Your electric panel is one of the most important items in your home. Everything in your house that requires even the smallest bit of electricity draws power from your electrical panel. With that being said, you obviously want to keep your electrical panel in good condition. Unfortunately, most people don’t know much about their electrical panels. People often ask themselves, “How new should my electrical panel be? When will it need an upgrade? What are the signs that I have a bad electrical panel”?
Faulty electrical panels are surprisingly common, especially in older homes. If your home was built before 1980, check the electrical panel. Most panels have a life span of 25 years, although it varies from brand to brand. If the panel was made before 1980, you need to replace it ASAP. Panels this old can damage any items connected to them and start electrical fires.
If your panel was made anytime after 1980 and is still causing you problems, there is probably too much power being drawn from the panel. This can be a result of the excessive use of extension cords or adapters. If this is not the case, it might be that you are using too many appliances that draw excessive amounts of power. Signs that this may be happening include circuit breakers frequently tripping and lights dimming whenever another appliance is activated.
The replacement of electrical panels isn’t recommended as a DIY project. Unless you really know what you are doing, there is a high chance of you shocking, and even potentially killing, yourself, and if the job is done incorrectly, you might end up making the problem worse. In some cases, electrical fires occur during DIY electrical work. The best course of action is to hire a professional electrician to do the job for you.
Though professional electricians are often more expensive than buying the electrical supplies needed to replace the panel and attempting to do the job yourself, it is well worth it to eliminate the risk of damage to both you and your property. Lots of electricians even have connections to electrical wholesale shops, so they save money on supplies that will reduce the overall cost of the job.
Now that you know when and how you should update your electrical panel, you should be able to avoid a large number of problems by modernizing your home’s electrical system. Just remember, when dealing with electricity, the most important thing is that you always stay safe.