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Helpful Information on Plumbing, Heating, & More

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How to Repair a Leaky Faucet

Electricity and electrical maintenance service, Engineer hand holding AC multimeter checking electric current voltage at circuit breaker terminal and cable wiring main power distribution board.

Why a Service Panel Upgrade Is Necessary

As the hub of your home’s electrical system, your electrical panel is much more important than you may realize. It manages electricity distribution throughout your home, keeping your appliances and devices running smoothly. But just like anything else, your electrical panel may need an upgrade or replacement at some point. While this upgrade may not be the most exciting or glamorous home improvement project, it’s critical to ensure your safety and comfort! 

How Much Does It Cost to Replace an Electrical Panel?

Before we get into the specifics of the signs of an electrical panel past its prime, let’s dive into the cost of upgrading electrical panels now. It varies significantly in price based on the size of your home, the current panel’s amperage, and the type you need to replace. For a basic 100-amp version, the cost usually ranges from $400 to $800, not including labor. If you need to upgrade the system to 400 amps, the cost could be anywhere between $800 to $2,500. Of course, it’s important to note that these are average costs, and actual prices can vary based on various factors, including your location and the electrician’s rates.

Now, let’s discuss some of the most common reasons you might need an electrical panel upgrade and what to do about it:

1. Your Home is Over 25 Years Old

If your home was built before the 1990s, chances are, your electrical panel is outdated. Old systems may not be able to handle the power demands of modern electronics and appliances. Moreover, they may have safety concerns like corrosion, overheating, or loose connections, which could lead to electrical fires. If your panel has fuses rather than circuit breakers, then this is an even stronger sign that your electrical system is outdated and needs an upgrade.

2. Circuit Breakers Frequently Trip

A circuit breaker tripping is a safety feature that protects your home from overloading. When too much current passes through a circuit, the breaker trips, cutting off power to the affected area. However, if your breakers trip frequently, it may indicate that your electrical panel can’t handle the current demands of your residence. A professional electrician can diagnose the underlying issue and determine if an upgrade is necessary.

3. You’re Renovating or Adding Appliances

Suppose you are planning to renovate your house and add appliances like a hot tub, air conditioning unit, or electric car charger. In that case, it is essential to upgrade your electrical panel. These appliances require a lot of power, and if your system can’t handle the extra loads, it could cause power outages or even damage your new appliances. A licensed electrician can assess your energy needs and recommend the best panel for your home’s requirements.

4. You’re Experiencing Electrical Problems

Overloaded circuits, flickering lights, or buzzing sounds are not only annoying but also some of the top signs of electrical problems. If you’re experiencing any of these issues, it could mean a faulty electrical panel. Electrical troubles can be dangerous, and delaying repairs or upgrades could lead to serious safety hazards like electrical fires. It’s important to consult a professional electrician to inspect your electrical system and determine the best course of action.

5. Your Insurance Company Requires It

Finally, some insurance companies require policyholders to upgrade their electrical panels to ensure their safety. This may be the case if your home has an outdated panel or if you experience frequent electrical problems that could be a risk. Upgrading your system may allow you to save on insurance premiums and provide peace of mind for you and your family.

What Size Electrical Panel Do I Need?

The electrical panel size you need primarily depends on the total electrical load your home requires. Smaller homes with fewer appliances and electronics may require a 100-amp service, while larger homes with more electrical demands typically require a 200-amp. It’s also important to consider future needs. If you plan on adding more high-powered appliances, electric vehicles or expanding your home, opting for a higher capacity panel might be wise.

Electrical Services in The Greater Seattle Area

At South West, we consider it our priority to ensure that all of your electrical features are up to standard, which is why we are now offering electrician services in the Seattle, WA, area. When problems with your home’s electrical system occur, you need to make sure to hire the best and most qualified electricians in your area to ensure electrical safety.

Get in touch with our team today to keep you and your family safe! 

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Why Choose South West Plumbing?

Handling All Your Plumbing, HVAC, & Electrical Needs
  • We have over 40 years of experience.
  • Our customers become repeat customers.
  • We arrive faster than anyone in the Puget Sound.
  • Our technicians treat your home with respect.
  • We work evenings and weekends at no extra charge.
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