When to Call an Electrician for an Electrical Panel Upgrade?

By: John Garcia | Date Posted: August 3, 2022

An electrical panel is the power distribution center for your home’s electrical circuits. It houses circuit breakers, protecting your home from potential electrical fires. Over time, electrical panels can become outdated and may no longer be able to handle the electrical load of your home. If you are planning any major electrical renovations or have noticed that your electrical panel is frequently tripping circuits, it may be time to call an electrician for a panel upgrade.

Here are a few signs that it’s time to call an electrician for an electrical panel upgrade:

Your Electrical Panel Is More Than 20 Years Old

Electrical panels are designed to last for 20 to 30 years. If your electrical panel is over 20 years old, it may be time for an upgrade. After operating for this long, electrical panels can become outdated and unsafe. Any wear and tear can also lead to electrical problems in your home, such as shorts and fires. Older electrical panels also have outdated wiring, which can’t handle today’s electrical needs.

If you have an older home, it’s crucial to have your electrical panel checked by a professional. Electricians specializing in electrical panel upgrades in Orlando, FL note that today’s homes have more power-hungry appliances than ever before. To keep your home safe and your appliances running, you need a higher-capacity electrical panel that can handle the demand.

You Frequently Experience Brownouts or Power Surges

One of the common signs of an electrical panel that needs upgrading is if you frequently experience brownouts or power surges. Brownouts happened when the voltage supplied to your home drops below the normal level, while power surges occur when there’s a sudden spike in voltage. If these happen often, it’s a sign that your electrical panel can’t keep up with the demands placed on it, and an upgrade is needed.

Another sign that your electrical panel may need to be upgraded is if you find that you constantly have to reset circuit breakers. If this is happening, it means that the circuit breaker isn’t doing its job properly, which can be a fire hazard. The last thing you want is for your home to go up in flames. New electrical panels come with whole-house surge protectors (optional) that can help prevent power surges from damaging your electronics.

You’ve Started Seeing Melted Wires and Scorch Marks

If you’ve started seeing melted insulation, burns on wires, or scorch marks inside your electrical panel and on the breaker, it’s time to have it inspected and replaced. This is usually a sign that your electrical panel is overloaded and needs to be upgraded. Overloaded electrical panels can cause fires, so it’s important to get them fixed as soon as possible.

The shielding on the wiring can be destroyed by heat from faulty breakers or old electrical wiring. Metal and plastic parts within the breaker box can also get scorched when exposed wires touch it. These conditions can quickly lead to a fire if not corrected. If you see any of these signs, call an electrician right away to have your electrical panel upgraded.

You hear Unusual Sounds from the Electrical Panel

Most electrical panels will produce a faint humming noise when they’re in use. If you start hearing strange noises such as bagging, popping, or crackling sounds coming from your electrical panel, it’s a good idea to call an electrician. These noises could be caused by loose connections or damaged wiring, which could signify that your electrical panel needs to be replaced.

These sounds can indicate arcing within the electrical panel, meaning that the electrical current is jumping from one point to another instead of flowing smoothly. Arcing can cause serious damage to your electrical panel and could lead to a fire. Don’t ignore that frequent unusual sound coming from your electrical panel – it could be a sign that it’s time for an upgrade.

You’re Experiencing Small Electrical Shocks When You Touch Appliances

Another sign that your electrical panel needs an upgrade is when you start experiencing small shocks when you touch some appliances in your home. This is usually a sign of voltage leaking from your electrical panel. For instance, if you get shocked when you touch your washing machine, shower, or other metallic appliance, you’re exposing yourself to a serious electrical hazard.

While getting a small shock sometimes may not seem like a big deal, it can be quite dangerous. Voltage leaks can suddenly increase in intensity, leading to more serious electrical shocks or even fires. So, if you start experiencing small shocks around your home, it’s important to call an electrician immediately to inspect your electrical panel.

Your Electrical Panel Is Not Grounded

One of your electrical panel’s most important safety features is that it is grounded. If your electrical panel is not grounded, it can pose a serious safety hazard. Grounding your electrical panel protects your home from lightning strikes and other electrical surges. If you are unsure whether your electrical panel is grounded, it is best to call an electrician to check it for you.

Electrical panels are most likely not grounded if older than 20 years old. In the past, homes were not required to have grounded electrical panels. However, today, most homes are required to have them. A qualified electrician will inspect your electrical panel to see if it’s compliant with the latest safety code requirements.

You Don’t Have Enough Capacity for New Electrical Devices

You Don't Have Enough Capacity for New Electrical Devices

If you constantly have to unplug one appliance to plug in another, your electrical panel might be too small for your needs. This is especially true if you live in an older home. Today’s average house has twice as many electrical appliances as a home built in 1950. If you run out of outlets or your circuit breaker trips frequently, you need a larger electrical panel.

You also need more capacity if you’re planning on adding new electrical devices. For example, if you’re considering installing a new air conditioner or a hot tub, you’ll need to ensure your electrical panel can handle the additional load. An electrician can help you determine whether you need a new panel or simply an additional circuit.

Discuss Your Options With an Electrician

If you’re experiencing any of these issues, it’s time to call an electrician and discuss your options for an electrical panel upgrade. With today’s technology, electrical panels are more efficient and reliable than ever before, so don’t wait to make the switch.

Thank you for reading!


John is the founder and chief editor of Homienjoy. With over 15 years of experience in the home improvement industry, John is passionate about helping homeowners confidently tackle their projects. Holding a civil engineering degree and working as a contractor, project manager, and consultant, John brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Homienjoy community.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments