Electricity is everywhere, and no one could imagine a life without it. While there have been huge advancements and technological improvements, electrical fires continue to happen in the United States.
The National Fire Prevention Agency (NFPA) reported that from 2015 to 2019, at least 46,700 home fires were caused by electrical malfunctions. These fires result in an estimated 390 deaths and $1.5 billion in direct property damage each year.
Many of these fires can be traced back to problems with the electrical panel. The electrical panel is the heart of your home’s electrical system and distributes electricity to every part of your home. If it fails, there can be disastrous outcomes. As a homeowner in Keller, TX, you must ensure the electrical system is always in top working condition to avoid electrical hazards.
Continue reading to learn more about why you might need a new electrical panel and some factors that affect the replacement cost.
Why You Need to Replace the Electrical Panel
The most common reason for electrical panel replacement is age. A panel over 25 years old cannot keep up with modern power needs and is more likely to overload and overheat. This will lead to malfunctioning circuit breakers and can cause an electrical fire.
Additionally, if your home is more than 50 years old, it is possible that the panel is not up to code and needs to be replaced as soon as possible.
Frequently Tripping Breaks
Do you frequently have to call your electrician to check and reset the circuit breakers? Does the breaker trip every time you use a high-energy appliance like a vacuum cleaner?
A frequently tripping breaker could indicate that it is faulty and needs to be replaced. It could also mean a problem with the wiring or that the panel is too small.
Damage and Electrical Failure
Rust and corrosion will deteriorate the electrical connections and can cause arcing. Rust also indicates that water has been seeping into the panel, which could increase the risk of electrical shock.
Electrical problems like flickering lights, slow charging devices, burning smells and buzzing sounds coming from the panel can also be caused by a faulty electrical box.
New Appliances or Electrical Upgrades
If you recently bought or are planning to buy new large appliances, you may need to upgrade the electrical panel. Electrical upgrades like running electricity to a garage or home remodels might require more power than the current panel can safely provide.
Your electrician can help determine if a panel replacement or upgrade is necessary. You could also install subpanels instead.
Costs that Affect the Replacement of Electrical Panel
Modern homes need at least an amperage of 100. Anything less than that cannot efficiently handle the energy demands of the average household. Older homes usually have 80-amp panels or less.
You can install a 20-amp subpanel or upgrade to a 150-amp panel. Some homes may need 200 amps or more. The more amps you need, the more it will cost to replace or upgrade a panel.
You will also need to confirm with your utility company if the supply line can provide that much power. If not, they will have to replace it, which could incur additional costs.
Circuit Breakers vs Fuses
If your home has a fuse box, you need to replace it. Not only are these outdated devices not up to current electrical codes, but fuses also need to be compatible with today’s power needs. An electrician will have to replace the box with a circuit breaker panel.
The technician will also ensure that you have GFCI and AFCI breakers necessary for electrical safety. AFCI circuit breakers protect against electrical fires. 50% of home electrical fires could be avoided if every home had proper AFCI protection.
The electrical panels of newer homes are normally located outside for easy access during an emergency. If you want to move the panel, an electrician will also have to rewire the house, which will greatly increase costs. Sometimes the panel’s wiring is hidden behind the drywall.
An electrician will have to break the wall, but not all technicians will repair it for you. You might have to hire another contractor for drywall repairs.
When replacing the panel, you will often have to replace the electric meter. Digital meters provide a more accurate reading than older ones.
You will need to obtain a permit to replace an electrical panel. A good electrician can get the permit for you and schedule the inspection once the job is done.
Prices and types of permits vary from place to place, and you would have to check with your local authorities in Keller, TX. They may also require you to upgrade other electrical system parts to ensure everything complies with local regulations.
If you are increasing the amperage of the panel, it is a good idea to have your electrician install additional outlets. This will prevent overloading circuits and overusing extension cords.
The condition of the panel and the wiring can also increase costs if the wiring is outdated or too damaged. Ask your contractor to do these upgrades and repairs together to save costs.
Need to Upgrade Your Electrical System? Call Tioga Plumbing & Electric!
An updated panel can save you electricity and will keep your home and loved ones safe. To ensure maximum safety and quality work, you need to hire a trusted electrician to do the work for you.
Here at Tioga Plumbing & Electric, we have many years of experience serving residents of Keller, TX. Our team of licensed and insured electricians will take care of all your residential electrical needs. From electrical repairs and appliance installations to landscape lighting, we have the answer to any electrical problem you may have. Don’t hesitate to contact us today.
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