Lately, the electrical power in your home has been spotty. Your lights flicker each and every time you use a hair dryer or the microwave. You plug in the most recent addition to your house entertainment system and promptly blow a fuse. What’s causing the problem? It might be that your home’s electrical panel is outdated and in need of an upgrade. Modern households generally have electrical devices running round the clock, and even electronics and systems which are switched off but remain plugged in can siphon electrical current. Older houses or buildings are often just not able to match the power demand. If you suspect your home is due for an upgrade, contact a licensed professional to assess the situation.

Do I Need an Upgrade?

The most obvious sign that you’ll require a service upgrade is whenever your electrical circuits simply can’t match your needs. If you have to unplug one appliance to be able to use another without tripping the breaker, or if certain activities cause your lights to flicker, you’re probably overtaxing your electrical panel. Although you may aren’t experiencing frequent losses of service, however, you may be ripe for a panel upgrade. If your present service panel has less than 200 amps of electricity available, or if your panel has screw-in fuses, the system is out-of-date. In most cases, if your house is more than 20 years old, it’s worth looking at an electrical panel upgrade.

MAY I Wait to Upgrade?

Home repairs, especially to the electrical system, aren’t cheap. However, ‘s never a good idea to defer residential electrical repairs. An outdated, overstressed electrical panel isn’t just inconvenient-it may also be dangerous. If your property is filled with power strips and electrical cords because you have far more electrical devices than outlets, you’re asking each outlet to work beyond its intended capacity. If one of these brilliant circuits overheats and blows under the strain, it could affect your personal computer, printer, television, gaming console, and other things that is attached. Additionally, overheating panels and circuits are a fire hazard. Upgrade your electrical panel before it reaches this aspect to protect your property and your family from harm.

Can I CORRECT IT Myself?

A power panel upgrade really is not a DIY project. Repairing and upgrading the electrical wiring for a whole home is extremely complicated-and there’s a lot at stake if it isn’t done correctly. Additionally, dealing with electrical wiring carries the risk of electrocution, in addition to being a fire hazard. Unless you are trained in electrical system repair and installation, call a professional residential electrician for your upgrade.

Penny Jones is a home improvement enthusiast and a senior Internet marketing strategist for Prospect Genius, a leader in online local advertising.

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