Residential, Cook Electric
Written by Larry Cook

Heavy-Up Basics for Older Homes

An electrical panel upgrade, otherwise known as a heavy-up, will increase the amperage capacity of your service panel to enable your home’s electrical system to handle a higher electrical load. This process will typically result in an increase of amperage from 100 amps to 200 amps.

Older Homes

There is a greater chance that an older house will require a heavy-up in order to meet modern electrical demands. Many homes in Maryland, especially in historic areas, were constructed several decades before modern technology features, such as telephones, cable and satellite television, computers, and the Internet, were invented. Although some homes were eventually upgraded to cope with the 20th century, a great number are unable to handle today’s normal electrical usage.

Example of Why Heavy-Up is Needed

An example of why a heavy-up is often needed is the installation of a new HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) unit. Your home must be able to handle the resulting significant increase in electrical demand and required capacity to prevent problems and ensure safety. Think about the electrical demand that air conditioning use requires on hot summer days while your electrical system also has to provide power for refrigerators, microwaves, televisions, computers, and other electronic devices.

Heavy-Up Benefits

Upgrading your outdated electrical panel will promote safety in your house as the upgraded electrical system will be capable of handling modern electricity demands. Other benefits are stability of power, improved grounding, additional space for circuits, and a main breaker shut-off for emergencies.

Situations When Heavy-Up is Needed

• Flickering lights when major appliances are turned on
• Frequent tripping of circuit breakers
• Addition or expansion of room(s) for remodeling project
• Installation of a new large appliance or central air-conditioning system

Final Notes

A heavy-up is not a DIY project for the average homeowner. For your safety and best results, work with an experienced licensed electrician. This professional can also help obtain needed permits and inspections.

Electrical Peace of Mind

Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs, including:

• Commercial & Residential Electrical Installations
• Marina & Residential Pier Wiring
• Electrical Service & Repair
Specialty Electrical Services

For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at (410) 266-9040. We will be very glad to help you.