When we consider home remodel projects, we usually think of aesthetics, redecorating projects that enhance the look of our homes. We also need to plan for projects that don’t do much for the appearance of our property but support our family’s safety and well-being. Changing out the old electrical panel falls into that category. Here are five important reasons to consider changing out an electrical panel.
1. Defective panels
Homeowners found problems with Zinsco and Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) panels, commonly used from the 1950s to the 1980s. Frequently these panels failed to cut off power when a short circuit occurred, or too much current entered the house, causing serious fire hazards.
Does your current electrical panel use fuses? You must replace burned-out fuses with the properly sized fuse. Replacing a fuse with one larger than the box requires can result in an electrical fire. You do not have the same problem with breakers because you do not need to replace them.
3. Older homes
If you live in a home 20 years or older, you may have an underpowered panel. The early fuse boxes were rated for 60 amps of power. The next version of an electrical panel using breakers offered 100 amps. Today to accommodate the increased electrical usage of the modern family, builders are installing electrical boxes rated for 200 amps of power.
4. New appliances
Are you considering a kitchen remodel in your older home? Does it include new appliances? You may need to add a dedicated circuit for larger appliances. If you have an old or underpowered panel, you may find it difficult or even unsafe to add the new circuit. Check your electrical box and, if needed, upgrade to a box offering 200 amps of power as part of your project.
5. Increased usage
Are you using more power strips in your home? One important reason you may need a new electrical panel is your family’s increased power usage. Ensure you have an electrical box equipped for your needs.
Investing in a new electrical panel may not add to the appearance of your home, but this project will go a long way to ensure your family’s safety and well-being.