Panel Upgrades in Charlotte, NC
Modern Charlotte area homes typically include many more electrical devices than in the past. In just the last few years, the number of appliances in kitchens grew considerably as homeowners started using devices like wine coolers, air fryers, and sophisticated coffee bars. Of course, homes now include numerous computers and entertainment systems that all require their own electrical circuits to function as designed. That means most older homes need their electrical systems updated, and modernization starts with the service panel.
What is a Service Panel?
The electricity feed to a home normally includes three large wires. Those wires provide all the electricity but at a level that’s not usable by individual appliances or fixtures. The wires enter an Electrical panel that breaks up the current and feeds it to specific parts of the home. Lights, for example, generally use 15 amp circuits. Outlets may use 15 or 20 amp circuits, and appliances normally use 30 to 50 amp circuits. Each type of appliance or fixture is designed to operate with a specific level of electrical power, and the panel’s many breakers regulate that power.
If the demand on a circuit is greater than it is designed to provide, the breaker trips, cutting off the power to that device or part of the home. There are numerous issues that cause breakers to trip, but the central idea is to protect the home from overloaded circuits and other electrical hazards.
How Can a Property Owner Tell if a Panel Needs to be Updated?
There are several clues that signal the need for an upgrade. Here are just a few.
- The panel shows signs of corrosion or physical damage. If the panel is rusty, water is likely entering it and corroding wiring and connection points. That’s never a good sign. Rather than risking electrical shocks or damage to the home’s electrical devices, contact an electrician and ask about Panel Upgrades. Our electrician will evaluate the panel to determine which steps should be taken to correct any issues, including water entering the panel.
- Breakers trip constantly. If circuit breakers are frequently tripping, there’s a problem somewhere in that circuit. In most cases, there are too many devices connected to the circuit. The electrician will evaluate the home’s electricity demands and suggest ways to better supply those needs. In many cases, that will include additional circuits to safely supply the needs of your home’s devices and fixtures.
- Too many subpanels are present. Older homes often have subpanels that were added at different times to increase the number of available circuits. That’s especially true in homes with old 60 amp service panels. However, even newer 100 amp panels may have subpanels added. If there are two or more subpanels in the home, a new service panel may be needed. Our electrician will explain the issues caused by having too many subpanels and recommend ways to resolve the problem.
- There are multiple power strips and extension cords in use. When extension cords and power strips are everywhere in the home, it means more outlets are needed. Even if a home meets the minimum electrical code requirements for outlets, that doesn’t mean more aren’t needed. Just look at the typical home entertainment system. There may be home theater components, music systems, and other devices connected to one or two outlets. That’s not safe for the equipment or the home’s electrical system.
- Older panels don’t meet today’s needs and requirements. Many older homes still have panels that don’t provide properly grounded wiring for the home. Again, that’s especially true in those old 60 amp panels. If your home’s outlets are designed for two-prong plugs, it’s time to update the Electrical Service, including the panel.
If your home is more than 20 years old, it’s a good idea to have one of our electricians evaluate the system to determine if it needs upgrading. Even owners of newer homes may benefit from an inspection of the home’s electrical service if there are no dedicated circuits for computers or entertainment systems.
Is Upgrading Worth the Expense?
If there are any signs of problems, the answer will always be yes. Remember that safety should always be the first consideration. Older service panels, especially those from Federal Pacific, Zinsco, ITE Pushmatic, and a few other brands, pose safety hazards and should always be replaced. In addition, modern appliances, computers, and entertainment devices are expensive to replace if damaged, and outdated wiring can certainly cause damage.
Get Started Today
Rather than putting off repairs or updates that will make your home safer, take the time now to contact our team for more information or to schedule an evaluation of your home’s electrical panel and wiring. A new, safe electrical panel will provide the peace of mind needed to sleep better at night. We’re a family-owned company that’s dedicated to helping clients resolve all their electrical needs. GB Electrical Services covers Mint Hill and then the entire Mecklenburg County area.