Residential Electrical Panel Upgrades in Lancaster County, PA
Upgrading Electrical Panels for Homeowners
You may not think about or notice your home’s electrical panels very often, but they perform an important job, regulating all the electricity in your house. Mr. Electric of Lancaster County specializes in electrical panel upgrades for homeowners in Lancaster, PA. If too much electricity is demanded by a circuit, the circuit breaker will trip in the electrical panel and stop the electricity from overloading the wiring in your home. An electrical overload can cause a fire, so it’s crucial that your electrical panel does its job to break the circuit and keep your family and home protected. As your home gets older, your electrical panel can have a difficult time keeping up with increased electrical demands. All your gadgets and appliances, such as televisions, air conditioners, computers, and more, demand a lot of electricity, and your electrical panel may no longer be sufficient if your home is more than ten years old. Get in touch with our licensed and insured electricians today to request a quote.
How Electrical Panels Work
Knowing how your home’s electrical panel works can show you how important it is to upgrade electrical panels for your home in Lancaster, Elizabethtown, or Lebanon, PA. Your home connects to the main power line of the electric company through a power meter located outside of your house. From there, the line goes into your electrical panel, which is typically located inside a basement, garage, closet, or utility room. You can recognize your electrical panel because they’re almost always painted grey and contain rows of switches. Circuit breakers distribute the main power line into smaller branch lines. Electrical panels have labels that map out the locations of your home’s appliances and outlets using numbers. Those numbers represent how many amps each branch line is able to handle before the breaker will get tripped. You are able to turn off the power t your whole house through your main power breaker.
Signs Your Home Requires Electrical Panel Upgrades
Knowing the signs that your home needs electrical panel upgrades can save you money and hassle down the line. Overloaded circuits are a common problem, and you might notice flickering lights or have to turn off one appliance before being able to use another one plugged into the same circuit. A defective or malfunctioning electrical panel will often have a breaker that trips or fails to trip, leaving your loved ones vulnerable to being shocked. Breakers that do not trip can also lead to smoke, melted wiring, or fires. Be sure you pay careful attention to the potential signs that you need an electrical panel repair or upgrade, especially if your electrical panel is at least 25 years old. Be sure to schedule service if you plan on making a significant improvement to your home. Be aware of the following signs that you need to upgrade your electrical panel:
- Crackling noises coming from the electrical panel
- Rust or corrosion on circuit breakers
- Appliances running at less than full power
- Outlets located near water sources not equipped with GFCIs
- The constant need to use extension cords
- Your home has 60-amp electrical service
- Your home has 100-amp electrical service but cannot operate some appliances
- You live in an older home with a split-bus panel or fuse block panel and no main breaker
Update These Bad Electrical Panels Immediately
Not all electrical panels do their job of keeping your home, gadgets, and family safe. We recommend scheduling an electrical panel inspection if your home is at least 25 years old because some panels from before that time have known safety issues due to poor design. If your home’s electrical panel was installed after 1990, it’s likely well-designed and safe. Be sure to contact our team if your home has any of the following defective electrical panels:
- Zinsco electrical panels – Taken off the market by the mid-1970s, these defective electrical panels should be replaced immediately because power can continue to flow through them even if you switch off the breakers.
- Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) electrical panels – Installed between 1950 and 1980, these electrical panels have safety defects that can cause electric shocks or fires.
- Pushmatic electrical panels – These outdated electrical panels have weak breaker switches that become more difficult to reset over time. Pushmatic electrical panels also do not have a main breaker switch.
- Fuse boxes – As the oldest type of electrical panel, fuse boxes can only handle a fraction of the amperage that modern homes and devices require. You cannot buy fuses for older fuse boxes since they pose significant electrocution and fire risks.
The Cost of Electrical Panel Upgrades
Now that you realize the importance of upgrading your electrical panels, you may be wondering about your electrical panel upgrade cost. We get plenty of questions about the cost to upgrade electrical panels, and each job is priced on a case-by-case basis. For example, the cost to upgrade the electrical panel to 200 amps will be different than replacing your panel with a different amp amount. We factor the scope of the project into the price because replacing an old fuse box with a new electrical panel costs more than installing a small secondary panel for an electrical generator. Your site conditions also play a role in your cost, with the price being higher if you need work on your existing wiring or conduits.
Schedule Electrical Panel Upgrades Today
Mr. Electric of Lancaster County is the team to turn to when it’s time to upgrade your home’s electrical panels. The best way to keep your family and property safe is to be proactive. Contact us today to schedule service or request a quote.