We have so many more electrical devices now than we ever did in the past. And if you live in a slightly older home (and I’m not even talking about a really old home like from the 1950s, I’m talking about a 1980s home), then there’s a chance your older electrical panel is not up to snuff to handle your new appliances and electrical devices. Modern technology and antiquated electrical panels equal frequent outages. Old electrical panels simply cannot handle all the power now required. Overloaded wires can lead to deadly electrical shock or fire. Electrical panels are designed to tell you whenever there is a problem with your electricity by cutting off power to the circuit that’s overloaded. Older electrical panels did this using fuses, while newer panels rely on circuit breakers.
Your electrical panel is the core of your electrical system. It’s where your home receives electricity from the utility company. The power comes in through the electrical panel and is then distributed throughout the house to all of the outlets and lights that need it. It’s natural for your panel to suffer wear and tear over the years just like everything else in your home. It needs to be properly maintained. If it’s not kept up properly, not only is there a risk of fire, but if you do have a fire, the insurance adjuster will look at that panel first, and will not approve of a payout to you. They will simply say the fire was due to negligence.
So how do you know if you need a panel upgrade? There are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- If you live in a home that is more than 20 years old, chances are good, you will need a panel upgrade.
- If you have an outdated panel from these three companies in particular: Federal Pacific, Challenger or Zinsco/Sylvania.
- If you need more power requirements due to buying new technology or appliances.
- If your electrical panel is making noises or looks old. They are not supposed to hum, buzz, spark, hiss or become discolored.
If you see any of these things, then please give us a call at OT Electric. Here’s what our technicians will check for compliance.
- Non-approved breakers for your brand panel such as Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) Panels
- Panels that are older than 5 years
- Missing Breakers
- Hot Spots
- Over sizing of breakers versus wiring size
If they find any of these issues, we will recommend a “service change” that includes, not only an upgrade to your electrical panel, but an upgrade to your meter socket and wire size between the meter and panel. Our technicians are able to add extra circuit breakers, improve the amperage of your electrical system, and address issues in the safest, most efficient, cost effective way possible. Give us a call at OT Electric (239) 895-2000!