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Why Panel Upgrades Are Important

Why Panel Upgrades Are Important

At one point or another, we’ve all been there: you’re watching TV, the lights dim, and then suddenly go off entirely. You find yourself in the dark, wondering what could have caused this sudden outage.

But did you ever stop to think about what caused that outage? More importantly, did you know your electrical panel might be to blame?

The electrical panel is a crucial component of any home’s electrical system. It connects everything from lights to outlets to appliances together so they can function properly. Unfortunately, it’s also an aging part of most homes that can cause problems if not upgraded regularly.

In this article, we’ll discuss why electrical panel upgrades in Pasadena, MD, are important and how to go about getting them done right away!

What Size Electrical Panel Is Best For Your Home?

The size of the electrical panel for a home depends on various factors, such as the square footage of the residence, the number of electrical appliances and devices used, and future electrical needs. Moreover, It’s important to note that local building codes and regulations may influence the minimum panel size required for new installations or renovations.

The standard electrical panel sizes for residential properties are typically 100 amps, 150 amps, 200 amps, or 400 amps. 

Consider the following guidelines for electrical panel sizes:

  • 100 amps: Suitable for smaller homes with minimal electrical needs, handling basic lighting, heating, and some appliances.
  • 150 amps: A step up from the 100-amp panel, accommodating additional circuits and slightly higher power loads, ideal for medium-sized homes.
  • 200 amps: The most common panel size for modern homes, accommodating a wide range of electrical devices, including larger appliances and air conditioning systems.
  • 400 amps: Typically found in larger homes with high power demands, providing substantial electrical capacity for extensive lighting, multiple appliances, and home automation systems.

When To Upgrade An Electrical Panel?

The electrical system in your home is responsible for keeping your lights on, your appliances working, and your family safe. So when it fails, it’s important to get it fixed as soon as possible.

But what if you’re unsure whether you should upgrade your electrical panel? Here are some signs that might indicate it’s time to look into an upgrade:

Frequent Circuit Breaker Tripping

If your circuit breakers are tripping frequently, this might be a major sign that you need to upgrade your electrical panel. The problem may lie with the wiring or a problem with the system itself. Either way, upgrading your electrical panel can help to prevent future issues and improve the safety of your home.

Insufficient Outlets

If you have a large home or several people living in it, you may need more outlets than what your current panel provides. Your electrician can help determine whether or not it’s time for an upgrade based on the number of members who live in a home and how many devices they use every day (like TVs, microwave ovens, and other appliances).

Flickering or Dimming Lights

If your lights flicker or dim when you turn them on, this could be a sign of an issue with your circuit breaker or fuses. If this happens regularly, contact an electrical panel upgrade electrician right away—it’s not safe for you or your family!

Overheating or Burning Odors

If you notice that the wires are getting hot and smelly, or if you smell burning plastic in your house, it’s time to call in an electrician. The electrical panel itself can’t be replaced until all of the wiring is replaced, so it’s important that you call a professional electrical panel upgrade electrician in Pasadena, MD area.

Outdated Panel Type

If you have an older electrical panel, you may be living with outdated technology. Your old system may not be up to code, which means that it’s not as safe as it could be. This can lead to serious safety issues, including fires and power surges that can cause damage to your appliances and electronics.

Home Renovations or Additions

If you’re planning on adding on to your home or renovating certain rooms, then an upgraded electrical system may be a good idea—especially if you plan on using new technology (like a computer) in these areas. Upgrading the panel could decrease the chances of fires occurring while you work on the project. And who doesn’t want that?

Safety Concerns

If your home’s electrical system was installed before 1990, it may not have been built to modern building codes. The National Electrical Code has undergone several revisions since then, so any home with old wiring could have safety issues that aren’t immediately apparent.

What Is The Cost Of Electrical Panel Upgrades?

The cost of electrical panel upgrades depends on a variety of factors, including the size of the panel, what kind of upgrade you’re looking for, and whether you’re willing to do it yourself or hire a professional electrician in Pasadena, MD, to do it for you.

Here are several factors that determine the cost of an electrical panel upgrade:

Panel Size

The larger your panel, the more it will cost to upgrade.

