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Is it time to get a new electrical panel? When would be the best time to get one?

The first thing you should take into consideration is how a panel works. Why would you need to upgrade one, without knowing exactly what it does? Consider the panel, to be the center of the electrical system. It makes sure the power source from the outside, can connect properly to the power source on the inside. This is how your electrical provider is able to get power into your home. They are typically located in the garage, basement, utility room, or even sometimes outside. Electrical Panel

Now that we know exactly what an electrical panel does, what are the components? When you open an electrical panel, the first thing you typically see look just like switches. These are called circuit breakers, and they are more than likely in some kind of a column or line. The circuit breaker is the mechanism that distributes the man power line into smaller branch lines. Some breakers carry large electricity loads so they have to have more power distributed between them. This is how your dryer, washer or fridge is powered. These switches are numbered to identify the amount the amps branch line can carry. If an emergency happens and all electricity needs to be shut off, it can be done from the electrical panel with the main power breaker.

Signs you need an electrical panel upgrade

How do you know if you should start preparing for more power? You buy new electronics and plug them into the wall and they say “energy saver” everything should be good right? Not in all cases. This could cause a circuit overload. The lights may flicker, or you may have to turn off one appliance to use the other. This all depends on what kind of electronics you are using. More notable, older homes that were built did not anticipate the new use of electronics in our technology age. If a circuit is overloaded, it can be extremely dangerous, a breaker that fails to trip can cause a fire, melted wires and overheating.

Things to be cautious of :

  1. * Any rattling or racking sounds coming from the electrical panel. It is not normal to hear any kinds of sounds.
  2. * If you were to feel the panel and it feels warm.
  3. * Flickering lights or appliances that are turning on and off without full power.
  4. * There should be a GFI, near any kind of water source.
  5. * Corrosion or any discoloring to the circuit breakers

Known Panels to have issues :

*

Federal Pacific Electric Or FPE,

If your home was built between 1950 and 1980 these panels malfunction and have serious safety risks. The circuits fail to trip and cause an overload. Look for a Stab-Lok® Logo. *

Split-bus Electrical Panels

have a lifespan of 40 years, the circuit breakers may not trip. This is a huge safety risk. *

Zinsco Electrical Panel

 were produced until the 70s, known for panels that melt which expose wiring. These are a huge fire hazard. *

Fuse box 

with todays technology any modification can be unsafe to try to meet the power demands. *

Pushmatic Electrical Panel,

do not have a main breaker that can shut power off. *

Sylvania

 most commonly found in homes built in the 60s and 70s. These were zinco panels, (Sylvania bought out zinco) that run into the same fire hazards. *

Ite/ Bulldog Pushmatic

 are extremely old panels, they do not get the service they need in order to be efficient. They are extremely difficult to operate.

Ensuring a safe home and allowing your appliances to run at full capacity.

Now that we are aware of the problem causing type panels. It is important to make sure you have the correct power source to power all of your new appliances. If you notice flickering, power shortage, or sounds coming from the panel it is time to reach out to the professionals. An updated panel will help your electricity stay efficient and your home safe. Spending a ton of money on new appliances, wont benefit you if they cant get the power source they need.

Can I change my electrical panel? Do I need a permit to upgrade my panel? It is required to get a permit from the city in order to change your electrical panel. A permit is there to make sure everything was installed correctly, for the home owners safety. Ready for an upgrade? Reach out to American Electrician to have yours installed. We are here to make sure your home is safe and up to date. 719-520-9999

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