There are two main reasons to upgrade your electrical service: if it is unsafe, or if it is not big enough for your current electrical demand. An electrical service upgrade is very important to both your safety and your entire electrical system.
Having a system that is not large enough to handle your daily demand can lead to situations that are hazardous. A system that is too small results in overloaded circuits. This leads to tripped breaker panels, blown fuses and possible dangerous shocks if these overloaded electrical circuits are not properly managed.
What is your electrical service?
Your electrical service, commonly called your electrical panel or breaker panel, provides an entry point for electricity to enter your home. Once the electricity reaches your home from your local utility company, your breaker panel serves as the distribution system that controls, maintains and distributes the electrical current to the many circuits in your home.
In addition to its role in distributing the power throughout your home, your electrical service also serves as your first line of protection against the dangerously high levels of electricity that are being delivered to your home. Each circuit is protected by a circuit breaker, or fuse if you live in an older home. Whenever electrical current becomes too erratic, or reaches unsafe levels, your breakers are designed to flip to the off position, which will no longer allow current to flow to that circuit. This can help prevent overheating, melting, fire and possible shocks.
Signs that your electrical service is not up to par
The greatest sign that your home may need an electrical upgrade is frequently tripped circuit breaker panel issues. If you have recently made any changes to your home by adding a new appliance or adding electrical outlets, you should consult an electrician about also upgrading your electrical service. A full service upgrade that will increase the amount of electricity that your electrical panel can actually handle and bring into your home.
Signs that your electrical service is unsafe
If you have recently moved into an older home, then you will want to have your electrical panel inspected. Newer electrical panels are installed with many built-in safety features. Many older electrical panels, are not as safe as more modern and newer breaker panels. The most common type of outdated electrical service is the fuse box. Other known unsafe electrical panels include zinsco electrical breaker panels, pushmatic electric panels and electrical panels built by federal pacific electric company.
If you have an outdated fuse box or it is short circuiting, you will need a licensed electrician to check it out for you.
Does your home need an electrical service upgrade?
If you require an electrical service upgrade due to an undersized electrical service, or one that is fundamentally unsafe, it is important to remember that the safety of both your home, you family are in danger. An overloaded electrical system can be just as dangerous as one that has known issues. If you believe that your electrical service may be unsafe or underpowered, don’t hesitate to contact wiremasters electricians to come check it out.