspection”
The Electric Connection
5 / 5 stars
“The office staff, especially David, were very helpful in determining what I needed to do to get the results I wanted. David was also very up-front about what range of money I could expect to spend. When the electricians showed up to give me an estimate, they were very thorough and had suggestions on how to best do the work. They gave me a detailed estimate, which was very close to what David had indicated, and scheduled a time to do the work. They called the day before the job was to start and confirmed the time. The two electricians were the same who had done the estimate and they were excellent. They were organized, professional, polite, and knew what question to ask and when to ask them. They performed the work quickly (less than two days), did not leave me without critical power at any time and were hard workers.”
The Electric Connection
5 / 5 stars
The Electric Connection

Your Los Angeles Area Electrician Since 1979
Fully Bonded and Insured
H.A.S. Electric, Inc. DBA The Electric Connection
Licensed Electrical Contractor, License: C10 406002

credit cards accepted

We also accept checks.

Tel: (213) 401-2334
Fax: (818) 446-0999

8 am to 5 pm

Call Toll Free
(800) 990-9490

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