Think about everything that runs on electricity in your home. That’s a lot of power flowing, and your electrical panel makes sure it’s safe. Do some of your circuit breakers look like Wile E. Coyote after a dynamite explosion? Is the panel stuffed with different sizes of breaker switches with knots of wiring you can’t begin to untangle? Consider electrical panel replacement to make sure you have safe wiring and the capacity for the amount of power your home needs.
We most often perform electrical panel replacement for older homes, but even a newer system might need to be replaced due to water damage, rust, faulty wiring, or increased electrical loads.
Damaged Electrical Panel Replacement
Rust, corrosion, and overheating can lead to serious hazards. When electrical repairs are not enough, you’ll need an electrical panel replacement before you can touch the panel, let alone make changes to the wiring.
Water damage that causes rust on an electrical panel can mean that somebody might get electrocuted. Even if there’s no water present, the corrosion still creates a risk of sparks and fire.
After wiring and circuit breakers have overheated, they might look melted or scorched. Be thankful nothing terrible has happened yet, because you probably have arcing—stray electrical discharge—that could start a fire inside your walls. An electrical panel replacement and possibly some new wiring will be necessary.
Is Your Electrical Panel Full?
A full panel has all its breakers being used. This creates a problem when you want to add wiring for a large appliance that needs a dedicated circuit or when remodeling or building a home addition.
Electrical panel replacement with a larger unit can open up more than enough slots so you don’t have to run multiple wires on a breaker or plug too many appliances into one circuit.
Note: You can use tandem breakers to power two circuits in one slot, but only when approved and only when using the correct tandem breaker. Note that there’s still a limit to how much power the two circuits can draw.
Subpanel or Larger Main Panel?
A subpanel extends your electrical system and provides more breakers. This is suitable for projects like wiring for swimming pool lights or sending power to a garage workshop.
Keep in mind that a subpanel does not provide more power. It’s an alternative to add breakers in a new location without needing an electrical panel replacement.
A property with 60-amp or 100-amp service probably does not have much power available from the utility. Assuming you’ll be running your new appliances at the same time as your existing HVAC and other big power draws, you’ll need a larger electrical panel replacement and service upgrade to 150 or 200 amps.
Electrical Panel Replacement for Code Compliance
The National Electrical Code requires that you have enough circuits, the right type of circuits, and safe wiring. Electrical panel replacement takes care of several kinds of code violation corrections:
- Missing AFCI breakers
- Missing GFCI protection
- Improper double-tapped breakers
- Ungrounded wiring
- Too few circuits or outlets
- Crowded electrical panel
- Electrical panel inaccessible
- And more
For your safety—as well as to avoid the risks and annoyances of an overworked electrical panel such as flickering lights and hot outlets—talk to your local electricians in Santa Rosa about an electrical panel replacement.