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When to Update Your Fuse Box or Breaker Panel Spyrka Electric Santa RosaWhen an electrical system is doing its job well, you barely even think about it. When problems start cropping up, it’s time to consider repairs and upgrades that will make life at home more convenient and hassle-free.

Common signs that your electrical service or breaker panel needs updates:

  • Circuit breakers often trip / fuses blow out
  • Breaker panel does not control areas of the home correctly
  • Lights flicker
  • Plugging in an appliance dims the lights
  • The electrical system was installed many years ago
  • Previous owner installed mismatched switches and parts
  • You have a fuse box and want to update to a more convenient, modern system

Benefits of a New or Upgraded Breaker Panel

Breaker panel upgrades provide two key benefits: handling more power and making maintenance easier.

Homes and businesses use a lot more power these days, even compared to just twenty years ago. Computers, DVRs, entertainment systems, iPad charging, humidifiers… it all adds up to much more electricity flowing through the electrical system.

Whereas an old electrical entry brought in up to about 60 amps to the fuse box or breaker panel, the new normal is 200 amps. Upgrade to a new breaker panel and your electrical system can handle today’s energy needs better.

If you have a fuse box, it may not be necessary to upgrade — but you probably need more power available. Also, flipping a switch in the breaker panel is much easier and greener than replacing a fuse every time one blows. When it’s time to sell your house, a recently upgraded breaker panel will also be more attractive to buyers.

DIY or Call a Professional?

You can find DIY instructions for installing a new breaker panel, but the task involves a lot of safety hazards and difficulties for the average layperson. Power keeps flowing through the electrical entry unless you ask the power company for a complete shutoff. The job requires a variety of special tools and more know-how than you can acquire by watching online videos.

Unless you have some sort of background in electrical engineering, you should generally not attempt a DIY breaker panel upgrade. Even if you know about wiring, it’s better to have the breaker panel serviced by a professional. Inspectors and insurance companies definitely prefer that you leave it to the pros. Why risk electrocution, fire, or damage to the wiring and appliances?

If you have an old electrical system and are interested in upgrading or installing a new breaker panel, call us today to schedule an appointment.