Electrical Panel Upgrade Services in Williston & Marshfield, VT
Most homeowners give little thought to their electrical panels until something goes wrong. Also known as breaker boxes, these essential pieces of equipment function as the heart of a home’s electrical system, so don’t underestimate the importance of keeping them in good working order. If the electrical panel is old, damaged, or outdated, it needs to be upgraded as soon as possible.
What Is an Electrical Panel?
Given that not all homeowners have ever had to inspect or interact with their electrical panels, it’s worth starting with the basics. An electrical panel is a link between the municipal power grid and an individual home’s wiring. It serves as a central distribution point, routing external power to different circuits and cutting off power when things go wrong.
Each breaker box contains multiple circuit breakers. These circuit breakers flip when individual circuits pull too much power, cutting off electricity to protect the home’s sensitive appliances and electronic devices. The power can only be restored to a circuit by flipping the circuit breaker back on, which is often the only type of interaction homeowners have with their electrical panels.
Electrical panels are designed not just to route power to where it needs to go but also to manage each circuit. Overloading a circuit will always cause it to trip. In some cases, families may be able to simply plug in appliances or electronics to other outlets to reduce power consumption, but that’s not always possible. Installing large appliances or extra outlets almost always requires altering or replacing the breaker box.
Signs It’s Time to Upgrade a Breaker Box
Older electrical panels are rarely able to keep up with modern families’ power needs. As a result, tripped circuit breakers become commonplace. Even worse, the malfunction could cause breakers not to trip, increasing the risk of fire and electrical shocks. The best option is to schedule an Electrical Panel Upgrade before the old one begins to malfunction. Common signs it’s time to upgrade an electrical panel can include:
- Appliances that run at less than full power
- Heat coming from the breaker box
- Crackling noises coming from the electrical panel
- Visible rust on the breaker box
- Constantly tripping circuit breakers
- Flickering lights
Some older homes may not even have full electrical panels. Homes built before the 1970s often featured fuse boxes instead. These cartridge-type fuses had live surfaces that created problems with arcing during replacement and needed to be removed to disconnect power to a circuit.
Fuse boxes were already being phased out before modern electrical demands began to surge. Now, these antiquated devices can pose a serious risk to homes and their residents. Homeowners who have fuse boxes instead of breaker boxes should call for electrical panel upgrade services in Marshfield right away.
Can Electrical Panels Be Repaired?
Not all malfunctioning electrical panels need to be replaced. Newer panels that are in otherwise good condition can often be repaired with the help of a trained electrician. If, for example, the family has recently added a new, high-powered appliance, the extra power draw could cause frequent circuit breaker trips. An electrician can install a dedicated circuit to accommodate the new appliance and make adjustments to the breaker box as needed.
Eventually, every electrical panel will need to be replaced, though. Determining whether it will be more cost-efficient to continue repairing a malfunctioning panel or to upgrade it can be tough. It requires taking into account the panel’s age, its general condition, and the changing needs of the home’s inhabitants. Homeowners who are having trouble deciding how to move forward should ask their electricians for expert advice.
The Importance of Hiring a Professional Electrician
Working with electricity is always hazardous, especially for people who don’t have adequate training. Working on malfunctioning breaker boxes is one of the most dangerous tasks involved in maintaining home electrical systems.
When an electrical panel is working properly, it’s safe to touch. However, fixing problems requires removing the protective front cover from a breaker box, which can expose unsuspecting homeowners attempting DIY repairs to electrical shocks. Because electrical panels handle large amounts of electricity, a shock from their service lugs can be fatal.
It’s Time for an Upgrade
Choosing the right electrician for an electrical panel upgrade in Marshfield, VT, doesn’t have to be a hassle. Homeowners can trust Lloyd Home Service with all of their electrical needs. We offer affordable electrical panel inspections and upgrades along with a full range of home services. Visit our website to learn more or call (802) 426-2092 to request a quote today.