When to Upgrade Your Electrical System
Sometime as our families grow, our electrical systems need to grow with us. National Rebuilding Day is coming up on April 28, and it’s a good time to discuss home improvements and how they might fit into your budget.
Sometimes, especially in older homes, your electrical panel or other parts of your system might need to be upgraded and replaced to sufficiently power all your devices. At 24/7 Electric, we are familiar with the criteria for electrical system upgrades and full equipped to provide them. Here is an overview of when to call an electrician for an upgrade and how that upgrade will benefit your home.
Why might I need to upgrade my electrical system?
Sometimes it helps to think of your home’s electrical system like your body’s circulatory system. Imagine your electrical panel is your heart, the source of power. Just as your veins and arteries make sure blood reaches different parts of your body that need oxygen, the circuits in your home make sure electricity flows into different parts of your home that need power.
The amount of power at the source (your electrical panel) is what determines how well your electrical appliances can function all over your home. The amount of circuits throughout your home determines how evenly power is distributed to each of these spots.
Many older homes have smaller electrical panels, because they were built before technology advanced and more and more electricity was necessary to power all the devices in a standard household.
Today, many homes need 100 - 200 amp panels (depending on the size of the home, the number of occupants, and the amount of electricity consumed). Many older homes contain only 30 - 60 amp panels.
In order to fully upgrade your system, you may want to replace your electrical panel, then add some additional circuits throughout your home to better distribute power to areas with larger appliances.
Signs You Need to Upgrade
Here are some warning signs you might want to call a licensed electrician about upgrading your electrical system:
- Breakers tripping or fuses blowing repeatedly.
- Lights flickering or dimming.
- Outlets warm to the touch, discolored, or sparking.
- Outlets that are ungrounded (only two prongs), or non-GFCI outlets near water.
- Burning odor near outlets or appliances.
- Home built prior to 1960.
- Electrical panel is less than 100 amps.
Benefits of Upgrading
First and foremost, upgrading your electrical system keeps your home safer. Wear and tear on wiring can increase the risk of electrical fires or electrocution. Faulty wiring can also damage your electrical appliances or decrease their overall lifespans over time since power isn’t traveling to them correctly.
A larger panel and correct wiring will actually make your home more energy efficient, which is good for the environment and your monthly utility bill. Having a fully upgraded electrical system will benefit you and your family as you use electrical appliances today, and it will increase the resale value of your home for the future.