March 09, 2018
Wondering if you need a new electrical panel?
Here’s what you need to ask yourself:
Note: To determine the size of your electrical panel, find the number displayed on the main breaker inside your panel (100, 200, etc.) This is your panel’s amperage rating.
We’ll take a closer look at both of these situations below...
Want to skip to the section that applies to you?
Need an estimate on a new electrical panel for your home? Give us a call and we’ll quickly send over one of our expert electricians to give you a quote.
If you do have an electrical panel that’s under 100 amps, we definitely recommend upgrading to a newer panel that has at least 200 amps. These panels can safely handle the electrical demands of most modern homes.
You see, the “amperage” of your electrical panel tells you the strength of electricity that’s flowing into your home. The higher the amperage, the more electrical appliances your home can power.
Homes that have less than a 100-amp electric service (i.e. a 60-amp panel), were likely built before 1960. And pre-1960 homes had very few electrical appliances to power, so less amperage was needed. But because today’s average home has a lot more electrical appliances to power, we suggest upgrading to a higher amperage panel.
Below are 6 signs that you should upgrade your electrical panel (we’ll explain each sign in more detail below):
Circuit breaker panels usually only last 25 to 40 years, so if yours is 40 years or older, it’s time to consider replacing it.
Older electrical panels can’t support the electrical demand that modern appliances require, so it’s best to replace them to prevent electrical hazards.
If you notice the following warning signs, you might want to have an electrician inspect your panel:
Many circuit breaker panels come with empty “expansion slots”. These expansion slots allow you to add a circuit breaker when you get new appliances that require a new electrical circuit.
Expansion slots on an electrical panel
But if you’re out of expansion slots, and you’re trying to cheat it by using extension cords or power strips to create additional outlets for your home, it’s time to replace your panel.
Why? Well, trying to power more appliances than your panel can handle can lead to electrical fires.
Whether you’re building a new room, or adding big appliances like an AC unit or a spa to your home, you’ll likely need a new electrical panel to accommodate the new electrical load.
Like we mentioned earlier, electrical panels can only support a certain electrical load (amperage). When you add heavy-duty appliances to your home, it increases the amperage your panel needs to support.
Contact an electrician to help you calculate what size panel you need for your new home additions.
If you have a fuse box, you should replace it for the following 3 reasons:
Each of these types of panels are dangerous and should be replaced. Here’s why:
For more info about these outdated and faulty electrical panels, read our article “4 Outdated and Unsafe Electrical Panels That Could be Hiding in Your Home.”
Give us a call. We’ll quickly send over one of our expert electricians to visit your home (we complete 96% of all service calls the same day).
Our electrician will give you an honest and fair estimate on the cost to install a new electrical panel for your home.
In the meantime, visit our electrical panel page to learn more about our services.