Your breaker panel might seem like a fixed and permanent part of the home, but it’s really just a middleman that can be replaced. The job of a fuse box or breaker panel is simply to make the distribution of power go safely and smoothly from the utility provider to your outlets.
Over time, breakers and panels can wear out due to rust, sparks, overheating. And as time passes, the likelihood increases that you’ll need an electrical panel upgrade to handle the increased energy demands of modern living.
If you’re installing a new appliance, troubleshooting electrical problems, or inspecting your home before selling it, talk to Spyrka Electric about upgrading the breaker panel.
Need More Circuits?
If you’re adding a major appliance or want to put something on a dedicated circuit, you need to have open space on the panel. When all the breaker slots have been filled, it’s time to add a sub panel or replace the breaker panel with a larger one.
Examples of items that will need their own circuit (and may require two breaker slots) include:
- Refrigerator, oven, range, or other large kitchen appliance
- Washer or dryer
- HVAC equipment
- Hot tub or swimming pool equipment
- Sump pump
- Any other appliance that trips the breaker if it’s on a shared circuit
- Whole-house surge protector
Many homes do have free slots to add circuits, so your local electrician can wire the new appliance. If all the slots have switches on them, though, you probably need a larger breaker panel.
Need More Power?
Every home has a maximum amount of power that can be used. The power company only sends so much electricity to your panel. For a long time, the standard was 60 amps of power. These days, homes are built with at least a 100-amp breaker panel and usually 150 or 200 amps.
Even very small homes should upgrade from 60 to 100 amp service. If you only use electricity (i.e., no gas heating or cooking), you probably want a 150-amp panel for a small home.
An electrician can perform a service upgrade, which includes replacing the breaker panel with a larger one and coordinating with PG&E or another local utility to increase the power supply.
Without enough power, you’ll get tripped breakers, flickering lights, and potential overheating and fire hazards when you try to add new appliances or run all your devices simultaneously.
Breaker Panel Replacement to Solve Electrical Problems
Don’t automatically blame the appliance when there’s an electrical problem. It could be the wall outlet, the wiring in the wall, or the panel itself.
Zinsco and Federal Pacific Electric are two old breaker panel manufacturers that are no longer in business. Zinsco made an inferior product, while FPE was found guilty of fraud. If your home was built between 1950 and 1990, check to see if you have either of those brands and replace it immediately if so. Sooner or later, you could have a house fire.
Ask an electrician to inspect your breaker panel and wiring if you notice problems such as:
- Flickering or dim lights
- Breakers trip for no reason
- Dead wall outlet
- Melting or burn marks
- Burnt smell from electrical wiring
- The breaker panel feels hot
Install a New Breaker Panel in Sonoma or Marin County
Like all electrical repairs and upgrades, a breaker panel replacement by a licensed electrician. Contact us to request service for adding circuits, replacing breakers, or installing a new breaker panel in Sebastopol or the surrounding area.