We get a lot of calls from homeowners who ask about replacing their electrical panel.
A lot of homes in Garland, Rockwall, Richardson and East Plano were built in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s. Some are even older. How long have you lived in your house?
Do you still have the same electrical panel or “fuse box” that was installed 15-20 years ago? Longer? You may need to have the Panel upgraded or possibly have a new panel installed. In most cities around Dallas you will have to upgrade the panels just to bring them up to current code standards. This is not only a safety issue but it should also improve electrical efficiency!
The Basics of the Electrical Panel
The electrical panel or fuse box (sometimes called a electrical load center) is something like a traffic control cop for your house. As electrical power enters your house, the job of the electrical panel is to divide the current into different circuits for distribution through the house.
The electrical panel also protects the homes electrical system with fuses or breakers for each of the circuits. If there’s a voltage overload in a circuit, the panel will either trip a breaker or burn out a fuse. In either case, it stops the flow of electricity to the overloaded circuit until the breaker is reset or a new fuse is installed.
Some larger homes may have sub-panels to service areas with multiple circuits. Your kitchen may have a panel just for appliances and outlets in the kitchen.
These electric load centers are not meant to last forever. The amount of electricity used in homes has risen drastically over the last two decades. In 2018, the average annual electricity consumption in a US home was 12,300 kWh, an average of 1,025 kWh per month. That is a 20% increase since 2017. The rise in the electricity use is going to keep going up as TVs get bigger and homes add more computers, electric cars and personal devices.
Can your current panel handle the rise in electrical use? If it’s more than a decade old, it might require upgrades to handle your usage. If you have noticed more tripped circuit breakers than before, we recommend calling our team to arrange a free consultation. For older panels, panels out of code or ones that have suffered electrical fires, we’ll advise a full panel replacement.
Replace Fuse Boxes
If your home still has an old fashioned fuse box rather than an electric panel with circuit breakers, you need an upgrade sooner than later. To deal with the rise in electrical usage from computers, monitors, TVs and personal electronics you will need larger fuses put into the panel, and this creates a major safety hazard! Electrical panels are safer and required by code in most cities around DFW.
If you are upgrading or replacing your electrical panel you should consider adding surge protection. A whole-house surge protector reroutes excess voltage (Like a lighting strike or a power surge from the plant) down into the ground. This should / can / will prevent serious damage to appliances and personal electronics in your home—basic power strips aren’t enough!
If you think you need service for an electrical panel in Garland, Rowlett, Richardson or East Plano, please contact us. With over 10 years of experience we’re expert electrical troubleshooters and can diagnose and repair all your electrical problems in your home.