Residential, Cook Electric
Written by Larry Cook

Modernize Your Home by Upgrading to a 200-Amp Service Panel – Part 1

The majority of homeowners can figure out how to reset a tripped circuit breaker. However, some have never opened the grey box in the laundry room or garage. If you take a peek inside, you will see a main breaker set aside from the others, and it will typically indicate an 80-amp or higher maximum capacity for your home’s electrical system.

Basics of Amps

Amps are a standard of measure of the amount of electricity able to flow through a circuit. A house’s electrical system will be divided into several circuits, and all of them meet at the electric service panel.

The master service panel and the individual circuits are limited to carrying a certain amount of electricity before overheating. Each circuit breaker found within the main service panel is designed to cut electricity to its respective circuit when it begins drawing more power than what is safe.

Outdated breaker panels are usually not capable of handling all the electricity flowing through a modern home’s circuits. The lights will sometimes go out when a vacuum cleaner, microwave, or hair dryer gets turned on. This happens when too much power has been drawn from the electrical system, although not one individual circuit was overloaded. The problem is an electrical service panel with a low capacity.

Three 200-Amp Service Panel Advantages

1) Safety – Installing an upgraded service panel, also called a heavy-up, will improve the safety of your home’s electrical system. Your circuit breakers may not be tripping yet but a 100-amp service panel is very near the capacity needed by a modern home.

An electrical circuit should only sustain loads of 80% of its maximum capacity. This is a safety buffer engineered into home circuits in the event of sudden power spikes. It prevents overloading outlets and wires and causing an electrical fire. In effect, a 100-amp system should be limited to drawing a maximum of 80 amps.

Part 2 will continue discussing Two More 200-Amp Service Panel Advantages and Benefits of Upgrading Service.

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