Signs It’s Time to Upgrade Your Electrical Panel

Your electrical panel, also called your breaker box, controls all the electricity in your home. It receives the electricity from your utility company, then distributes it to each of your home’s circuits. The circuits in turn supply power to all your outlets, lights, appliances, and other electrical devices. Your electrical panel is your control center, allowing you to turn off power to sections of your house when needed.

However, it’s much more than a switchboard for you to control your home’s power; your electrical panel has several important functions to keep your home safe and your electrical system running efficiently. If your electrical panel is old, outdated, or malfunctioning, an upgrade can ensure the safety of your family and help your system catch up with your needs. How do you know when the time has come to upgrade your electrical panel? Read on for some telltale signs.

1. Your home is older

As our reliance on technology has increased, so has our need for electricity in our homes. Older homes may have been designed before entertainment centers, air conditioners, and computers, meaning that their electrical panels weren’t meant to carry the load we’re now asking of them. Older homes were often built with 60-amp electrical panels, while homes these days come with 100- or 200-amp panels to meet our modern needs.

2. You don’t have enough outlets

If you find yourself using extension cords regularly, that means your home doesn’t have enough outlets to meet your needs. Extension cords are designed for brief use, to give you power right when you need it – for example, you have a party and need to put a lamp outside for the evening. When used heavily, extension cords can wear out quickly and may become fire hazards. So instead of creating a tripping hazard with a network of surge protectors and extension cords, upgrade your electrical panel and add more outlets to your home!

3. Your panel is full of fuses, not circuit breakers

If your home was constructed before 1970, it might have a fuse-based electrical system instead of a circuit-based system. This is another outdated system not designed for modern needs. Circuit breakers are designed to “trip” when overloaded, which means they fail safely to stop the flow of electricity. Fuses melt, blow, or short-circuit when overloaded, which carries a small risk of fire.

4. You are frequently tripping breakers

If you find yourself constantly having to go to your breaker box after tripping a circuit breaker, upgrading your electrical panel will end this problem. Circuits trip frequently when the electrical panel is old and worn out or malfunctioning. It can also mean that your old panel can’t handle your energy needs.

5. You’ve upgraded your home and/or appliances (or plan to)

Your electrical panel was designed to meet the energy needs of your home as it was when it was constructed. If you’ve built an addition, turned the basement into livable space, or otherwise significantly increased your demands, you most likely need an upgrade so your electrical system can keep up. Adding lots of modern appliances can also draw a great deal of power, so if you’ve finally gotten a dishwasher or a clothes washer and dryer when you didn’t have one before, you may need an upgrade.

6. Your electrical system is overloaded

Constantly overloading your electrical system not only makes it perform poorly, it’s also a safety hazard! If your electrical system is struggling to keep up, you will most likely notice some of these signs:

Do you need an electrical panel upgrade in Tampa Bay, FL?

If much of what was discussed above sounds familiar, you need an electrical panel upgrade to keep your home safe, use electricity efficiency, and enjoy your electrical appliances consistently. The experienced electricians at Hoffman Electrical can perform electrical panel upgrades and heavy ups on your home. Our Tampa location is fully staffed and ready to meet the needs of anyone in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Sarasota, and all surrounding areas! Our electricians are industry trained and licensed to perform electrical installations and repairs that meet NEC (National Electrical Code) regulations as well as state and municipal regulations.

Ready to upgrade to a modern electrical system that can keep up with your home’s needs? Count on the licensed electricians at Hoffman Electrical & A/C to safely upgrade your electrical panel in the Tampa Bay area. Call us at 866-238-3243 or contact us online today!