There is no doubt that purchasing a new TV set, a computer or a refrigerator will make your life easier and more enjoyable. Moreover, modern devices incorporate energy-saving features and can reduce your electricity bill substantially. However, installing major appliances in your home also implies determining whether your electrical service can handle all these new devices. Without denying the fact that an electrical service upgrade can be expensive and messy, donâ€™t forget that this investment is necessary to ensure the safety, convenience and value of your home. Letâ€™s summarize the main situations when an electrical service upgrade is mandatory.
Your electrical service canâ€™t handle all appliances
First and foremost, you should figure out the specs of your current electrical service. In case it is only 60 Amps, then know that insurance companies no longer accept this standard, as it is considered insufficient for modern electronic devicesâ€™ demands. In addition, an electric system of 100 Amps is also unsuitable for the average homeownerâ€™s needs of today. In the event that you integrated various additions in your home over the years â€“ a sauna, fireplace, workshop or a new heater â€“ then the 100 Amps supply wonâ€™t be able to handle all your electrical needs.
You recently moved into an older home
In case youâ€™ve recently moved into an older home, then it is highly advisable to have your breaker panel inspected for sufficient supply and safety. While the new electric panels commonly integrate numerous safety features, a panel older than 25 years has most likely suffered wear and tear or has been exposed to humidity, making it a ticking time bomb. The worst thing you can do is assume that because the breaker panel has been reliable for so many years, you wonâ€™t have any problems with it.
You recently added a room or remodeled
In the eventuality that you recently added a new room, renovated your kitchen, added a hot tub, installed a new AC or other power hungry appliance, it is highly recommended to have an electrician determine whether you need an electrical service upgrade. It is necessary to mention that upgrading in this context doesnâ€™t necessarily mean performing a full service, but mainly adding a new dedicated circuit to your electrical panel.
You want to add surge protection
If youâ€™re seeing frequent voltage spikes in your neighborhood, then the safest way to safeguard your electronics is to install surge protection. Because the surge protection device has the big role of managing and evenly distributing juice to all your electronics, it is typically installed on the breaker panel. Given the dangers of handling an electric panel without any previous experience or knowhow, it is best to contact an electrician for this task.
You installed a major appliance
If your homeâ€™s electrical service is too limited, it wonâ€™t be able to provide the minimum amount of power required by all your appliances. More often than not, homeowners realize their electric panel is insufficient when they purchase and install a high-power gadget or new electrical equipment to their home. Perhaps the biggest indicators that your electric panel is due for an upgrade are the tripped circuit breakers and frequent ‘brownouts’.