Upgrade the Electrical Panel? These Clues Say It’s Time

What are the signs that it may be time to upgrade that gray fuse or breaker box in the basement or garage? Here are a few clues.

Home electrical experts say boxes that are older than 25 to 45 years are candidates for replacement. But what are other indications that it’s time to consider electrical panel upgrades Fayette County WV?

Bad Wiring

Electrical wiring can deteriorate over time. Faulty or damaged wiring is one of the leading causes of fires in homes and a rule-of-thumb says that the older the wiring, the more likely it is to be faulty.

Some signs of deficient wiring include lights that flicker, slight electric shocks from wall switches, faint smell of burnt plastic, light scorch marks around an outlet and outlets that feel warm to the touch.

Added Load

New appliances can add to the power load passing through the electrical panel. National Electrical Code standards require panels rated at 100-amp minimum although many homes are equipped with panels rated at 150-amps. Panels rated at 200- and 400-amps are available.

If breakers keep tripping after a new appliance is installed, the electrical panel may not be up to the job. Likewise, added living space, such as a basement remodel, increases the power draw and could lead to problems. More power strips needed for more electronic devices indicates there may not be enough outlets and that’s a sign that a professional inspection may be in order.

Out with the Fuses

Fuses and circuit breakers stop the flow of electricity when there is an overload or short circuit. This critical safety feature protects homes from possible electrical fires or damage to appliances and electronics.

However, replacing blown fuses can become expensive and fuses do not provide the safety protection of circuit breakers. Replacing a fuse box with a modern electrical panel with circuit breakers provides peace of mind for the homeowner.

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