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4 Times You Should Replace Your Home's Electrical Service Panel

Electrical service panels distribute electricity around your home. While every panel should be fit for purpose when it is installed, panels don't always work well forever. There are times when you should upgrade or replace them.

When should you do this?

1. Your Panel Doesn't Have Enough Capacity

Service panels have a set capacity limit. They distribute electricity to meet your household's consumption needs at the time of installation.

If you have an older panel, or want to make significant changes to your home, then it might not have enough capacity to safely manage increased consumption. For example, older panels might not have the capacity to power all the modern-day appliances, systems, and devices you want to use at home.

If you try to use too much power, and your panel can't cope, then you might have supply problems. Your circuit breakers might trip regularly.

An upgraded panel will give you the increased capacity you need. It will power everything in your home safely and efficiently.

2. Your Panel Shows Signs of Damage

Even if you haven't significantly increased your power consumption, older service panels can start to develop problems as they get older. For example, you might hear buzzing or humming sounds around the panel; it might feel warm to the touch. In some cases, you might even smell burning or see scorch marks on the panel's surface.

These are serious problems. They are signs that your panel is failing and is no longer safe. Damaged and failing panels can cause electrical fires and shocks. You should upgrade your panel as soon as you can.

3. You're Renovating a Property

If you're working on a fixer-upper, then you might not do any work on its electrical system if it seems to work OK. However, this might be an essential job.

If you're doing a lot of work which will affect the property's power consumption, then a new panel is the best option. You might also need to replace an old panel if it doesn't meet current electrical codes. If you need a building inspector to sign off your work, then this is often an essential step.

4. You Want to Sell Your Home

If your service panel is old and is reaching the end of its safe working life, then it could work against you when you sell your home. During checks, buyers will find out that the panel is outdated and potentially unsafe.

People might not want to buy your home if its electrical system isn't fit for purpose. They might not want to pay for this work after they buy the property. If you upgrade before you sell, then your home becomes a more attractive buying prospect.

You should hire a qualified electrician for service panel upgrades. To find out more, contact local electrical contractors.