Residential, Cook Electric
Written by Larry Cook

When Does Your Home Need an Electrical System Upgrade? – Part 1

Updating your home’s electrical system will help ensure there will be protection from fire hazards due to overloaded circuits. There are ways you can determine if your home needs an electrical upgrade as discussed below.

When You Should Upgrade

A house’s electrical system is like the circulatory system of your body. The electrical panel is the system’s heart. Circuits transmitting electricity to every outlet, light fixture, and appliance in a home are similar to arteries and veins carrying blood to organs.

The amount of available power that circuits can provide to appliances, light fixtures, and outlets is determined by the electrical panel of your home.

The quantity and capacity of the circuit breakers will determine the way power distribution is distributed throughout the home.

Important First Steps for Upgrading

1. Upgrade the electrical panel to bring more utility power into your house.

2. Replace the circuit breaker box and existing meter, so more electricity can be handled.

3. Replace the electrical panel or circuit breaker if damaged, hazardous or obsolete.

A home’s interior electrical wiring won’t be affected. However, the above first steps will allow the electrical system to distribute more power more efficiently.

Installing additional circuits will enable the distribution of more power to appliances and home areas. Upgrades will typically also involve replacing old receptacles and installing new electrical outlets.

Older Homes and Electrical Panels

Most older homes were built with an electrical system that can handle only 30 to 60 amps. They are not capable of handling modern electrical demands, with a 200-amp electrical panel now the standard for new homes. As a result, circuit breakers may frequently trip in an older house. Although inconvenient, this protects the home from an electrical fire. However, an older home with an outdated electrical system may have circuit breakers that will fail to trip. Performing a heavy-up (electrical panel upgrade) with updating wiring will help address the lack of power and safety issues.

Part 2 will discuss Signs Updates Are Needed, Electrical Upgrade Benefits, and DIY Dangers.

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.