The circuit breaker panel of your home, known as the electrical panel, is probably not something you give a whole lot of thought to (even though you may walk past it a couple times a day). However, this component is the central hub of your electrical system, and plays a huge role in keeping that electrical system safe and fending off electrical repair in Cheney, WA .
The electrical panel is where incoming electricity gets routed to the different circuits that control the outlets, and subsequently the electrical appliances and equipment in your home, and switches. The breakers are designed to shut off circuits if and when there is a voltage overload. If this is occurring all the time, then it’s a pretty clear sign your electrical panel can’t take the demand being placed on it any longer.
“When Should I Replace My Electrical Panel?”
The truth is, this is dependent on a few factors—such as how much you’ve increased the electrical demand being placed on your household. Typically speaking though, modern circuit breaker panels can last about 25-40 years. Yes, this is a big difference, but we invite you to ask yourself the following questions to determine for yourself if it is, in fact, time to upgrade yours.
Do You Have a Fuse Box in Your Home?
This is pretty rare nowadays. However, if your property was built before 1960, it may be the case. So this means instead of tripping a breaker when there is excess voltage, one of the fuses burns out to stop the flow of electricity.
This process is outdated and not well equipped for modern appliances and equipment, like computer systems, gaming consoles, or home theaters. Modern electrical panels are more convenient, first off. But, they’re also much safer.
Fuse Box or Not, How Old Is Your Home?
Is your home over two decades old? If you still have the same circuit breaker box that your home came with, then it is definitely time for an upgrade. While it may not be particularly dangerous, the panel’s electrical capacity simply won’t be enough to handle all the electrical components homes have today.
Breaker boxes that are 20-30 years old can handle about 60-100 amps, while newer panels can manage up to 200 amps, which is much more suited to the rise in electrical demand that we’re seeing in most modern homes, due to charging stations, computers, and numerous other electronics.
Are Your Breakers Constantly Tripping?
Chances are, you’d rather not make regular visit to your electrical panel during the week to reset tripped circuit breakers. If this is happening with just a single circuit, chances are that whatever appliance is hooked up is what’s experiencing the issue, which will require electrical repair.
However, if multiple circuit breakers are frequently tripping, then you are very likely looking at an electrical panel that needs an upgrade.
Have You Noticed Flickering Lights?
No, your home is [probably] not haunted! Flicker lights may indicate small power surges in your home, coming from a powerful appliance coming on an placing too high of a demand on the electrical system. The panel itself could be at fault as well though—and if cost effective repairs don’t resolve this, it may be best to have a new electrical panel installed.
ACI Northwest is here to help with your home comfort needs or concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact us for helpful advice.