Tasked with a significant amount of your ongoing safety and convenience, your home’s electrical service panel is a very important device in your home. If you are in need of an electrical panel replacement or any related services in Lafayette, CO, you can trust Save Home Heat Company to be highly responsive and reliable in performing any electrical upgrades or service that may be needed or recommended for your home.
A Closer Look at Your Electrical Panel and Circuit Breakers
Don’t let the variety of names for your home’s electrical service panel cause any confusion. Whether you refer to it as a breaker box, an electrical panel, or something else, we’re talking about that grey rectangular metal box that houses the circuit breakers. Your main electrical panel may be located on a wall in an attached garage, a closet, your basement, or sometimes on the outside of your home inside of a weatherproof enclosure.
If you open the door on the front of your electrical panel, you’ll see a series of switches known as circuit breakers. Circuit breakers serve the purpose of controlling electrical flow throughout your home. In the average home, between 20 and 40 different electrical circuits are normal. You may notice that most of the circuit breakers take up a single slot in the panel, with others taking up two. The single slot breakers control 120 volt circuits, which are most common, whereas 240 volt breakers take up two spaces. There should be chart on the inside of the panel’s door showing which breakers are responsible for which parts of your home. There may also be breakers labeled for circuits that are dedicated to a single appliance such as a furnace, AC system, hot tub, or other larger electrical appliances.
When Is Electrical Panel Replacement Advisable?
While Save Home Heat Company electricians certainly stay current with electrical code, we don’t expect you to. In addition, unless you’re having to reset circuit breakers quite often (a red flag!), you probably don’t give much thought to your electrical panel. So, when does it make sense to have it professionally inspected and tested? There are some simple things that you, as the homeowner, can keep in mind and pay attention to that will help you understand when it makes sense to be proactive about your home’s electrical panel.
First, how long ago was your home built here in Lafayette? If it was more than 15 years ago and there hasn’t been any major remodel work, it’s a pretty safe assumption that certain aspects of your electrical system may not be up to current code. But this doesn’t mean that an electrical panel replacement or upgrade is needed, however, it is something to keep in mind. This may be especially true if you’ve added a significant number of electrical appliances to your home. It’s important to be certain that your system can safely and reliably manage the newer electrical load it handles on a daily basis.
Another thing to be aware of is that, over time, the internal wiring in your electrical service panel can become loose. Also, frequently tripping breakers are a sign that some further investigation is warranted to diagnose the cause of the problem. Lastly, if your panel contains fuses instead resettable breakers, it’s definitely time to take a look at bringing your panel into the modern age of electrical safety and efficiency.
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
Smart Electrical Panel Consideration
Homeowners also have the option to consider ‘smart’ Wi-Fi capable electrical panels. These modern load centers bring user-friendly features, safety upgrades, and improved performance. Often with a smartphone app, smart panels allow for improved engagement and interaction with your electrical system and power consumption.
The Leviton smart load center line allow you view the real-time performance of your home’s individual electrical circuits, even monitoring and calculating your energy consumption and costs. These smart panels accomodate a wide variety of types of circuit breakers, provide remote system alerts, and are equipped with the latest in electrical safety design and code requirements. This includes features like improved surge protection and advanced false-tripping technology.
For homeowners considering an electrical panel upgrade or replacement, the Leviton smart load center line is an attractive option for the aforementioned range of connectivity and safety features.
Subpanels Can Be the Right Solution
There are times when adding an electrical subpanel, or ‘satellite circuit breaker panel,’ to power a specific area or appliance in your home makes more sense than replacing the main service panel. Lafayette homeowners can trust Save Home Heat Company to have the electrical expertise and needed to determine if or when adding an electrical subpanel is a wise course of action.
Circuit Breaker Replacement and Upgrades
In some cases, replacing individual circuit breakers will solve an electrical problem, as opposed to jumping to the conclusion that a new panel is needed. It’s not unusual to see aging breakers that have been seeing plenty of electrical load start to fail and need to be replaced, even when the service panel itself is in good shape. Even though most older style breakers don’t meet current electrical code, they are often viable repair options when all else in the system is doing fine.
Until fairly recently, most electrical panels designed in the last 40 years used standard switchable electrical breakers. In 1999, AFCI (arc fault circuit interrupter) breakers started showing up in National Electrical Code (NEC), and in 2017 code was expanded further to require AFCIs for virtually all electrical circuits in new homes. AFCIs provide an additional level of protection, helping to prevent conditions that can result in electrical fires.
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
Paramount to any conversation we have with you about your electrical service panel is your safety. As a deteriorating, malfunctioning, or inadequate panel or breakers can lead to potentially dangerous conditions, helping to ensure your safety is of utmost importance. A fully functioning, good condition service panel and breakers will help reduce the potential risks posed by electrical conditions such as aging or failing electrical appliances or motors, wiring that is no longer as secure as it once was, electrical surges that can occur as a result of both internal and external factors, and other potentially risky electrical conditions.
For all matter of electrical panel upgrades, replacements, and repairs, you can depend on our knowledgeable, experienced team at Save Home Heat Company to expertly service your electrical needs in your Lafayette home. You can have full confidence in our Master Electrician and our skilled electricians to provide you with honest, dependable, responsive, professional service. We will never recommend work on your home that doesn’t need to be done.
Expert Electrical Panel Upgrades and Services in Lafayette
If your home was built before the NEC revisions of 2017, or you know that your electrical panel is more than 15 years old, we recommend having one of our electrical team members visit your home so you can get a professional assessment of your system and determine if any issues need addressing, or if there are upgrades that you may want to consider. No pressure, no sales hype, simply educating you and empowering you to make informed decisions about your home’s electrical system. Lafayette homeowners can have complete trust in Save Home Heat Company’s strong commitment to their satisfaction with our services.
To schedule a service call, request more information about our electrical panel replacement and upgrade services in Lafayette, or for any of your home electrical needs, please reach out to one of our friendly, knowledgeable team today!
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