Most people don’t think about their electrical system until something breaks or does not work. The same goes for plumbing. People tend to upgrade what they see first. In truth, a good and knowledgeable electrician will build something that can last generations. There are, however, other factors at play. The quality of materials used, the skill, the weather, and the way the system is used by the homeowner.
Patrick, an experienced Parker electrician, helped us understand when and why homeowners should consider an upgrade to their electrical system. Below are the most common reasons why homeowners upgrade their electrical systems.
Heat or sound coming from the electrical panel or outlets
First and foremost, upgrading an electrical system may be necessary to solve problems and ensure safety of your house. If you notice any cracking sounds coming from the electrical panel, or if any part of the electrical system feels warm to the touch, you may need to replace it all together. At this point, replacing or upgrading is not a luxury. It is a necessity. Think of the electrical panel as the heart of your house. Ignoring it could cause irreversible damage.
Signs of corrosion or even rust, on the circuit breakers
Similarly, to the above described, corrosion and rust are just as concerning. These are problems to be fixed as soon as possible. Depending on exactly what is rusted, the configuration of your home, and the age and quality of materials, it may or may not be recommended to do a full upgrade. In this situation all an electrical contractor you trust to give his honest opinion.
Known problems from certain manufactures which are now disclosed
Most homeowners don’t know who the manufacturers of their panels are. If this is you, you should check as we speak. There are manufacturers who are known to have caused significant problems to the electrical system. Problems as dangerous as electrical fires. Known examples are Federal Pacific Electric (FPE), Zinsco, and Pushmatic. If you happen to have on the above panels is it of upmost importance that you don’t wait until something happen to replace it. It may be too late by then.
Planning a major home remodel or addition
What if you are planning a major home remodeling and your electrical system is running pretty well so far? We suggest that you discuss the remodeling plans with your general contractor and question about your electrical system. You can call an electrician to also discuss the plans and have him inspect the current system. Think about where you would like to have new outlets or light fixtures, and consider the age of the current panel. Some people take this opportunity to upgrade and remodel the entire electrical system so they don’t have to do it in the future.
Planning to add some appliances which will use a lot of electricity
Whether you are remodeling your home, or you are just planning to add new appliances, don’t forget to calculate the amount of electricity you will be using. The majority of homes built before 1990 only have 100 to 150-amp service. This is still fine for a lot of families in the United States. However, as technology advances and people depend more and more on “heavy” electrical appliances, it may become difficult for others. Examples of that are air conditioning, hot tubs, home saunas, dryers, home theaters, and EV chargers. To meet the 20th-century home electrical needs, upgrade electrical panel to 200 amps. That is the current standard amperage.