Amp Capacity

The more amps you need, the more expensive it will be to upgrade your panel.

Existing Electrical System

A new panel can’t work if your house isn’t wired for it! If you have an older house with knob & tube wiring, you’ll need to get a licensed electrician to upgrade that first before they can install the new panel.

Wiring and Circuitry

The type of panels available will determine how many circuits (or individual sections) they contain. In addition, each circuit has its own voltage requirements and amperage capacity, which will affect how much power is available for different loads like lighting fixtures or appliances like refrigerators.

Labor and Installation

The cost of labor and installation can vary depending on factors such as local labor rates, the complexity of the panel installation, and the time required to complete the upgrade.

Additional Electrical Work

This is a big one. If there’s any work that needs to be done on your home’s existing electrical system, then it will cost more money.

Permits and Inspections

The more inspections and permits you need to get before beginning your project, the higher your total costs will be.

The following estimates are provided as a general guideline, but it’s essential to consult with local electricians for accurate pricing in your area:

ServiceCost Range
Upgrade to 100-Amp Service$100 – $1,600
Upgrade to 200-Amp Service$250 – $2,500+
Upgrade to 300-Amp Service$350 – $3,500+
Upgrade to 400-Amp Service$500 – $6,000+
Install Main Breaker$200 – $2,000
Install Subpanel$400 – $1,700+
Move Electrical Panel$800 – $3,000+
Install Electric Meter Box (Electrical Box)$50 – $3,500

What Other Upgrades Are Required In A Service Panel Change?

When making a change to your service panel, there are a few additional upgrades or modifications may be required to ensure the electrical system is safe, compliant to code, and capable of meeting your power needs. Here are some common upgrades that may accompany a service panel change:

Circuit Breakers

In many cases, upgrading the service panel requires replacing the existing circuit breakers with new ones that are compatible with the upgraded panel. This ensures proper protection and functionality for the electrical circuits in your home.

Indoor versus Outdoor Electrical Panels

  • Indoor Electrical Panels: Indoor electrical panels are typically installed in a basement, utility room, or other indoor space. They are protected from direct exposure to the elements, which can help prolong their lifespan. The cost difference between indoor and outdoor panels is generally minimal, if any.
  • Outdoor Electrical Panels: Outdoor electrical panels are designed to withstand weather conditions and are often installed on the exterior of the house. They require additional weatherproofing and protective measures. The cost of an outdoor electrical panel may be slightly higher due to the need for specialized enclosures and weatherproofing materials.

Outlet Breaker Replacements

The cost to replace an individual outlet breaker can vary from $35 to $60, depending upon the breaker’s brand, type, and amperage rating.

Labor Costs

Labor costs for electrical work can vary based on location and the project’s complexity. Electricians typically charge an hourly rate ranging from $75 to $150, depending on the region and the electrician’s experience. Some projects may have a flat fee or be priced completely based on the scope of work.

Permits

Depending on your local building codes and regulations, you may need permits for certain electrical work. Permit costs vary by location and project scope but typically range from $50 to $300 or more. It’s essential to check with your local building department to determine the specific permit requirements and associated fees.

Additional Repair Work

If your electrical system requires additional repair work, such as fixing faulty wiring, addressing code violations, or resolving safety concerns, the cost will depend on the extent of the repairs needed. It is recommended to have a professional Electrical panel upgrade electrician assess the situation and provide a detailed quote for the repair work.

Panel Upgrades As Safety Precaution

You might not realize it, but your electrical panel is a lot like your car.

It’s the most important part of your house—the engine that powers everything else. But it’s also one of the most overlooked and underappreciated pieces of equipment in your home.

So let me tell you about three benefits of upgrading your electrical panel:

Increased safety

Upgrading your electrical panels is a great way to ensure that you and your family are safe from things like power surges and short circuits.

Better energy efficiency

When you upgrade your electrical panel, you can be sure that your home will be optimized for energy efficiency.

More functionality

Upgrading your electrical panel allows you to add functionality like dimming lights or controlling the temperature of individual rooms in your home.

Enhanced electrical safety

An outdated electrical panel can be dangerous. If the circuit breaker doesn’t trip when it should and you overload the circuits, you risk fire or even electrical shock. Upgrading your electrical panel ensures you have a modern system with enough capacity to meet your needs without overloading it.

