“Do I need a new electrical panel?” This is a common question we get from homeowners every day. The answer, like most things, is “it depends”. Every home’s electrical system operates differently. However, here are the seven most common reasons we see as to why your panel would need to be replaced.
Age of Your Panel
Our professional recommendation is that an electrical panel should last 30 years. After 30 years, it most likely will need to be replaced soon. If your panel is 30+ years old and has had little maintenance done on it, there’s a great chance it’s time for a new panel.
You Still Have a Fuse Box
We come across quite a few fuse boxes in Durham, Raleigh and Cary. If your home’s electrical system is still controlled by a fuse box, it’s time for an upgrade.
Your Service is Less Than 200 Amps
If your home is powered by less than 200 amps, there is a great chance that you’ll need to upgrade your service and panel soon. The amount of electricity that a home needs today is significantly higher than it used to be. A standard home in 2023 is powered with a 200 amp service. There are many new homes built today are powered by a 400 amp service. So if you have less than 200 amps, it’s time to consider an upgrade.
Your Panel is Full
Depending on what size electrical panel was installed in your home, it could be full. This means that you can not add anything to it in the future. A new panel that AstroWatt Electric would install would have 40 spaces. However, many older panels could only have 16, 24 or 30 spaces.
Future Electric Needs
If you are thinking about building an addition or finishing your 3rd floor or basement, you might need to upgrade your panel. You also might need to upgrade your panel if you are considering an Electric Vehicle charger, hot tub or pool. Although we do not offer any solar work, we see quite a few solar companies requiring an upgraded electrical panel.
Burn Smells / Marks
We get quite a few calls from homeowners who are concerned about a burning smell coming from their panel. They also might see burn marks. Either one of these could mean your panel needs to be replaced due to aging or improper electrical work.
Federal Pacific or Zinsco Panel
If your home has a Federal Pacific or a Zinsco brand panel in it, it should be replaced immediately. These two types of panels have been banned by the National Electrical Code. Most homeowner’s insurance companies will also decline any claim if any issues were caused by these two types of panels.
Do you believe your home might need a new electrical panel? Give us a call today at 984-600-0100 and we can schedule a time for a Service Technician to come out and take a look at your panel.