As we update and upgrade our homes with the latest in technology and appliances, our home’s electrical service panels can fall behind the times. From issues relating to factors such as the age of your electrical panel and breakers, increased electrical demand, or a desire to comply with current code, upgrading an existing electrical panel isn’t an uncommon job. If you live in Broomfield, CO or surrounding communities, you can trust Save Home Heat Company to be a highly responsive and trustworthy source of electrical panel upgrades and related services. Our electrical department is highly skilled and experienced with the variety of electrical panels used in our area, and will help ensure your home is safe and fully equipped to handle your electrical needs.
Overview of Your Electrical Panel and Circuit Breakers
Whether you call it your electrical service panel, a circuit breaker box, or electrical service box, we’re referring to the same thing. Your main electrical panel is usually identified as a relatively small, grey rectangular metal box that is typically found attached to a wall in areas of your home such as an attached garage, a closet, mechanical room, or the basement; sometimes the electrical panel is located outside of the home attached in a weatherproof enclosure.
Upon opening your electrical panel, you’ll normally see two rows of switches that are called circuit breaker switches. Circuit breakers are tasked with controlling the flow of electricity throughout your home. The two common types of circuit breakers are 120 volt breakers, which take up a single slot in the panel, and 240 volt breakers, which normally occupy two slots. You should see a diagram inside the panel’s door that identifies which breakers are associated with which specific electrical circuits in the home. If you have a breaker that is labeled for a specific appliance such as a furnace or air conditioner, that is known as a ‘dedicated circuit.’ You may have other dedicated 240 volt circuit breakers for items such as hot tubs, EV charging stations, home security systems, shop tools, or other higher powered appliances.
Do I Need An Electrical Panel Upgrade?
There’s not always a straightforward answer to the above question, and an experienced, skilled electrician can certainly help you get your arms around the most important factors involved for your circumstances. But for starters, there are some basic concepts that will assist a homeowner in determining if this is a conversation worth having with your trusted Broomfield area electrician.
Perhaps the first thing to figure out is just how old your electrical panel is. If it’s the same one that was installed when your home was built, that’s an easy way to figure this number out. Homes built more than 15 years ago are very likely to have a main electrical panel that does not meet current residential code. Of course, this doesn’t mean it needs to be replaced, but this is a factor to consider in keeping your home as safe as possible.
You’ll also want to take note of the increased electrical demand in your home. Have you added a hot tub or an EV charger in recent years? Perhaps you have quite a bit more outdoor lighting now, or you’ve invested in a new air conditioner and a few new televisions around the home. The list could get long. The likelihood of you having more electrical appliances than when you first moved in is pretty high, and it sometimes makes good sense to upgrade your electrical panel to support this increased electrical demand. You may also have internal wiring in your main electrical panel that has deteriorated over the years (a normal occurrence), or you’ve had to reset one or multiple breakers quite often lately. Lastly, for example, if your panel still uses replaceable fuses instead of resettable breakers, you should consider this old panel as living ‘on borrowed time.’
Reasons for replacing your home’s electrical service panel may include:
- Existing electrical panel cannot support current home electrical demand
- Safety concerns
- Loosening internal wiring (usually due to age of the panel)
- Circuit breakers on one or more circuit trip frequently for no discernible reason
- Frequently flickering or dimming lights on multiple electrical circuits
- Electrical service panel, or wiring near the panel, is warm to the touch
- Rust or burn marks inside the panel
- Steady or occasional buzzing sounds coming from the panel
- An experienced, trusted, professional electrician considers the condition or age of your panel to be cause for replacement
- Desire to upgrade to the latest, safest types of electrical breakers that are now required by code in many areas of new homes
In the event that your electrical panel is still in generally good condition but doesn’t quite meet the electrical demands in your home, it can sometimes make sense to add an electrical subpanel, also known as a ‘satellite circuit breaker panel’. An electrical subpanel can be added to power a specific area of your home. You can trust Save Home Heat Company to help you decide if and when adding a subpanel to your home electrical system is the best course of action.
What About Circuit Breaker Upgrades?
Most homes built in the last 40 years have standard switchable breakers in the electrical service panel. Beginning in 1999, a new style of circuit breaker called Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) were introduced into electrical code. AFCI breakers go a step further and provide a level of protection against the risk of fire caused by poor electrical conditions such as electrical surges or damaged wire insulation. This level of safety is consider so important that in 2017, National Electrical Code (NEC) was revised to require include AFCI breakers on virtually all circuits in new homes.
Reasons to consider replacing some or all of your electrical circuit breakers include:
- Age of your circuit breakers
- Condition of your circuit breakers
- Breakers hot to the touch, appear discolored, or give off a burnt smell
- Specific breakers tripping frequently, will not reset, and all else checks out ok
- To upgrade to AFCI circuit breakers
The most important part of the discussion regarding your electrical panel is your safety—always our primary focus. The potential dangers of an outdated and deteriorating electrical service panel range from electrical shock to fire risk, so ensuring that everything is in correct working order is paramount to maintaining safety in your home.
Save Home Heat Company is a trusted local resource for electrical panel upgrades, replacements, and a wide range of electrical services for Broomfield homeowners. Our Master Electrician and our team of highly skilled electricians will work together efficiently to provide you with the support and service you need to ensure your home’s electrical safety.
Electrical Panel Upgrades and Service in Broomfield
If your home was constructed before the series of electrical code revisions were enacted in 2017, we recommend considering having a trusted, experienced electrician assist you in assessing the condition of your electrical panel and circuit breakers. Save Home Heat Company has been serving Broomfield homeowners for many years, and we have a strong commitment to honest and your complete satisfaction with our work. Our company philosophy is strongly rooted in supplying our customers with ample amounts of information, patiently and fully answering all questions, and making professional recommendations in a low-pressure manner. No sales hype, ever.
For more information about our electrical panel upgrades and services in Broomfield or to schedule an electrical service call, please reach out to a member of our team today.
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