Electric Service Panels are the main electrical panel of a building. Electrical panels are sometimes called breaker boxes, fuse panels, or service panels. They exist for two reasons. First, as a single point of entry for the electricity from the outside, usually the power company or solar panels. Second, they are the ‘breaking’ point or safety mechanism that controls overloaded or shorted circuits. Your service panel is the most important part of your electrical system. At Metro’s Best, we can upgrade an older panel or add additional capacity as part of a renovation or addition.
It is sometimes necessary to replace or upgrade an electric service panel to expand capabilities, satisfy building codes, increase efficiency, or a combination of any of these. The most common reason for upgrading an electrical service panel is to add circuits. Adding circuits, outlets, appliances, hot tubs, often require increased capacity. In adding these items throughout the building, it sometimes becomes necessary to modernize the panel, the wiring, and circuit breakers. This is not always the case, and it is important to get an ethical electrician to help you. Be careful, much money can be saved because breakers can often be added without service panel upgrades, get an honest electrician.
There are a number of reasons why a service panel upgrade is necessary. An upgrade of the electrical service can expand capabilities, satisfy building codes, and increase efficiency. The most common reason for a main panel upgrade is to add circuits. Any addition of major appliances, outlets, or hot tubs can require this additional capacity. Another reason for a service panel upgrade is needed modernization of the panel, wiring and circuit breakers. When a home or building is constructed, the electrical service panel is designed to meet the needs at the time and there is usually little room for expansion.
For example, a home built in 1963 would have enough capacity to handle only a handful of outlets, lights, and a few appliances. Over the years modern electrical conveniences have evolved. That same home gets a microwave and television in the 1970′s; air conditioners, automatic dishwashers, and ceiling fans in the 1980’s. Then in the 1990′s, phone chargers, and VCR’s, come along. By 2010 we have multiple laptops, and iPhones consuming electricity.
The original electric service panel was installed with the capacity to handle only 1/3rd of the current electrical need. Along the way it is probable that larger circuit breakers were installed to replace fuses. During this install, it is likely that the wire capacity was not increased, and that circuits were doubled up. After all these years and natural progressions, electric service panels get maxed out and must be replaced.
Always remember though, it is important to get an ethical electrician to assess the situation for you. It is true that main panel upgrades are often required, but it is also possible to add breakers without a complete overhaul of the system. Call Metro’s Best today for help with any number of service panel needs.