Electrical Panel Upgrade: 20 Signs You NEED One

Large electrical panel

Are you a homeowner who’s concerned about the safety and functionality of your home’s electrical systems? Do you want to ensure you know more about the problem before making any drastic decisions?

In this blog post, you can discover 20 signs that could point to your electrical panel needing an upgrade. Once you finish this post, you’ll know whether or not you need to call an electrician.

Check out our home electrical systems guide to discover more about your home.

What Do Electrical Panels Do?

An electrical panel, also known as a breaker box or fuse box, is a metal box that contains circuit breakers that control each branch of your home’s electrical system. The box consists of circuit breaker switches, fuses, and other switches that control the flow of electricity throughout your house. It takes the electricity coming from the electric company and safely sends it through your home’s circuits. It is typically located in the basement, garage, or utility closet of your home.

20 Signs You Need A Circuit Breaker Panel Upgrade

It’s critical to know when to contact a professional electrician so as to keep you and others safe.

1. You Need More Outlets

Too many plugs in an outlet

If you find yourself constantly searching for outlets to plug in your devices, it might be time to add some more outlets to your home. To do this, you may need to upgrade your electrical panel box.

2. Burning Or Melting Near Electrical Areas

If you smell burning or notice melting near any electrical areas in your home, it’s important to shut off the power and call an electrician right away. This is a serious hazard that should not be ignored.

3. You’re About To Remodel

If you are remodeling your home, upgrade from a smaller electrical panel to a larger one so it can handle the higher electrical load. Better to do it before any problems pop up.

4. Wiring For Future Technology

Upgrading a breaker box

You can always upgrade your breaker panel to keep it up to date with current electrical needs. This way, you won’t need to worry about many of the problems in this article.

5. You’re Installing New Large Appliances

Large appliances take a lot of energy to run, meaning your home’s electrical panel will need to be more powerful. Otherwise, you may end up with some of the problems on this list.

6. You Use A Lot Of Extension Cords And Power Strips

More outlets are necessary to ensure your breaker can handle all of the devices and appliances you have in your home.

7. Old Wiring

Burning box due to old wiring

Not only are electrical problems like blown breakers and flickering lights inconvenient, but they can also pose a serious safety risk if left unaddressed. In addition to causing shocks and fires due to overheating, faulty wiring can also damage electronics and other appliances in your home. This can result in expensive repair bills and even greater safety risks if not caught early enough. 

8. Faulty Wiring

Faulty wiring could be evidenced by flickering lights or sparks, as well as visible damage/cracks in your wiring or electrical outlets. 

9. Circuit Breakers Tripping A Lot

If your circuit breakers trip frequently, it’s a sign that your electrical panel is overloaded and can’t handle your home’s electrical needs.

10. Breakers Trip When You Plug An Item In

One of the most common signs of old or faulty wiring is that your breakers trip when you plug an item in. This could be an appliance or even just a hairdryer; if the breaker trips, this is a sign that your wiring is struggling to handle the load of what you are using.

11. Breakers Won’t Stay Set

Trying to reset a breaker

If your circuit breakers won’t reset, it’s a sign that they are faulty and need replacing.

12. Sparks Fly When You Plug Something In

If you experience electrical shocks or see sparks when you plug in an appliance, it’s a sign that there is a problem with your electrical panel.

13. You Hear Weird Sounds From The Electric Panels

If you hear buzzing or humming sounds coming from your electrical panel, it’s a sign that there is a loose connection or a faulty circuit breaker.

14. Your Home Is 20 Years Old Or Older

Most experts recommend switching out electrical wiring every 15-20 years for optimal safety and efficiency. If your home is 20 years old or older, then it might be worth checking into having the wiring switched out—especially if you are noticing any other signs of trouble.

15. Lights Dim Or Flicker Often

If your lights flicker or dim, especially when you turn on an appliance, it’s a sign that your electrical panel can’t handle the increased electricity flow.

16. The Panel Feels Warm A Lot

Another sign that there may be something wrong with your wiring is that the panel itself feels warm to the touch when it should not feel warm at all. This could indicate overloaded circuits and should definitely be checked out as soon as possible

17. The Panel Is Outdated

An old open electrical control panel box

If your electrical panel is outdated and doesn’t meet current electrical codes and standards, it’s time for an upgrade.

