In simple terms, the electrical panel is the electricity warehouse of your Minneapolis home. It sends the required amount of electric current to the different parts of your house and electrical appliances.
However, if the electricity requirement exceeds a certain limit, the panel temporarily shuts down to protect your house from serious electrical hazards like fire. With use, this protective guard becomes exhausted and risks malfunctioning.
This calls for a replacement for safety issues. Here’s how to know more about electrical panels and when to replace them.
Advantages of Replacing Your Electrical Panel
Replacing the electrical panel is costly but necessary and worth the cost. Not only are they imperative to guarantee the safety of your home but also have many other advantages that we have briefly discussed below.
Increase Your Home’s Safety
Researchers found that electrical fire accidents take place approximately 51,000 per year claiming an average of 500 innocent lives. The main culprit in these tragic deaths is the most common malfunctioning electrical panel. This highlights the importance of upgrading to a functioning panel because no cost is too high when the safety of your family is at stake.
Add Extra Circuits During Upgrade
Older panels are unlikely to have adequate space for extra dedicated circuits so that you could power your appliances and circuits easily. On the other hand, newer ones have enough circuits to protect your home and supply electricity needs simultaneously.
It increases your home value
A house that is regularly upgraded increases its market value in Minneapolis real estate. An electrical panel’s lifespan is roughly 20-30 years. So if you decide to sell your house, an upgraded electrical panel with high amperage will boost your rates and serve as a key selling point.
It protects your electrical system
Your old panel runs an additional risk of ruining your appliances and electronics despite not being faulty. This happens when the energy consumption or new power requirements exceeds the panel’s capacity. This will lead to constant circuit breaker trips risking your devices. To prevent this, there’s no alternative to a new electrical panel that will supply consistent power.
Signs That Your Electrical Circuit Panel Needs Replacement
Now that we have discussed why you should consider replacing your panel, the question arises, When do you replace it? There are some clear signs to indicate it which we discuss below in detail.
It’s Original to Your Home
You need to know the age of your electrical panel. Given that most panels last about 20-30 years, your panel may be reaching the end of its working life. Hire professional electricians in Minneapolis to evaluate your home electrical system.
You Constantly Flip Breakers
When the power supply to a certain area or appliance exceeds the limit, the electrical panel trips. To get the power flow back up running, you will need to flip the affected breaker. This is normal but if it happens frequently, an inspection is due.
Your Panel Doesn’t Use Breakers
Contrary to the previous issue, some houses may not have any circuit breakers at all. This is more common in houses built before 1960 when fuse panels directed electricity. Fuse panels are now considered a fire hazard so if you have to switch out a fuse instead of flipping a breaker, then replacement is a must.
Not Enough Outlets
Inadequate power outlets in your home are a sign of an electrical panel not equipped to handle high electricity flow. Your electrician can install additional outlets if your panel has space for it, otherwise, start looking for a new one.
Smells Like Something Is Burning
A burning smell should always be dealt with promptly, especially if it is from your electrical panel. A failing circuit breaker can quickly break out in a serious fire. A burning plastic smell usually indicates a burning plastic jacket whereas a burning wood smell indicates damage within your walls.
Warm or Hot Electrical Panel
An overheated circuit breaker will trip, however, if that is not the case with your breaker, it could be a serious malfunction. Quickly call an electrician to check whether your panel needs to be upgraded.
Lights Flicker or Dim When Turning an Appliance On
This is a sign of excess power being drawn from a single circuit. Even if you can add extra circuits, a total replacement is the better option. A professional electrician would be the best choice for you.
You’re Getting Ready for a Remodel
This is a given since your circuit breaker is most likely to be outdated. By replacing the junction boxes and old wiring you will be ensuring a safer electrical system that is not only efficient for your family but will also increase your resale value when you pass the house to new residents.
You’re Adding Additional High-Drawing Appliances
An older house or one with a modest appliance list may not be compatible with multiple devices and electronics that run in a modern home. If you are confused, have an electrician check whether your panel amps are compatible with your electricity requirements.
You Are Frequently Experiencing Power Surges
When an excessive amount of current flows or is disrupted, this is called a power surge. This causes a considerable power loss for a short period and ultimately damages your devices. You also risk losing all the data on your computer or other devices. To avoid this, upgrade to a 120-200 amps electrical panel.
You Have Been Experiencing Partial Power Outages
During natural disasters like storms or other factors that overstretch the power grid, it can shut down and cut off your supply. Such power outages are irreversible. An old panel is more prone to this problem, and you will lose power in a certain part of your house. Have an electrician evaluate these external factors and check if your panel is the culprit.
Your Homeowners Insurance Is Too Expensive
Old houses with a fuse box often have higher coverage, so make inquiries with your insurance company to see if you can lower your premium with a panel replacement. Check for any refunds or discounts with your local electrical company.
Your Electricity Bills Are Continuously Rising
A poor performance panel contributes to a rising electrical bill. If your power usage doesn’t align with the utility bills for months, an upgrade of your electrical panel may be due.
The Cost of The Panel
The estimated cost can be between $2,500 and $4,500 including materials and labor charges. Factors like the electrician charges in Minneapolis, amperage, degree of difficulty, whether the panel needs to be relocated or any unforeseen problems during replacement may change the final cost. The price of the main panel and a sub-panel also differs.
Most of your expenses will be spent on the panel. A limited amount of breaker spaces (a standard in the past) may also be the cause to upgrade your panel.
An upgrade of your electrical panel at the right time will not only improve your home and business value and appearance but also save your life from a potential electrical hazard. You will be surprised with the newfound efficiency, and wish you had done it sooner.
However, make sure to select the right company and trustworthy technicians in Minneapolis to do the job right. After the upgrade watch how brightly your home lights up, and you will be happy with the results.