Back to Blog

Your Electric Panel Needs An Upgrade! How Do You Know?

March 14, 2022

How Do You Know Your Electric Panel Needs An Upgrade

Your electrical system needs regular inspection and testing. Why? Because it is an integral part of your home’s safety.

You enjoy the benefits of electricity daily and you should have the peace of mind that your electrical system is up to par so you can continue to enjoy those benefits without any potentially dangerous issues.

There are generally two ways to do an electric panel upgrade. One is to perform a partial upgrade, meaning you replace old circuit breakers with new ones, but do not replace other components of your electrical panel.

The other way is to do a complete electric panel upgrade, meaning you remove and reinstall all of the components within your electrical panel. A complete upgrade can be a bit more costly, which is why it’s helpful to know if you actually need an electric panel upgrade before hiring an electrician and spending unnecessary money.

Here we’ll discuss the signs that you may need an electric panel upgrade, why you need to hire an electrician, and how to find the right one.

Indicators That You Need A New Electrical Panel

It’s always a good idea to have your old electrical panel inspected and tested by a professional. Your local electrician can inform you on whether or not it is time for a new electrical panel.

Here are the top signs that you need an electrical panel upgrade:

1) You Constantly Flip Breakers

If you notice that you are constantly flipping breakers or resetting them, there’s a good chance your electrical system isn’t running as efficiently as possible.

Your breakers are the main safety protection of your home’s electrical system. They may not wear out as fast as other parts, but they do need to be regularly inspected and tested to ensure there aren’t any problems.

If you keep flipping breakers, it means something is wrong with them or your electrical panel. If a short or overload were to occur, there would be a higher chance of a fire.

2) You Don’t Have Enough Room In Your Electrical Panel

If you have had your electrical panel for years, chances are it has different wires and components from old appliances which are overcrowding it, whether plugged in or not. This can cause the panel to overheat, which can cause even more problems.

You will have to upgrade your electrical panel if you have a lot of wires that you cannot move or remove from your current system. This also includes appliances that are no longer in use.

3) Your Electrical Panel Is Old Or Outdated

With a computer, a newer version may work more efficiently and even offer added benefits. It’s the same with an electrical panel. An electrical panel has an average life span of 25–40 years.

Furthermore, if your electrical panel is from the 1970s or earlier, it may have been built without today’s safety standards in mind. As mentioned above, if a short occurs, there is a higher chance of a fire. Having an older panel means you have to constantly watch for problems and repair or reset your breakers.

4) There Many Repairs Needed On Your Electrical Panel

You have to consider the cost of hiring someone to fix your electrical panel every time you notice a problem, compared with the overall price of having it completely removed and replaced.

If you are constantly needing to fix some component or other of your electrical panel, it means you eventually will have to replace it completely.

5) Your Electrical Panel Is Warped Or Damaged

If your electrical panel is warped, damaged, or hanging out of its designated area, this could mean that there’s not enough room for all the wires and components in your panel. It may cause overheating and shorting of the electrical system, which again, can cause a fire.

6) Discoloration Or Corrosion Of Your Electrical Panel

The older your electrical panel is and the more use it gets, the more wear and tear will happen to it. If it gets corroded, damaged, or discolored, you need to have your electrical panel upgraded.

Discoloration means that there is rust or other buildups from deterioration on the inside of your electrical panel. It’s this material that can cause fires and damage. You need to have your electrical panel replaced as soon as possible.

7) There Is Smoke Coming From Your Electrical Panel

If smoke is coming from your electrical panel, it could mean that there are shorting wires causing the problem. It also may mean that you’re overloading your electrical system by plugging too many appliances into one outlet or circuit.

It’s always best to call an electrician that serves the communities in your location before these problems get worse. If you fail to replace your electrical panel, it can cause damages to your property or worse.

8) You Have Replaced Your Outlets

If you have recently replaced your faulty electrical outlets, that’s a good sign that it’s about time to replace your electrical panel. In most cases, whenever there is an upgrade in one area of the house, there should be an upgrade to the rest of the system as well.

This includes upgrading your electrical panel to meet modern safety standards.

