At Randy’s Electric, our Minneapolis electricians upgrade service panels on a regular basis. If you have an older home (one that is 30 years or older), then you should consider having your electrical panel replaced.
This is especially the case if your home is 50 years or older, because more than likely you have an electrical panel that was manufactured by Federal Pacific. This company outfitted most of the homes built in the 1950s and 1960s, and these panels are notorious for not only failing, but also causing fires as well.
Not only should you consider an upgrade to increase your safety, but also due to the modern electronics you have in your home. Advanced appliances such as air conditioners can demand more power than all the appliances and electronics did in the typical home 30 years ago. Your countertop appliances alone can draw a great deal of power. Many older homes are unable to handle that amount of power – merely adding more receptacles will not increase the available power.
If you notice any of the following warning signs, you should call Randy’s Electric to have your electrical panel replaced.
Upgrading your service panel will increase the capacity of your home’s electrical panel. Advanced models can provide up to 400 amps of power, allowing you to add more circuits if necessary. Not only will an upgrade increase the reliability of your electrical system, it will provide peace of mind because it will be much safer.
The present panel is too small – There is a very good chance that your home still has its original 100-amp service. As previously mentioned, today’s advanced appliances and electronics put extreme demands on a home’s electrical system, and a 100-amp system is, in many cases, insufficient. You may also want to add a room or remodel your kitchen and there is not enough room to add circuits to your present panel.
Your current panel is unsafe – If your circuit breakers are tripping on a regular basis, or you notice things like your lights dimming when you turn on your hair dryer, then your available power is being maxed out. If you have an older home and your panel uses fuses, then you should have them replaced by circuit breakers because fuses are a fire hazard. In fact, many insurance companies will refuse to insure homes that have fuses.