Upgrading the electrical panel on a home is not a small undertaking, but it could be one of the most important steps you take to ensure the viability of your home in the years and decades to come. The electrical needs of the 21st century home are fundamentally different, more complex and more intense than people ever imagined they’d be when most homes were built in the years after the Second World War.
No one then believed the digital revolution, widescreen TVs, professional-grade sound systems, virtual reality games, the Internet of things, or broadband. And no one knows where it’s all going to go either. If you have an older home, here are the top reasons to upgrade your electrical panel.
5 Reasons Why Upgrading Your Electrical Service Makes Sense
The electrical panel on your home is the nerve center of the house. If it isn’t able to respond to the demands placed on it, the value of your home, as well as the experience of those living in it, will suffer. Here are five good reasons to upgrade your electrical panel.
To Accommodate New Technology
Often homeowners make changes to their property that result in greater demands being placed on the electrical panel. Sometimes they do this without considering the impact it will have on the panel and the operation of other devices in the house. Adding an outdoor kitchen, landscape lighting, or a pool can all significantly increase the demands placed on the panel. By upgrading the panel before you make these additions, you’ll ensure a smooth transition and eliminate the possibility an overload could cause a fire.
To Future Proof Your Home
Most people hope and expect to keep up with technological change, but not everyone’s home is ready for the increased demands that will be made on the electrical panel by as-yet-unknown devices. Nor are most electrical panels prepared to take on the additional load created by home additions such as new bedrooms, new baths, or outdoor kitchens. By upgrading your electrical panel now, you future-proof your home and provide yourself the ability to make whatever additions or changes you wish in the future without having to worry whether your electrical panel can handle it.
To Avoid Expensive Repairs
By upgrading your electrical panel now, you head off the virtual certainty of needing expensive repairs down the road as we bring more and more electrical devices online these days we making increasing demands on the electrical panel. Most folks tend to think that it’s no big deal. That if they need more power, the house will somehow magically pull it from the grid. But it doesn’t work that way. The panel is where the grid meets the home, and there are limits to how much a particular panel can handle. Overloading it is bound to cause damage to your devices, to the home’s wiring, and potentially to the panel itself.
For Safety’s Sake
We have touched on the risk posed by an overloaded panel above, but it bears repeating. One of the most common causes of electrical fires in older homes is an overloaded panel. When you make excessive demands on the panel, you run the risk of damaging it as well as the wiring that courses through the walls of your home. At some point, the stress becomes too much, and the result is an electrical fire that endangers not only the panel, but then the entire house and, most importantly, everyone in it.
The natural disaster doesn’t have to mean a tornado or hurricane; it can mean an excessively wet period during which the basement is repeatedly flooded or unusually heavy snowmelt that also results in water in the basement. Water is, without a doubt, one of the worst enemies an electrical panel can have. Water in the basement causes components of the panel to corrode. This corrosion then leads to the creation of hot spots that become fire hazards. If your home has been subjected to water damage or excessive water intrusion recently, you should have a licensed electrician without delay to assess the state of your panel.
Don’t take chances with the value of your home, your safety, or the safety of your loved ones. Keep your electrical panel up to date.