3 Things You Need to Know About a Service Panel Upgrade

September 16, 2019

The main service panel in a home is responsible for distributing the incoming electrical current between multiple circuits, each with its own circuit breaker for safety and convenience. As your electrical requirements evolve and your service panel runs out of the space and capacity to meet your needs, it will become necessary to upgrade the service panel in your Minneapolis home.For service panel upgrades and other home wiring services in Minneapolis, contact Randy’s Electric online or give our team a call at 612-470-0914.Here are three things you should know about the process before you opt for a service panel upgrade:

1. When You Should Upgrade the Service Panel

Service panels can last nearly indefinitely with ongoing breaker replacements, but that does not mean that they are safe or appropriate for the needs of your home. Some service panels use outdated or unsafe designs that are no longer supported by the manufacturers or eligible for homeowners insurance. Others may be damaged, or they simply may not have enough capacity for the current load requirements. Here are five indications that it is time to upgrade your service panel:

  • The service panel does not have enough open circuits for your needs
  • You need to upgrade to 100-, 150-, or 200-amp service to operate high-demand appliances
  • The panel shows signs of arcing, scorching, corrosion, or other damage
  • The service panel lacks a main shut-off breaker or uses fuses
  • One or more sub-panels have been added
  • The panel or wiring is old or obsolete
  • The panel is generating excessive heat or making humming or buzzing noises

It also may be time to consider a service panel upgrade, along with rewiring services, if you have frequent problems with flickering or dimming lights, frequent tripped breakers, or in-wall wiring that becomes excessively hot.

2. What Is Involved in a Service Panel Upgrade

When you decide to upgrade your service panel, you will need to call a licensed electrical contractor. They will send a qualified electrician to your home who will:

  • Evaluate your home’s electrical needs
  • Select the best panel for the job
  • Install the panel and circuit breakers
  • Connect the individual circuits
  • Fully test and document the system

If you need to upgrade your electrical service to a higher current rating, such as 150 or 200 amps, the contractor may need to coordinate with your local utility to install the appropriate cables, meter, and other equipment, which may take longer to arrange.

3. Why It Is Wise to Plan for the Future

Discuss your current and future electrical needs with your electrical contractor. Though you may not need them now, reserving space and capacity for features like an outlet for an electric dryer, a high-current supply for a welder or air compressor in the garage, or a charging port for an electric vehicle may save considerable trouble and expense in the future without costing too much extra now. Also, consider adding features like whole-home surge protection to keep sensitive electronics safe from power spikes, and full-circuit arc fault or GFCI protection for enhanced safety in bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens.

Schedule a Service Panel Upgrade in Minneapolis or St. Paul Today

Would you like to enhance safety in your home or add additional circuits for the latest appliances and electronics? Call our team at Randy's Electric for a cost-effective, professional service panel upgrade. We are the premier electrical contractors in the Twin Cities area, and we are committed to quality service and exceptional workmanship on every job.Call our talented electricians at 612-470-0914 or contact us online to schedule your service panel upgrade today!