Q: Do I need to upgrade my panel and what are the benefits?
A: Upgrading your electrical panel can be made for both functional and financial reasons. Modern homes today use a variety of devices, including high-definition televisions and computers, 240V for spas and hot tubs, sub-panels for the garage and the list goes on, these power needs go way beyond the design specifications of older homes and businesses. As technology continues to enter every facet of life, power requirements will continue to increase. Prospective homeowners may look at old panels as a sign of an obsolete electrical system in disrepair, so upgrading a panel can make a big difference during the sale of a property.
Some panel upgrades need to be made immediately due to safety hazards, signs of failure or panels that were discontinued or recalled due to failures and/or breakers not tripping when the circuit is overloaded. When a Federal Pacific panel (Hazards) or other outdated panel is still in service a panel upgrade or replacement is usually recommended or at the very least the customer should be made aware of the situation. Also, If you have flickering lights, buzzing, crackling sounds or blown fuses, these indicators may also require a panel replacement of upgrade and in certain scenarios, heat can build up within walls and cause a fire. Any irregular electrical behavior should be looked at by an electrician as soon as possible. While repair may be adequate, an upgrade should be considered in order to improve the overall quality of the electrical system.