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Your electrical panel is where the circuits originate that extend throughout your home and even outdoors. It contains protective devices for each circuit appropriate for the wiring, power, and voltage, as well as main protective devices for your whole home. It may also contain special equipment to prevent damage to your home’s valuable electronics such as whole-home lighting protection and surge protection. If you add circuits, you’ll need space in your electrical panel for additional protective devices, and possibly changes in your main protection and even your main power source. Your electrician from Mister Sparky of WIlmington, NC can help you understand the current state of your electrical panel, and how safety concerns, upgrades, and improvements to your home may affect it.
Fuses and Older Circuit Breakers: Replacing Outdated Equipment
Electrical panels with fuses aren’t just outdated and inconvenient, they can also be dangerous. Over time, electrical equipment can degrade from wear and tear, corrosion from moisture, and misuse. Keeping the right fuse values handy can be a challenge, and at some point the main fuses will not be enough to handle all the modern power demands of your home. Panels with older circuit breakers can also be a concern, as each breaker has a limited lifetime and, as your electrician will tell you, certain models of circuit breaker have not stood the test of time as well as others and should be replaced for peace of mind. If your panel has unusual or outdated wiring such as aluminum wires, it may be a wise idea to replace them during regular servicing or upgrade your electrical wiring all at once.
Adding Space for New Circuits
Electrical code requirements recognize how important it is to provide plenty of outlets and circuits in the modern home. These days, homeowners prefer to have enough circuits to avoid losing power in large areas when one fault causes a disruption. Multiple circuits in your kitchen, home theater area, even bedrooms can help you run your electronics without having everything shut down when an electric heater or blow dryer and vacuum draw too much power. At the electrical box, there should be enough room for you to easily add additional circuits as your home power use expands, allowing you to grow with convenience and safety. If your panel is getting tight, your electrician can upgrade it.
Significant Changes Such as Additions and Remodeling
Working with a professional, you can determine how much additional power capacity and circuit usage your remodeling project or addition will require. Chances are, you’ll need an electrical panel upgrade or expansion to cover the changes, or at least additional space to provide for convenient growth in the future. You may also need additional main circuit breaker capacity to allow for your new circuits. Your electrician is an expert at combining the math, safety concerns, and wisdom gained from experience to make sure your project’s power needs are met successfully.
New Power Demands from Appliances and Equipment
Even with new power-saving appliances, chances are you’ll have a need for additional power for your home theater system, remodeled kitchen with dual ovens, hobby equipment, garage gear, and other power-hungry equipment, even if only used occasionally. In addition to increased power usage and possibly additional regular circuits to accommodate it, you may find that you need new 220V circuits or higher-current 120V wiring to supply the power your home needs. These will all lead back to your electrical panel, where specialized circuit breakers must be installed, possibly requiring a panel upgrade.
Renewable and Backup Power Sources
At Mister Sparky, our professionals also handle the complexities of modern residential power such as renewable energy sources, and backup power such as UPS systems and generators. These require specialized wiring that connects them safely to your electrical panel, ensuring that your home’s electrical needs are safely and securely met, no matter which power sources are supplying your energy. Upgrading your panel while your electrician includes new power sources can also provide the capacity for new circuits that you’ll need in the future.
Whole-House Surge and Lightning Protection Gear
Are you trusting your expensive electronics to department-store protective power strips? Your electrician can install whole-house protection as part of your electrical panel equipment, offering ways to keep power surges from demand variation in the neighborhood or in your home, and lighting surges that enter your home’s wiring, from damaging equipment. Remember, not all damage from power line problems results in immediate failure. Protection also helps keep gradual wear from overvoltage from leading to expensive repairs.
Adding an Expansion Electrical Panel
For larger homes or more complex wiring situations, your electrician may recommend an electrical panel expansion instead of an upgrade, often called a “sub panel.” This will provide additional space for circuit breakers and related wiring, branching off from your main panel. It can also be a useful way to separate circuits for significant amounts of wiring such as an addition or outbuilding. Sub panel wiring can take less time than replacing a full breaker box, allowing your electrician to perform the upgrade with less downtime for your family while the circuits are being relocated or added.
Upgrading Your Electrical Service Capacity
In older homes, the power line coming from the street or other source may not be sufficient for your modern needs. As part of your electrical panel upgrade, probably from a fuse-based box, your electrician can also work with the power company to run a new power connection, for example upgrading your 60 amp line to a 200 amp service. That increased capacity will allow for future growth in your home over time.
Call the Experts at Mister Sparky of Wilmington, NC for More Information
We’re here for you when you’re considering electrical upgrades and new installations, repairs, and any other service to your wiring, outlets, and equipment. Our electricians can help you design and plan the work you need. Give Mister Sparky of Wilmington a call.