Pop quiz: where is your home’s electrical panel and what does it do? If you only have an answer to half of that, don’t feel bad. The electrical panel or board, also sometimes called a fuse box, a breaker box, a circuit breaker panel, or other names, controls the flow of electricity to various regions of your home. It is usually tucked into a basement, attic, or garage – somewhere that it is out of the way but still accessible. In general, the work that the circuit breaker box does is so important – protecting you electrical system and home from catastrophic failure – that it is important to periodically check to make sure it’s running correctly, and eventually to consider replacing or upgrading it.
What Does The Panel Do?
Before you can fully understand the value of updating and replacing your panel, you have to actually understand what it does. This panel is the gatekeeper between the grid, where your electricity comes from, and the circuits that make up your electrical system. It divides up the power and routes it where it needs to go so that it flows to the right outlets. It also acts as a breaker, flipping off sections before they overload and become a hazard.
Advantages Of Updating
The most likely reason that you really need to replace your panel is that it currently has a lot more demand than when it was installed. If you’ve added additional lighting or electrical appliances during a recent remodel or even slowly over the years, you’re using more power than ever before and all of it is passing through your panel. Even if you haven’t done any major renovations, you may be using an outdated panel if your home is older. Older panels used 100-amp panels, but modern electronics and fixtures need 200- to 300-amp panels to accommodate modern energy consumption. Finally, the cost of this particular update will pay for itself over time. Especially if you are interested in selling anytime soon, having an updated and up-to-code panel is a must.
Hazards Of Not Updating
Just as there are benefits of updating your panel, there are also hazards of not updating. Sure having a better and more efficient panel is great (as in wonderful), but the risk of having an old, overloaded panel is also great (as in big). An old, overloaded panel could fail to stop circuits that get overloaded and lead to electrical fires. Generally, panels last 20-30 years, but that can be shortened due to humidity, dust, debris, and insect damage. Just because the panel still lets electricity through to your outlets, does not mean that it is operating safely. As mentioned above, there is a cost to this update, but it is worth it for the peace of mind and safety.
CONTACT ALBAUGH & SONS
Since 2003, Albaugh & Sons, LLC has been dedicated to meeting the fencing, decking, and home remodeling needs of homeowners throughout the greater Frederick area. All of our team members are experienced, well-trained, and committed to exceeding the expectations of every customer.