An electrical panel (also known as a breaker box, load center, breaker panel, and service panel) is a steel box in your home that contains multiple circuit breakers, usually in two columns. It’s typically in places like garages, basements, or laundry rooms and is responsible for sending electricity to the whole house.
So, how does it work?
Electric providers send energy through power lines, whether they be overhead, through power poles, or underground. The home’s meter receives the electricity and delivers it to the breaker box. From there, electricity goes through the house via circuits or sub-panels.
Finally, power lines connect to the meter, and the main circuit breaker pulls electricity from the meter to complete the circuit. This electricity goes to bus bars which send power to the rest of the circuit breakers.
As they age, however, electrical panels gradually begin to break down instead of suddenly quitting working. Some tell-tale signs of a necessary upgrade include:
- The panel is 25 years old or more
- It smells like it’s burning or smoking
- It’s hot or warm to the touch
- Breakers frequently trip
- Homeowners are using multiple power strips or adding new electrical systems
The good news is that electric panel upgrades cost a fraction of a home’s value and only take a few hours to complete. Today we’ll discuss three benefits of an electrical panel upgrade so your home can be as safe and efficient as possible.
Simply put, old electric panels are safety hazards. They can cause electrical fires that can destroy entire properties. These are much more common than you would think, too. In fact, each year there are 51,000 home fires, which cause over 500 deaths and $1.3 billion in property damage.
Homeowners should immediately contact an electrician if they notice any of these signs. Even if none of these problems is present, it’s always a good idea to have a professional check to keep your panel in tip-top shape.
More Stable Power
New electrical panels mean more steady electricity. They do away with issues like flickering lights, ruined appliances, and tripped breakers. They can also add more devices to a home without blowing fuses, damaging other appliances, or causing power surges. This is crucial when considering appliances like air conditioners, refrigerators, and home medical equipment.
A significant advantage of upgrading an electrical panel is the options it gives to add appliances to a home. This is especially helpful for dishwashers, refrigerators, and air conditioners, which all consume a significant amount of energy. They also often need their own dedicated circuits and might not be able to have one if a panel doesn’t have room for it.
Get in touch
Compassion, integrity, and professionalism have guided us since 1975. Since then, we’ve been going the extra mile for our clients, serving our community, and striving to create the best environment for our customers and team members alike.
We tackle all residential electrical problems, including efficiency upgrades, electrical panels, fuse boxes, LED lighting, and smart home accessories. With expert troubleshooting and 24-hour service, we’ll help you stay out of the dark.
Don’t let a common fix like an electrical panel upgrade put you or your loved ones in danger. Get in touch with Cogburn Electric and schedule your panel upgrade today!