Your electrical system is for all intents and purposes the circulatory system of your home, which is why it’s a good idea to make sure everything is flowing smoothly. The best way to do so is to keep your system up to date, especially if you have an older home. But how do you know when you should update your system? Here are a few answers.
If you think your home is ready, please do not attempt to update it yourself. Call an experienced electrician in Denver, CO, to make sure the work is done correctly.
Taken from the article:
“Your panel determines how much power is available for the circuits to distribute to all the appliances, lights and outlets in your home.
● Upgrade your panel (bringing more power from the utility to your home); or
● Replace the existing meter and circuit breaker box to allow it to handle more power; or
● Replace an electrical panel or circuit breakers that are obsolete, damaged or dangerous.
This doesn’t affect the wiring inside your home; it just gives your system the ability to have more power to distribute.
The second part is to add additional circuits to distribute the power to your rooms and appliances. Updates also often include adding new electrical outlets and replacing the old receptacles.
2. Why should electrical panels in older homes be updated?
The most important reason to update your home’s electrical system is safety. When many older homes were built, they were designed with only 30, 50 or 60 amps for the entire home, using just a few circuits.
A circuit consists of all the outlets linked on one wire operated by a single fuse or circuit breaker. Circuit breakers protect your home by tripping and turning off when the wire running from your electrical panel to your appliances or devices becomes overloaded and in danger of becoming hot and catching fire.
Unfortunately, in many older electrical systems, the circuit breakers don’t trip, even when the circuit is overloaded. Typically, a breaker will not trip due to a loose connection somewhere within the circuit.
Sometimes a homeowner gets tired of of the circuit breaker tripping, and unknowingly adds to the danger by replacing it with a larger circuit breaker than the wire is rated to carry.
To protect people from an overload, or the danger of electrocution and shock, safety devices such as ground fault circuit interrupters are now installed.
3. How do you know if it’s time to update your electrical panel?
Here are some symptoms that indicate your system is in need of an upgrade:
● Circuit breakers trip frequently.
● Your lights dim when you turn on other appliances.
● You have to use extension cords or adapters to create additional electric outlets for your home.
Circuit breaker panels have a life span of 25-40 years. If yours is older than that; if it’s in poor condition; or if it’s old and has only a few circuits, and your breakers DO NOT trip … those can be danger signs as well.
Also: If you are adding high power-consumption appliances such as an air conditioner or a spa, it’s likely that your system will need an upgrade to accommodate the additional demand.”