What to Consider in Upgrading Your Electrical Panels

What to Consider in Upgrading Your Electrical Panels

Access Doors and Panels on 6th Oct 2021

What to Consider in Upgrading Your Electrical Panels

If you are a building owner or someone who manages the property, you understand that several factors and signs will tell you when to upgrade your electrical panels. But even before the situation comes to that point, many considerations and provisions to the building's design make this situation possible.

Have you considered upgrading your facility's electrical panel? Have you noticed signals that you need an improvement? Was it suggested that you upgrade? Are you looking for methods to make your house more valuable? Do you want to know how much it costs to upgrade an electrical panel in your building?

There are numerous reasons to consider improving your electrical service. However, many buildings require them, and it is something that many owners put off doing. It may be due to upgrading electrical panel costs or knowing they can't meet the electrical panel upgrade code requirements.

What Is an Electrical Panel?

An electrical panel is a box typically made of metallic material with a door (typically fire-rated access panel for plaster installation) installed into a wall in a secluded part of the building. Inside, you can find all of your facility's breaker switches. You can toggle the breaker switches on and off. They'll cut off automatically in the event of too much electrical current flowing through them, which is their intended purpose.

The main circuit breaker regulates the power to the entire building, which you can locate inside the electrical panel. You'll also notice individual breakers, each of which is in charge of supplying energy to a specific area of the building. It would help if you were to label each breaker with the section of the property it regulates.

The Considerations You Need to Keep In Mind

Before knowing what to consider, you first need to know the reason why you should. Electric panels need replacements every 25-40 years as a rule of thumb, so if your building is that old, you'll probably need to change. There are additional telltale signals that your current system is on its way out.

Faulty Wiring

When it comes to wirings and electricity in the building, the safety factor is essential and critical. It is why it's important to listen to your electrician before things get out of hand. One of the most significant contributors to fires in many structures worldwide is faulty wirings. The older your system is, the higher the chances of it being defective, but regularly getting your electric panel tested by a skilled electrician will reveal any problems.

Installation of New Appliances

Among the most likely causes for replacing an electric panel is that it cannot handle current equipment. If you want to add a significant new device to your property (such as modern HVAC installation and appliances), your existing electric panel might not be enough. If you install an air conditioner without replacing your current system, the electricity supplied may be insufficient, causing the circuit breakers to trigger.

Likewise, if you're considering a property or basement remodeling that would raise your facility's electrical consumption – such as adding a new space or an extension - your current electrical panel might not be enough.

Adding Circuit Breakers

Circuit breakers are the newer alternative to fuses. Both work on the same concept. In an instance where the current in a circuit becomes dangerously high, they trigger or break and halt the flow of electricity. It adds a significant level of security to a building.

The main distinction between a circuit breaker and a fuse is that fuses are only for single use. Once the current becomes too high, they dissolve. Not only does changing a fuse take more effort than resetting a circuit breaker, but some fuses can also pose dangerous fire hazards. Builders no longer install Fuse boxes for this reason.

By chance, if you still have a fuse box in your building, it is worth considering an upgrade. It's not only a source of additional safety concerns, but it may also be a cause why your property insurance company refuses to cover it (or payout if you already have coverage).

Power Strips

Many electrical panels, like fuse boxes, are not suitable for modern electrical applications. Today, there is a greater electricity demand than twenty years ago, with frequent charging of devices, televisions in many areas, and other electronics cluttering interior spaces. The restricted number of wall outlets in dwellings is a crucial piece of evidence for this argument.

When you find yourself needing power strips or extension cables in your place, you're probably using more power than your building's intended capacity. In that case, an upgrade to the electrical panel may be necessary.

Future-Proofing

Upgrading your electrical panel is an excellent way to prepare your property for the future. Your current system needs replacing every generation (at the very least), so if you're renovating or rewiring, consider including the best electrical panel upgrade you can find. If you're planning to sell your property, being capable of offering a new improvement is a clear indicator that the infrastructure is up to standard.

It also means that future owners won't have to do it for a long time, thus increasing their property's value.

The Cost

If you already decided to upgrade your electrical panel, the ideal time to do so is during another remodeling project. If you're recruiting specialists, you can take advantage of economies of scale to save money. The most expensive part of an improvement project is the workforce needed, which typically costs around $600 and $2,200. You can determine the cost of an update by the specific work performed.

You can follow this rule if you are interested:

  • Upgrading electrical panels from 100 to 200 costs around $1,300 - $3,000.
  • It would cost around $2,000 to $4,000 to upgrade the electrical panel to 400 amps.
  • Switching to a circuit breaker from a fuse box would cost around $1,500 to $2,000.
  • Moving an electrical panel $1,000 to $2,000.

Final Thoughts

No one can deny that an upgrade is only to secure a better state of comfort, safety, and compatibility for future use. It may take some considerable investment, time, and work, so for this reason, never entrust it to someone who doesn't know what they are doing. Always consult a licensed professional before deciding anything significant.

If you find this article entertaining, you can find more topics to read by visiting our blog at https://www.accessdoorsandpanels.com/. We also offer high-quality access doors and panels sorted by category for your added convenience. You can reach us through our phone number 1-800-609-2917 if you need additional information or want to avail of our other services.

6th Oct 2021 Access Doors and Panels