Electric Service Panel Upgrades and Replacement
An electrical panel, also known as a breaker panel, service panel or breaker box, is a steel box that holds circuit breakers wired to circuits that distribute power throughout your home. Your home’s electrical panel is the hub of your electrical system. It divides your home into separate circuits, each of which can be separately controlled.
Just like any other component in your home, over time the electrical panel can be subject to wear and tear since it’s responsible for the performance of your home’s entire electrical system.
Whether you need a fuse box upgrade, FPE panel replacement or circuit breaker repair, Roselle Electrical Service has the experience to take care of your electric panel needs.
Having an up-to-date electrical panel and system is not only important for the efficiency of your home and reliable functionality, but also for your family’s safety. The electricians at Roselle Electric would like to help you feel safe and confident in your electrical wiring and panel.
FEDERAL PACIFIC ELECTRIC PANELS ARE UNSAFE AND HAVE BEEN RECALLED
Federal Pacific lost their UL listing when it was discovered their breakers would not necessarily trip when they needed to. A circuit breaker is always sized to the load that it serves and the wire size it is supposed to protect. Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to know for sure if yours will work correctly or not. The problem that can occur if electricity does not shut off under overload conditions can be as serious as a home fire.
Panel in Poor Condition
Unfortunately, service panels can become damaged over time. In the Midwest, over the past several years, storms have caused water damage. Water is one of the worst things for a panel; it causes shorts and, long term, corrosion of the panel components. Often the damage is severe enough to warrant replacement. Corrosion can cause higher resistance and “Hot” spots that can be a fire hazard. It can also cause breakers to lose their ability to trip properly when a short occurs again causing a fire hazard. Sometimes rodents can cause damage to the wires inside a panel because the cabinet is not sealed properly to prevent their access. Rodent damage compromises the wiring making shorts possible. Improperly sized circuits can cause overheated components that can cause similar problems to water damage. Any of these problems can cause an inspector to deem a panel unsafe. Unsafe panels can delay or prevent a home sale or insurance coverage.
Additions to Home Electric Usage
Sometimes homeowners make changes or wish to make changes to their homes that will require that the panel and electrical service to be upgraded to a larger size. Most homes start out with a 100 amp service or less, and many homes now use more devices and appliances that use electricity and can require more service. Often larger electrical services are needed when items like pools, spas, and supplemental electric heat, and additional rooms are added to the home. Even adding extra electrical outlets for home entertainment systems and computers can cause an existing panel to be overloaded. A licensed electrician can help you determine if your circuits can handle these additions to the electrical loads.
Most homes built before 1960 used fuse style panels to manage the electrical circuits. When circuit breaker panels became more prevalent, fuse panels started to be considered unsafe. Often insurance companies and banks can consider fuse panels a large enough risk to deny coverage or loans. Fuse panels are not in of themselves dangerous. The issue with fuse panels is that it is too easy to oversize a fuse for the circuit. Many people started to use larger rated fuses to replace fuses that frequently went bad due to too much load on them. What people don’t realize is that the fuse is paired to the size of the wire used for the circuit. The larger a wire is the greater the current it can handle without generating too much heat. When too much current is put across a wire it works like the element in an oven and gets hot, which can create a fire hazard. A breaker is more difficult to change and should be done so by a licensed electrician who should not install a breaker that has a capacity greater than what the circuit wire can handle. Instead the electrician should divide the circuit into two and add a breaker to your panel. This is not possible with a fuse panel because they are typically not expandable.
Whether you need to install a new electrical panel or upgrade an older one, the electricians at Roselle Electric are here to help. Our electricians can evaluate your fuses or circuit breakers to make sure they measure up. If your system is older, it may have parts that are no longer available or are less safe than the newer systems. Taking into account your supply needs and your budget, our electricians can offer the upgrades that will give you the power supply you need at a cost you can afford.