Is it Time to Replace Your Panel?

First off, what is an electrical panel? A distribution board or panel board/breaker panel/electric panel is the part of an electricity supply system that divides an electrical power feed into subsidiary circuits, while providing a protective fuse or circuit breaker for each circuit in a common enclosure. Panels can be placed anywhere within a home, but are usually located in either a basement, garage or utility area of a home.

Just like any other major appliance in your home, panels can age over time and become less effective, even faulty. Homes can also evolve and change over the years with newer technology, home additions requiring more power needs, outlet upgrades etc. Homeowners may discover that their panel is no longer adequate for their homes electrical supply needs. This being said, here are some factors to consider when weighing replacement or upgrade of your panel:

  • How old is the panel? Most panels have a life expectancy of anywhere between 30-40 years, depending on the quality of panel and system installed. This wouldn’t account for any major appliance upgrades or additions to your home, either.
  • Does your breaker trip frequently or do you have regular outages when multiple sources of electricity are running in your home?
  • Do you have a panel installed from a non-reputable manufacturer, like Federal Pacific? If so, you should have a professional inspect the unit to determine if it’s faulty or dangerous to keep in your home.
  • Are you experiencing flickering lights within your home? This is also a sign of potential electrical panel problems and poor flow of electricity in the home.

When in doubt, it’s always best to consult a professional. They can get to the bottom of your problem pretty quickly and give you your options to consider, including any possible upgrades or replacement of your panel.