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“Does My Fuse Box Need to Be Upgraded?”

electricians-hands-fixing-electrical-panelThe short answer to this is, “yes.” And the reason the answer is “yes” is because if you’re still using a fuse box in your home, it is outdated—homes built after the 1960’s no longer use them and there is likely much more of electrical demand on your home now.

Instead, what your home needs is a professionally installed and serviced electrical panel with circuit breakers. This is where incoming electricity is routed into different circuits, and each of the circuit breakers is designed to shut off circuits if there is a voltage overload.

If You Have a Fuse Box:

If a fuse box is what you have installed in your home—rather than tripping a breaker in case of excess voltage like an electrical panel will, one of the fuses in this box will burn out in order to stop the flow of electricity. Circuit breakers are much more convenient since all you have to do is flip a switch in most cases to reset the relevant appliance.

When a fuse blows, you have to replace it. More important than convenience, however, is safety! Fuse boxes increase fire risk in your home, which is a leading reason they aren’t used in modern home construction anymore.

“What If I Have an Electrical Panel, but it’s Old?”

So, are you out of the woods if you have an electrical panel instead of a fuse box? Well, not quite. Modern circuit breaker panels can typically last about 25-40 years, but if yours is older than that, or if you’ve added significant electrical demands to your home since that time (like a home entertainment system or high-efficiency electrical appliances) then it’s time to consider an upgrade.

Worn down electrical connections and appliances can become a hazard, and also an older electrical panel simply can’t handle enough voltage. It can typically manage 60-100 amps while newer electrical panels can handle up to 200. This is much better suited to the rise in electrical demands in households throughout the U.S.—households that are seeing the addition of charging stations, computers, and an increased number of electronics.

Are Your Circuit Breakers Frequently Tripping?

You shouldn’t find yourself making regular visits to your electrical panel during the week in order to resent tripped breakers. But if you find yourself doing that, take note of which circuit breakers you’re resetting. Is it consistently the same one? Then it might be a problem with whatever appliance is hooked up to that particular breaker, and that individual appliance needs repair.

But if different circuits are frequently tripping, then there is a very good chance that the electrical panel itself is worn down or no longer able to meet the electrical demands of your home.

Upgrading Your Fuse Box or Electrical Panel is a Job for the Pros

Sure, you can probably find online guides on how to replace an electrical panel on your own, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good idea. The fact is, professional electricians go through years of education and training to be able to safely do their jobs and keep your home safe. Be sure to contact our pros if you suspect you need an electrical panel update.

ACI Northwest is here to help with your home comfort needs or concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact us for helpful advice from our skilled electricians in Spokane, WA.

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