The electrical components in your home are controlled by a panel that consists of circuit breakers and fuses. This electrical panel separates all the electrical power into different circuits, and each is protected by a circuit breaker. These circuit breakers can be sensitive to various factors. When these factors start to affect the circuit breakers it might be time for an upgrade. Peterkin Electric outlines some of the tell-tale signs you need an electrical upgrade.
Faulty Electrical Wiring
One of the top causes of residential fires in the United States is faulty wiring. The chances it will happen greatly increase with the age of a home. The wiring in older homes may not meet code. It’s a good idea to hire a professional electrician to perform an inspection of the electrical system in your home to spot potential problems. Signs you may notice include dimming or flickering lights, a tingling sensation or slight shock when you touch appliances, a constant burning smell and discolored or sparking outlets.
200 Amp Services for New Appliances
This doesn’t mean a new toaster, it means larger appliance like an air conditioner, a hot tub, refrigerator or any other appliance that requires lots of energy. These appliances may be too much for your electrical panel to handle. Standard electrical panels provide 100, 150, 200 and 400 amps of power. Any electrical panel that has less, is illegal. The circuit breakers will trip every time you use one of the appliances if the amps don’t match up with your electrical needs. You will need to upgrade to get higher amperage. This should also be done when you remodel you home.
Converting Fuse Box to Circuit Breaker
Fuses and circuit breakers work to prevent circuit overload by breaking electrical currents that channel to connected devices. The difference is that fuses are used one time. When they detect a current running too high, the fuse will melt and cut the electrical flow. Circuit breakers on the other hand just need to be reset. Fuses do what they’re supposed to do, they’re just outdated. They worked great when homes didn’t require so much electrical power. Today, they can pose a fire hazard.
Permanent Extension Cord Use
If you have too many power strips or extension cords plugged in to the outlets in your home, you need to upgrade your electrical panel. You can minimize the fire hazard by allowing each circuit to run straight from the panel or you can have a new electrical outlet and circuit installed.
Future Electrical Planning
Technology is always changing, and it can be hard to predict the devices and appliances that will be used ten to fifteen years from now. Keep that in mind when you are upgrading or remodeling your home. Consider using quality wiring that has heavy-duty cables to allow the latest features in electrical devices to be used safely. Doing so will also increase the value of your home.