9) You Have Had A Major Electrical Problem In Your Home

If you have had any electrical problems courtesy of your home electric systems, such as flickering lights or outlets that won’t hold a plug, it’s probably time to upgrade your electrical panel and the rest of the system.

You definitely don’t want to wait until there is a major problem to take care of it. The electrical system can be dangerous when problems arise, and you never know when an accident could happen.

10) You Have Upgraded Or Built A Room

If you have upgraded a room or installed a whole new room, it’s also time to upgrade your electrical panel because it may not be able to handle the increased electrical load.

Your first step should always be to call an electrician to ensure your entire home is properly upgraded and up to date with current safety standards. You most likely will need one to do the wiring in the remodeled or new room so you should have them check your whole electrical system while they’re there.

11) Your Current Electrical Panel Is Less Than 80 Amperes To 100 Amperes

80 amps are the minimum you should have for an electrical panel, but 100 amps are ideal. When your electrical panel has less than this, you need to upgrade because it can affect the operation of your home.

What is the Impact of Having a More than 100 Amperes Electrical Panel?

If you have more than 100 amps, your electrical system is pretty strong and can handle a refrigerator, oven, washer, dryer, and water heater all at the same time. This should cover just about every appliance you use on a daily basis.

The downside to having an electrical panel with so much power is that it’s expensive to operate. You may also experience some electrical problems along the way, such as flickering lights, tripping breakers, and outlets that don’t work properly.

12) Your Electric Meter Keeps Running Even After All The Appliances Are Off

If your electric meter keeps running even after you’ve turned all the appliances off in your home, it could be a sign that you have an electrical problem.

In some cases, it can indicate that your home is underwired, meaning there isn’t enough power to handle the electrical system in your entire home. You need to contact an electrician if the problem occurs often because it can cause a fire and you don’t want to ignore it at your own risk.

13) Your Circuit Breaker Is Not Big Enough

If you have a circuit breaker that is not big enough for your electrical panel, it may cause overheating and trips in your circuit breaker and damage to your electrical panel. Whenever that happens, you need to upgrade or replace the entire system.

14) You Have Replaced Light Bulbs In Your Home

When you have replaced light bulbs in your home, you need to ensure that your electrical panel is compatible with those new light bulbs.

The majority of homes today use CFL or LED light bulbs, which means that a few incandescent lights aren’t going to do much. It’s still important to upgrade your electrical panel so that everything works more efficiently, however.

Why You Need To Hire An Electrician For Upgrade

If you need to replace your electrical panel and want to do it correctly, it’s best to call a professional electrician in your city. If you don’t, the entire system may not work properly and this could lead to dangerous situations in your home and put you well being into question. Below are some of the benefits of hiring an electrician for your electrical system upgrade today:

1) The Electrician Provides An Advanced Inspection

When you call a professional, they will inspect the entire electrical system in your home and let you know everything that is wrong with it, including any potential future problems. This type of inspection can be very beneficial because you don’t want to wait until you have a serious problem to take care of it. You want to catch any potential problems as soon as possible so that they don’t turn into an even bigger problem down the road.

2) They Can Give You The Right Information On Your Electrical Problem

When your electrician comes over, they will inspect the electrical system in your home and let you know what specifically is causing the problem. The electrician will also inform you on whether this is a serious problem that can cause a fire in your home or if it’s just something that needs to be fixed in the near future.

3) They Offer Affordable Prices On Electrical Upgrades

If you want to have an electrical system upgrade done in your home, you want to make sure that you pay an affordable price. Most professional electricians will offer affordable prices for this type of work and can get everything done in a timely manner. When you meet with them, they will let you know how long the installation may take and what the total cost is going to be for an upgrade.

4) You Can Rely On Their Reputation In Your Area

You can rely on the fact that most professional electricians have worked in this industry for a number of years and probably have a reputation in your city or county. It’s important to trust the person who is going to be coming into your home and working with your electrical system because it can cause serious problems if they aren’t experienced.

5) They Will Ensure That Everything Is Working Properly

When you call a professional to come and upgrade the electrical system in your home, they will test your entire system and ensure that everything is working properly. If it’s not, they will let you know what needs to be done so that it can work more efficiently. The last thing you want is for your electrical system to continue to not work properly because it can cause a fire or other serious problems. Your health and safety should be a top priority.

