Your electrical panel is the heart of your home’s electrical system. It directs electricity from the power company to various parts of your house. But like any other piece of equipment, it can wear out over time, causing issues that can quickly lead to safety hazards.
You may be wondering if you should repair your electrical panel or if investing in a complete replacement is a better idea. The answer depends on several factors, including the age of the panel, its condition, and the specific problems you’re experiencing. But don’t worry — EP Electric’s skilled team of electricians in Montgomery County, PA, is here to help! Here’s what you should know about repairing vs. replacing your panel.
Understanding Your Electrical Panel
Before we delve into whether to repair or replace your electrical panel, it’s crucial to understand what an electrical panel does. Simply put, it’s your home’s electrical control center. It regulates the electricity flow from your utility company and distributes it throughout your home.
The electrical panel is also responsible for separating your home’s electrical power into smaller circuits. Each of these circuits is protected by a circuit breaker. These breakers are essentially safety devices designed to protect your home and appliances from power surges and potential fire hazards. When they detect an overload or short circuit, they “trip” or shut off, interrupting the flow of electricity to that particular circuit.
As they succumb to age, wear and tear, and other types of damage, electrical panels can become less efficient and lead to higher energy bills. In addition, aging electrical equipment can pose a significant safety hazard due to the risk of electrical fires and electrical shock. It’s vital to call a professional for assistance before these dangers become a reality for you and your family members.
Repairing Your Electrical Panel
Repairing your electrical panel might be viable if the problems are minor, such as a broken circuit breaker or loose wiring. Repairs can often be done quickly and at a lower cost than replacement. However, small-scale electrical work may not do much if the problems with your panel are continuous or complex. If you keep putting up with inefficient appliances, flickering lights, and other annoyances even after multiple repairs, it may be more cost-effective to put that money towards a panel replacement instead.
Replacing Your Electrical Panel
One clear sign that your electrical panel needs replacement is age. Most electrical panels are designed to last between 25-40 years. If your panel is older than this, it’s probably time to consider replacement.
A licensed electrician will also need to replace your electrical panel regardless of age if it was made by Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) or Zinsco. Both of these panel types are outdated and potentially dangerous. If you have an older home, check carefully for these brands and give us a call if you notice them.
Another red flag is if your electrical panel is warm to the touch. This could indicate an overload, which poses a significant fire risk. Similarly, if you notice damaged, exposed, or faulty wires or suspect water damage, it’s best to replace the panel to prevent potential fires. Our 24-hour emergency electricians are just one call away, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you need to replace a circuit breaker.
Finally, if your home still uses an outdated fuse box instead of a circuit breaker panel, it’s high time for an upgrade. Modern electrical panels are safer, more efficient, and better suited to handle the power demands of today’s appliances and electronics.
The Benefits of Replacing Your Electrical Panel
Replacing your electrical panel has several advantages. Firstly, it significantly improves the safety of your home. Outdated and malfunctioning electricals pose a risk of fire and electrical shocks. A new electrical panel eliminates these risks, protecting you and your family.
In addition, a new electrical panel can handle higher electrical loads. If you’ve recently added new appliances or are planning a home renovation, upgrading your electrical panel will ensure that your electrical system can accommodate the increased demand.
Finally, replacing your electrical panel can boost your property value. A modern, efficient, and safe electrical system is a strong selling point if you ever decide to put your house on the market.
Get Panel Help, Pronto!
Determining whether to repair or replace your electrical panel is a significant decision that requires careful consideration of several factors, including the panel’s condition, power needs, and potential costs. If you notice any issues with your electrical panel, it’s always best to consult with a professional electrician at EP Electric. We can help you determine whether repairing the damage or replacing the panel is more cost-effective. Give us a call today, and we’ll be there right away to give you a hand with all of your electrical needs!