When Is It Time For You To Upgrade Your Electrical Panel?

Your electrical panel is the energy hub of your home — it regulates the electricity moving between every room and device and monitors the amount of demand on each circuit. It then trips that circuit breaker if the demand gets too high, preventing an overload, and possibly, a fire. A working electrical panel is vital to your home’s safety.

A home’s electrical panel is normally a grey box mounted to the wall in a garage, utility room, or basement. Inside, there are rows of switches that connect to circuit breakers, which are smaller branches of power stemming from your main electrical supply. One switch might connect to one room, or switches might be doubled up to support a larger appliance, and so on and so forth as you go down the line of switches. Most times, they’re labeled, which makes the correct breaker easy to find. There’s also a main power breaker that will turn power off to all circuits in the home.

Most people are looking to make an electrical panel upgrade out of necessity. Maybe you don’t currently have enough amperage to put in new appliances, or you have faulty wiring that’s a fire hazard, or you overuse extension cords and power strips, so it’d be more of a preventative measure. It’s not an enjoyable update to make to your home, but it’s an investment in its safety that will last for many years to come.

It’s important to know when upgrading your electrical panel is not just preventative, but necessary to fix a larger issue. If you notice flickering lights, the inability to run multiple devices off one circuit, frequent breaker trips or shocks, fire, smoke, or melted wire, you have a problem. And that problem could snowball quickly so it’s best to take care of it as soon as possible.

We also make electrical panel upgrades for a lot of remodels. If you’re currently working on a remodel, it’s wise to consider making electrical updates at the same time. Who knows the types of appliances and other devices we’ll use in 20 years — they may require a larger amount of energy. This job is much easier to complete if walls are already stripped down to the studs, much more convenient when you knock out all your updates at once, and will give you great peace-of-mind.

The cost to upgrade an electrical panel ranges depending on the amperage you’re looking to upgrade to. Usually, modern homes need 200-amp panels, which cost between $1,000 and $2,500. It’s tough to pinpoint an exact number since the type of home and number of circuits makes a huge difference. There is a possibility of it costing more if you need an entirely new panel. As for how to upgrade an electrical panel, that’s a more difficult question. Whether it’s Deaver Electric, or another electrician you trust, we advise you to use a professional to upgrade your electrical panel. Some jobs can be successfully completed on your own, but electrical work can be dangerous for someone who has little experience.

Give us a call at 515-202-9481. We’ll talk about how we can improve your home’s electrical system. Chances are you have multiple options for moving forward.