Every year, 51,000 home fires result from poor electrical distribution systems.
It can be tricky to identify when electrical systems are faulty. Unlike a leaking faucet or a broken heating system, signs of electrical faults are often minor. Even worse, they're also easily forgotten as soon as the problem is resolved. However, these seemingly small mishaps are indicative of a larger problem at hand--your electrical panel.
Your electrical panel requires regular inspections, upgrades, and even replacements to keep the electricity running through your home.
There are a few signs that your electrical panel could use an upgrade or a complete overhaul. Investing in the electrical system of your property increases both its value and safety. This is a smart investment for homeowners like yourself.
Do You Need An Upgrade Or A Replacement
An old panel does not necessarily mean it needs to be replaced. However, with all the new technology and smart appliances that you introduce into your home, you must be sure that your electrical panel can handle it.
To check if your panel is capable of powering your home safely, pay attention to the following signs of malfunction.
Signs To Replace
The first surefire sign you need to replace your electrical panel is if it is from the following companies:
- Federal Pacific Electric
These panels have a poor track record of being failure-prone, poorly constructed, and dangerous. They tend to overheat and start electrical fires, which result in over $1.3 billion in property damage. Don’t take the gamble. If you have one of these panels, get an electrical panel replacement immediately.
The second sign you need to replace your electrical panel is if your home electric panel still utilizes a fuse box.
Fuse boxes are designed to melt to prevent electricity from flowing through an overcharged circuit. They are designed to be replaced every time the fuse blows out, which is often if you are powering a modern home with an old fuse box. Fuse boxes only reach 60 amps, and for this very reason, they have a hard time meeting the electrical needs of a modern home.
The cost to replace electrical panels that are outdated or faulty is low in comparison with what's at stake by keeping them. Your safety is not something to bet on.
Signs To Upgrade
If your electric panel does not fall into either of the categories mentioned above, it does not need to be replaced. However, panels that fail to keep up with the electrical demands of home power pose a dangerous risk as well.
Here are a few signs that your panel needs an upgrade:
- Tripped breakers
- Extensive power strips
- Damaged outlets
- Flickering lights
Read more here to learn whether you need an electrical panel upgrade.
Pros Of Upgrading Your Electrical Panel
Although it may seem like a lot of work and money upfront to change something that already works, the perks of upgrading the electrical panel that you get in return make up for any initial investment. Here are a few perks that homeowners like yourself will enjoy:
Stalling on maintaining the electrical of your home is a dangerous game to play. You bring home new electronics and appliances without wondering whether your home’s electrical setup can handle it. Each added device could potentially overload your current electrical panel.
When you upgrade your panel, you, your home, and everyone living in it enjoy a sense of increased safety from a newly powered electrical center.
Savings On Insurance
Bankrate finds that homeowners spend anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $3000 on homeowner insurance every year, depending on which state they reside in. On average, that is 1.91% of most homeowners' income.
When you upgrade your electrical panel, you make your home safer, thereby lowering your homeowner insurance. The initial cost of an upgraded panel upfront is offset by returns on your insurance bills.
Increased Property Value
There are a few improvements that every homeowner can make to their property to increase its market value. One of those changes is to upgrade the electrical system by upgrading the electrical panel itself.
In the case that you would like to sell your property in the future, your home will have a higher estimated value because you've equipped it with a new electrical panel.
How Much Does Upgrading Your Electrical Panel Cost
As with most home improvement projects, the cost of electrical work needed for your home varies depending on the scope of the project. On average, though, homeowners pay around $1150 to upgrade their electrical panels.
The work done during these upgrades includes increasing a panel's amp service, rewiring a panel, switching a fuse box for a circuit breaker panel, installing a sub panel, and more. The entire project cost will depend on what electrical system upgrades your home needs.
You're not alone if you have no clue what upgrades your home's electrical panels need. Our experts can give you a walk-around assessment to help you determine how to adapt your electrical system best to fit the power needs of your home.
With Fischer Electric, our estimates are always free, and we aim to be as transparent about the work necessary with our customers as possible.
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Most people don't pay enough attention to their home electrical system to recognize when things might be awry.
The cost to upgrade your electrical panels might seem unnecessary, but this is a good investment in your property that yields returns in savings. The perks you enjoy in the long run eventually pay for the work itself by increasing your home's safety and property value and decreasing your liability costs in terms of homeowner insurance.