18. The Panel Is Aged Or Broken

The age of your panel is a key determinant of its condition. Older panels tend to have lower ratings for voltage and current than newer models. This makes them less compatible with current appliances and devices.

19. Improper Installation Or Wiring

This can allow moisture to get into the paneling or wiring and cause many different problems.

20. Breaker Box Is Damaged

If your breaker box is smoking or sparking, you see rust, or it smells burnt/acrid/smokey, seek help immediately.

*Find out other common home electrical problems so you can keep your home safe.

Benefits Of Panel Upgrading

Electrical Circuit Breaker panel in new home

Improved Electrical Safety

Outdated panels can lead to safety hazards such as electrical fires and electrocution. Upgrading to a new panel with updated safety features, such as circuit breakers and ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), can help prevent electrical hazards and keep your home and family safe.

Increased Power Capacity

Older panels may not be able to handle the power demands of modern appliances, leading to tripped breakers and overloaded circuits. Upgrading to a larger panel can provide more power to your home, allowing you to use multiple appliances simultaneously without overloading the system.

Lower Electricity Bills

An outdated panel may be inefficient and consume more energy than necessary. A new panel can help improve energy efficiency, reducing your energy consumption and lowering your monthly electricity bills.

Lower Maintenance Cost

An upgraded electrical panel requires less maintenance than an older one. This means that you’ll save money on repairs and upkeep over time. 

Higher Energy Efficiency

A modern electrical panel can also be more energy efficient than an older one. This means that you’ll save money on your energy bills each month. 

Improved Home Resale Value

Upgrading your electric panel can also improve the resale value of your home. A modern, efficient panel is a significant selling point for potential buyers, who will be attracted to the safety and efficiency benefits that come with a new panel.

Compatibility with Modern Appliances

Upgrading your electric panel can also ensure compatibility with modern appliances. Many modern appliances require a lot of power, and an outdated panel may not be able to provide the necessary power.

Potentially Lower Insurance Premiums

If you have an upgraded electrical panel in your home, you may be eligible for lower insurance premiums. This is because upgraded electrical panels are less likely to cause damage in the event of a fire or other disaster. 

What Is An Electric Panel Upgrade?

An electrical panel upgrade involves replacing your old electrical panel with a new one that can handle your home’s electrical needs. Your electrical panel is responsible for distributing electricity throughout your home, and an outdated or overloaded panel can be dangerous and inefficient.

Should I Really Get A Panel Upgrade?

If you are living in an older home or one with outdated wiring, then it may be beneficial for you to get a panel upgrade for safety reasons. An updated electrical system can also help lower your energy bills by allowing your appliances to run more efficiently.

But if your current system is working and there aren’t any potential safety risks, it may not be worth spending money on a new system.

Electric Panel FAQs

How often should I upgrade my electrical panel?

You should upgrade your electrical panel if it’s outdated, doesn’t meet current electrical codes and standards, or if you’re planning to add more appliances to your home.

How can I tell if my electrical panel is outdated?

If your electrical panel is more than 20 years old, it’s likely outdated and needs an upgrade.

Can I upgrade my electrical panel myself?

No, it’s not recommended to upgrade your electrical panel yourself. It’s important to hire a licensed electrician to ensure that the work is done safely and efficiently.

How long does it take to upgrade an electrical panel?

The time required to upgrade an electrical panel depends on the size of the panel and the complexity of the installation. It can take a few hours to a few days.

How much does it cost to upgrade an electrical panel?

$1,800 to $8,000, depending on how far your main panel is, how much rewiring we need to do, how much work needs to be done underground or around your home, and how much power is needed.

Upgrade Your Panel With Blue Sky Electric

With over 20 warning signs that you could have a faulty or outdated panel, it’s best to call a licensed electrician in order to understand what is going on with your system. They can tell you if you need to repair, replace, or upgrade it.

Blue Sky Electric specialists are trained professionals who can help identify and solve whatever issues you may be having with ease. We offer unbeatable customer service, professional technicians, and trusted work.

Fill out our contact form today or give us a call – our knowledgeable staff will be happy to provide answers to any questions regarding electrical panel work.