6) They Will Update Your Home With State-Of-The-Art Features

If you hire an electrician to upgrade your electrical system, they will recommend that you update many of the features in your home with state-of-the-art options. You will have access to their knowledge of all the latest innovations in the industry.

When done, your electrical system will continue to work properly and you don’t have to worry about any potential issues arising in the future. You can enjoy many new features in your home that will make life easier for you and family members living inside of your home.

Things To Keep In Mind When Hiring An Electrician

Here are the top five things you need to know when you hire an electrician for your electrical system upgrade:

1) Get Quotes From A Number Of Different Electricians

Before you hire an electrician to upgrade your electrical system, it’s important to meet with and get quotes from a few different electricians so that you can compare them. Figure out which one is going to be the most affordable for your budget. You’ll save money on the overall cost and can get everything done in a timely manner.

2) Find An Electrician That Specializes In Your Type Of Upgrade

When you want to upgrade your electrical system, it’s important that you find an electrician who specializes in this type of work. If they don’t specialize in electric panel upgrades, they may not do a good job or they might not know the specific upgrades needed.

You want to ensure that you trust the electrician doing the work because this can cause serious problems if they don’t know exactly what they are doing.

3) Ensure That The Electrician Is Fully Licensed And Insured

It’s important to make sure that the electrician you hire is fully licensed and insured for this type of work. If something goes wrong during the installation process or while they are working, you won’t be held responsible for their mistakes. If they aren’t insured and licensed, it could end up costing you a lot of money in fines.

4) Ask For References

Before you hire a professional electrician, it’s a wise idea to ask for references from previous customers who have used their services before. When you get these references, you can learn more about the quality of their work, the level of their communication, and the overall caliber of their customer service. This is one of the best ways to find out whether or not the electrician in question is up for this type of job.

When you take the time to check out others’ opinions of a professional electrician, it will make things easier for you during your search. You’ll know whether or not they are the right person for your home.

5) You Must Trust The Electrician

When you hire an electrician to upgrade your electrical system, you must trust them and feel confident in their ability to do a good job. If you don’t, the work could end up costing you more than what it’s supposed to or they may not finish when they say they will.

6) Research The Electrician

It’s a good idea to do some research on the electrician you have in mind to upgrade your electrical system. It will let you know more about their past work and how successful they’ve been. You can also find out what kind of licenses and insurance they have.

7) Ensure They Have Adequate Time For You

It’s important that the electrician you hire actually has enough time to work on the job and get it done in a timely manner.

If they don’t, there is a good chance that the project will drag on and on and may even run over your budget. You should ensure to work with a professional who has the time and resources needed to complete your project as quickly as possible without compromising quality and government standards.

8) Don’t Hire The Lowest Bidder, Always Go For Quality

While getting the lowest bid for an upgrade might sound like a good idea, you should always go for quality over price. After all, you only want the best for your home and should never be satisfied with subpar work. It could even be hazardous if they use low-quality materials or rush the work.

Hire a professional who is fully capable of doing great work instead of choosing the cheapest option available to save money.

9) Always Have An Open Line Of Communication With The Electrician

When you hire a professional electrician to upgrade your electrical system, it’s important that you have an open line of communication with them. If something goes wrong or they have a question, the only way to resolve it is to talk about it and get everything sorted out. You should make sure that you always have their number on hand so you can contact them whenever necessary. And make sure they have your contact information as well.

You’ll want to keep these things in mind when you are hiring an electrician for electrical work because it’s important that they are trustworthy, reliable, and have the time and resources needed to complete your project successfully.

Get A Solution Today!

If you want to avoid electrical problems or have noticed any of the signs listed above, you need to have your home inspected by an electrician. They can check for any current issues or potential issues that could cause a fire or other electrical problems. When you need electrical work done in Maryland, call Chesapeake Electric. We are a licensed and insured electrical contractor with the experience and dedication to take care of all your electrical needs. We have top-notch solutions regarding your electrical panel. Get started by contacting us today!