Growing Electrical Demands: Is my panel up to par?

Growing Electrical Demands: Is my panel up to par?

Updated: 3/20/2018

These days, we use electricity nonstop. We have numerous equipment and devices such as televisions, exercise machines, computers, tablets, and cell phones that draw a lot of power. There are also new home appliances that require a heavy amount of electricity. Today, old homes do not have the capacity to provide for the heavy electrical demands of these advanced technologies. This is why most homeowners consider getting an upgrade on their electric panels. With the ever-growing electrical demands, it’s necessary for homes to be able to provide for all the needs of devices, appliances and equipment.

How do electrical panels work?

To put it simply, your main circuit breaker panel distributes power to other electrical circuits in the building. The electrical panel is composed of many circuit breakers that are connected to different parts of the house. The main breaker, which is usually bigger in size and located on top of the other breakers, can disconnect power across all breakers, turning the panel off or on.

The main circuit breaker lists the maximum amperage on its handle, usually around 100 to 200 amps, but it greatly depends on the house’s load demand. The amperage determines the amount of power that the house is capable of supplying. Big homes with high-end facilities and equipment will require greater electrical amperage.

Why do I need to fix my panel?

Your panel acts as the “heart” of your entire electrical system, as well as your entire home. Most of your daily functions require electricity - an issue on your circuit breaker can literally leave you in the dark. With a faulty panel, you are also at risk of experiencing dangerous problems such as fires. This is why it is important to regularly maintain your breakers to ensure faultless operation all year long. Electrical panels that fail are caused by malfunctions of faulty components. Your electrical panel is connected to every other electrical device that is plugged in, like lighting, computers, televisions and kitchen appliances. When an issue with your panel occurs, it also damages every device connected to the panel. Fixing your panel will save you from device damage, risky situations, and unwanted repair expenses.

When should you get an upgrade?

The combined demands of all of your devices and appliances should tell you whether or not you need an electric panel upgrade. If you live in a traditional home but you’re planning to buy advanced appliances that require major power demands, you should consider the inadequacy of your panel. There are lots of ways to know if you should get an upgrade, like when you notice that some gadgets and appliances refuse to work, or when lights flicker every now and then. A more telling sign is when your breakers trip or your fuses burst. During the upgrade, your panel will be replaced with a modern breaker box that can handle today’s power demands. These breakers will have a greater capacity in terms of amperage. Upgrading your electrical panel may seem like a costly thing, but it’s more cost-effective than having to move to a home with an electrical panel that has already been upgraded.

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