Your home's electrical panel acts as a central hub for your entire electrical system, and operates as a fail-safe. It will trip circuit breakers and cut power off in the event of a power surge, preventing damage to your wiring and appliances. Knowing four of the most common reasons to consider upgrading your electrical panel can help you figure out when you should contact an electrician to inspect your system and determine your electrical needs.
The first, and the most obvious, sign that your home's electrical panel needs to be upgraded is if you constantly have to deal with the circuit breakers within tripping. Once in a while can point to nothing more than a power surge, which is relatively normal and harmless. Constant tripping, from several times a month to every single day, points to underlying electrical issues that could pose a serious safety threat to your home, It can also indicate that your existing wiring is either inadequate, damaged, or installed improperly.
An additional reason you should talk to an electrician about updating your electrical panel is if you are renovating or adding on to your home. This is a proactive way to avoid electrical problems, as the added load of your new space (or even new appliances in new locations) can prove to be too much for your existing electrical infrastructure. Upgrading your panel as part of your renovation or remodeling process will prevent headaches and expensive repairs down the road.
Extension Cords and Power Strips
Another reason to seriously consider upgrading your current electrical panel is if you use a significant number of extension cords and power strips throughout your home to handle all of your appliances, lamps and other electrical items. Simply not having enough outlets can lead to you overloading individual outlets with multiple power strips and extension cords, which increases the risk of you damaging your electrical system and causing an electrical fire.
A key reason to upgrade, or repair, your electrical reason is if the area where it has been installed has suffered from water damage. Long-term damage can be spotted by the presence of rust and corrosion on the panel itself, but if the adjacent walls or ceiling have had water damage because of a plumbing leak or related cause, you should have a professional electrical contractor inspect the panel for signs of damage and upgrade or replace it as necessary to ensure that it continues to work without issue.