Code compliance

If you’re building a new house or adding to an existing one, you’ll need to install an adequate electrical service based on local building codes (and possibly state or federal codes). Upgrading your electrical panel will ensure that you meet these requirements and don’t end up in trouble with the authorities later on down the road!

Energy savings

Upgrading an older electrical panel can save money on energy bills by ensuring that all appliances are running at their most efficient levels. Newer breakers will provide better protection from overloading than older ones, which means less money is spent on power every month!

Support for modern appliances and technology

Modern appliances use more electricity than older models, which means that if your panel isn’t up to date, it could be putting strain on the system and causing problems with lights or outlets. Upgrading your panel will ensure it can handle current technology without causing damage or short circuits.

Home value and resale potential

Upgrading an outdated electrical system can help increase the value of your home by making it safer and more functional for current trends in modern living. This makes it more appealing for potential buyers when you wish to sell down the road!

DIY Vs. Professional Electrical Panel Installation

When installing an electrical panel in your home, you have two main options: do-it-yourself or hire a skilled electrician to do it for you.

Both DIY and professional electrical panel upgrades in Windsor have their pros and cons. Here’s a breakdown of what each option offers and which might be best for you.

FactorsDIY InstallationProfessional Installation
SafetyRequires knowledge and experience in electrical work; potential safety risks if not done correctlyProfessionals are trained and experienced in electrical installations, prioritize safety protocols, and adhere to electrical codes.
ExpertiseRequires a solid understanding of electrical systems, wiring, and panel installationElectricians have in-depth knowledge and expertise in electrical systems, ensuring proper installation and functionality
Tools and EquipmentNeed to acquire or rent specialized electrical tools and equipmentProfessionals have the necessary tools and equipment for efficient and safe installation
Electrical Code ComplianceMust research and understand local electrical codes and ensure complianceElectricians are well-versed in local electrical codes and regulations, ensuring compliance and passing inspections
PermitsResponsible for obtaining necessary permits and ensuring proper documentationElectricians can handle the permit process, reducing administrative burden and ensuring compliance.
TimeDIY installation may take longer due to research, learning, and potential troubleshootingProfessionals can complete the installation more efficiently, saving you time and effort.
Warranty and SupportMay not have access to professional warranties or support if issues ariseProfessionals provide warranties on their work and offer support for any installation-related concerns
The Complexity of the ProjectSuitable for simple panel replacements or upgrades with basic electrical knowledgeRecommended for complex installations, service upgrades, or rewiring projects
CostDIY installations may be cheaper in terms of labor costs, but potential risks and mistakes may cause costly repairs in the long runProfessional installations have upfront costs but can provide peace of mind, avoiding costly mistakes and ensuring proper functionality.

Hire Magothy Electric Co. Inc. to Upgrade Electrical Panels in Pasadena, MD!

Are you looking to upgrade the electrical panels in your home or business?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. We can help!

We’re Magothy Electric Co. Inc., and we’re here to help with all your electrical requirements. Whether you need a new panel installed or some general maintenance done on your existing panels, we have you covered. We have over 30 years of experience serving our local community, and we take pride in providing fast, reliable Electrical Panel Services in Glen Burnie at a reasonable price. Our team is dedicated to providing high-quality workmanship at an affordable price.

At Magothy Electric Co. Inc., we know that upgrading an electrical panel is no small task. It can be intimidating, confusing, and downright dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s why we’re here for you—to ensure your upgrade goes as smoothly as possible.

We know that when it comes to electrical work, every job is different, and each situation has its own unique challenges. That’s why our a licensed and insured electrical contractor at Magothy Electric Co. Inc. is prepared to work with you through every step of the process so that we can deliver exactly what you need: a high-quality new electrical panel that works seamlessly with your current system so that you can get back to living your life!

We also offer a variety of electrical services—including upgrading electrical panels, installing new wiring systems, repairing old ones, installing lightning rods and surge protectors, etc.—and we’re happy to help with any electrical project, large or small. 

And if you have an emergency situation? No problem! Just give us a call at (410) 439-0088.

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