Owning a home is great! There are many benefits… you can paint the walls whatever color you like, you can decorate the outside whenever you feel like it, there’s a yard your kids and pets can play in… but there are also some disadvantages – like when things start to break or get old. Sometimes it’s hard to know what is causing something to not work. Figure that out is only half the battle. With electrical issues, it can be hard to even troubleshoot the problem, let alone fix it.
When homeowners have issues with their electrical system, the big question is usually: Do I need a panel upgrade? Followed closely by the second question: How much does a panel upgrade cost? This article should help you figure out if a panel upgrade is necessary and the steps to determining a cost for it.
First off, what exactly is the main panel? The electrical panel is a hub of energy for your home. It connects all the electricity from the power lines outside your home to all the outlets inside your home. This is the place you find with a flashlight when your breakers have tripped off all the lights in your home.
Most days, homeowners don’t even think about their electrical panel. This is why when something goes wrong, it’s often a shock – no pun intended. As with all things in life, electrical panels will grow old and stop working. It’s important to check up on it from time to time. In addition to age and normal wear and tear, there are a few other reasons homeowners should replace their electrical panel.
Homes built before the 1960s were equipped with fuses boxes. These were great back when there wasn’t a need for a lot of electricity. Nowadays, the strain that is put on an electrical box is greater. With circuit breakers, if there is too much power being required, it will trip to stop the flow of energy and protect the home from any dangers. Fuses do not have this safety capability and should be replaced to keep your home and family safe.
If your home was built more than 20 years ago, it might be a good idea to have your electrical system checked out. As with fuse boxes, older homes might have outdated panels or wiring that needs to be upgraded to go with today’s need.
Smells and Sounds
It’s never a good sign to smell burning or hear cracking sounds. If you are experiencing any strange sounds when it comes to your electrical panel, call an electrician immediately to get it looked at. Don’t just stop at your panel though. If you smell or hear anything in or around your outlets or switches, this could also be a sign there is something wrong with your panel.
Even though the circuit breakers trip to provide safety for your home, they shouldn’t be tripping often. This could mean there is too much power being required from it. You may need a panel upgrade to handle all the load needed for your home.
Next comes the cost issues. Every panel upgrade situation is unique. A professional electrician should be able to ask you a few questions and give you a ballpark price before inspecting your home in person.
It is important to pay attention to the signs your home is showing you. The next time you’re searching for your tripped breakers in the dark, consider calling an electrician to see if you need a panel upgrade.
The Electric Connection of Los Angeles has been providing electrical services to the people of LA county for over 30 years. We are experts when it comes to panel upgrades and house rewires. If you need any assistance, please give us a call.