One of the most important devices in your home for not only your safety, as well as for your convenience, is a relatively small metal box called the electrical service panel. When things are running smoothly, it’s not something you often think about. But if necessary, it can become a primary focus of your responsibilities as a homeowner. If you need an electrical panel replacement or are interested in an upgrade at your residence in Denver, CO, you can trust our highly skilled and experienced electrical department at Save Home Heat Company.
An Overview of Your Home Electrical Panel
Whether you call it an electrical service panel, a circuit breaker box, or a breaker box, it’s all the same thing. Your home’s main electrical service panel is typically a grey rectangular metal box with a hinged door in the front, containing a series of many switches known as circuit breakers. You’ll usually find it in locations such as a wall in an attached garage, a closet, an unfinished part of your basement, or outside on the side of your house contained in a waterproof enclosure.
The circuit breakers inside your electrical panel are responsible for controlling the flow of electricity through your home. Most homes have around 20-40 different electrical circuits. Both 120 volt and 240 volt circuit breakers will be in your panel, with the 120 volt taking up a single slot and the 240 volt electrical breakers taking up two spaces. Each of the circuits in your home correspond to one of these breakers, and your electrical panel should have a diagram or labels signifying which areas of your home correspond to which breakers. Oftentimes, 240 volt electrical circuit breakers are used as dedicated breakers to a specific larger appliance such as your air conditioner, a hot tub, or another demanding electrical device.
When Does an Electrical Panel Replacement Make Sense?
We understand, you aren’t keeping tabs on current electrical code in Denver or nationally, and may not have a detailed understanding of the electrical systems in your home. As long as things work normally, it’s fine, right? Most of the time this is the case, but with your electrical service panel, it is worthwhile to become educated and learn about things you should be aware of, of that could be improved. Keeping in mind the age of the panel, itself, is just one important factor. You can leave the electrical code expertise and service skills to our team!
If your home was built more than 15 years ago, it’s a safe bet to assume that certain aspects of your home are not up to current new home electrical code. But that’s not necessarily a reason to move forward with an electrical panel upgrade. It is, however, well worth noting. Another thing to consider is the amount of electrical devices you have in your home. Chances are, you’ve added a fair amount since moving into your Denver home. From computers and televisions to tablets, EV charging stations, major appliances, and more, as you bring your home further into the age of technology, it only makes sense to bring your electrical panel along with it.
In addition to upgrading to stay current with an increased electrical demand in your home, you may consider an electrical panel replacement in the event the internal wiring has deteriorated or come loose. This naturally happens over time, which is another reason to keep in mind the age of your panel. Also pay attention to the frequency that breakers trip. Once in a while is fine, but if you’re having to reset breakers quite often, it’s a sign to have an experienced, trusted electrician investigate the cause. Lastly, if your electrical panel is still using fuses instead of resettable breakers, it’s just a matter of time before replacement becomes a necessity.
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 some scenarios, replacing a main electrical service panel may not be the most cost effective and appropriate solution. Sometimes, an electrical subpanel, also known as a ‘satellite circuit breaker panel,’ can be added to power a specific part of your home and also expand the capabilities of the main panel. In Denver, you can rely on Save Home Heat Company to provide you with expert electrical guidance and to help you understand if or when adding an electrical subpanel makes good sense.
AFCI Circuit Breaker Upgrades
A full electrical panel replacement isn’t always necessary. In some cases, replacing one or several circuit breakers may be a proper solution. Unlike replaceable fuses, circuit breakers can be reset. However, if one or more circuit breakers are tripping quite often, but the panel is fine, replacing these breakers might be the right course of action.
The majority of electrical service panels we encounter have standard switchable circuit breakers. In 1999, AFCI breakers (arc fault circuit interrupters) began to show up in electrical code. AFCIs go a step further in adding a level of protection against electrical fires which can be caused by conditions such as electrical surges and damaged wire insulation. National Electrical Code (NEC) was expanded in 2017 to include AFCI breakers in virtually all areas of 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
All About Safety
Our main focus is your safety. A deteriorating or malfunctioning panel and/or breakers can create the potential for dangerous conditions. Aging or faulty appliances, electric heating elements, motors, wiring and wire connections that are no longer secure, and electrical surges from interior or exterior sources are just some of the factors that can put stress on your home’s electrical system. Our recommendation: When in doubt, play it safe and consult a professional electrician.
Our electrical team at Save Home Heat Company is highly experienced and familiar with all manner of electrical panel upgrades, replacements, and repairs that may be needed to ensure safe and efficient electrical conditions in your home. Whether it’s upgrading to a new panel and AFCI breakers, diagnosing and resolving service panel issues, or any related services, we are a trusted source of electrical services in Denver and surrounding communities.
Expert Electrical Panel Upgrades and Services in Denver
For homes constructed as recently as 10 years ago, it might make be a good idea to have one of our electrical professionals take a closer look at your electrical service panel, circuit breakers, and associated wiring. Save Home Heat Company electricians are experienced and committed to providing you with honest, expert service and low-pressure recommendations that make sense for you to consider. No sales hype, ever. Our focus is squarely on your safety and the proper performance of your home’s electrical system, the heart of which is your electrical service panel and circuit breakers.
If you’d like to schedule service or learn more about our electrical panel replacement and services in Denver, please contact our team today.
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