You may not think about it very often, but one of the most important parts of the electrical system inside your house is the electrical panel. While this panel is usually tucked away in the basement or garage, out of sight and out of mind, it acts as the very heart of your electrical network. Inside the panel are critical circuit breakers, as well as a primary switch to control the amount of power that gets directed to every room in the rest of your property.
Without these dedicated breakers, you would be in major trouble every time even the smallest spike occurred in the electrical current flowing throughout the property. For example, if a large appliance like an AC or refrigerator was plugged in, this simple action could cause a sudden surge that overloads the amount of current allotted to the system and presents the risk of electrocution or fire. The breakers in your panel serve to instantly cut off this current to prevent a tragic incident from occurring.
All panels come with a certain amount of electrical load that they are able to handle. In the past, even as little as 10 years ago, the average home in the U.S. could get by on around 60 amps. Currently, however, the level of power required by our modern devices is closer to 100 amps, and the more appliances you have, the more likely you will need around 200 amps or even higher. If your panel is not upgraded, it will simply not be able to handle this increased load and will keep causing the circuit to break.
You should consider having your panel upgraded if:
- Several people are using multiple devices within your household
- You have noticed that the circuit keeps tripping
- It is impossible to use more than one or two large appliances at a time
- You have had to rely on lots of extension cords and power strips
- You are purchasing a new large appliance, such as an oven or laundry machine
- There are sounds of crackling, popping, or buzzing coming from the panel
- Your lights dim if you turn on other kinds of appliances
The best way to figure out if you need a panel upgrade is by speaking to a knowledgeable electrician. Our devoted team members at Streamline Electric, Inc. can perform your upgrade with speed and effectiveness.