Many people in the northeast live in homes that were built more than 35 years ago, which means that many of these homes have electrical systems that were not built to handle today’s electrical needs. This makes an electric service upgrade not only desirable but a safety necessity.
An obsolete home electrical system trying to handle modern electricity needs is not just inconvenient for homeowners who constantly struggle with flickering lights, tripping breakers and too few outlets for too many modern appliances-it can be downright dangerous. Electrical fires account for almost half of the home fires in the United States in any given year, which adds up to over 26,000 fires, $1 billion in property loss, as well as hundreds of people killed and thousands injured.
Signs that you should upgrade your electrical service:
- You have to use a lot of extension cords, or don’t have enough outlets to power all of your appliances.
- The lights constantly flicker when you turn on a major appliance.
- The circuit breakers often trip, and fuses blow
- The electric panel overheats
- If your electric panel is a Zinsco, Federal Pacific, I-T-E Pushmatic, or GTE/Sylvania brand, you definitely need an electric panel upgrade. These panels were recalled years ago for severe safety defects.
- You have recently installed air conditioners, heat pumps, or any other large appliance that draws a lot of electricity.
- You have added a new office, workshop, finished basementor other areas to your home.
What an Electric Service Upgrade Involves:
An electrical service upgrade to your home, for safety reasons, requires an experienced electrician. It usually involves upgrading electrical service in the home to 200 amps, which is the standard in today’s homes. In some cases, however, an upgrade to 400 amps or more may be necessary.
An electric service upgrade involves the replacement of all the service equipment including the panel, meter pan, and service wire. Most of the time, we are able to update the electrical meter and the new electric panel in their original locations, if the layout of the house has not changed much over the years. This situation is generally easier and costs less.
In cases where the structure of the house has changed over the years, however, we may need to relocate the electric panel and/or the meter. While this type of service upgradeis more expensive due to the labor and material involved, the main concern for any electric service upgrade is to ensure your home and family’s safety, as well as making sure that your home can easily handle the electrical demands of modern life.