Pittsburgh Electrical Panel Upgrade – What Does It Entail?
It cannot be stressed enough, the importance of an electrical panel. This component houses the home’s electrical system, including wiring and fuses and/or circuit breakers. Unfortunately, the electrical panel is designed to only offer a service life between 20 and 30 years. The structure itself is guaranteed to last at least 40 years.
The best and only way to avoid a complete overhaul of your electrical panel is to make repairs without delay. When this is combined with routine inspections and maintenance, it may be possible to extend the life of your electrical panel by a decade or longer.
Know Your Electrical Panel Manufacturer
Every homeowner should know the ins and outs of their electrical panel. The manufacturer is very important because some are known to deliver low-quality electrical panels. Just one example, Zinsco manufactured thousands of electrical panels until its production came to an end in the 70s.
Knowing the manufacturer will play in your favor because it can help in determining when a full upgrade is needed.
Another electrical panel manufacturer is Federal Pacific Electric (FPE). The company’s Stab-Lok electrical panel can be found in thousands of homes all throughout the nation. FPE electrical panels These are no longer utilized in new construction.
The FPE Stab-Lock electrical panel has been deemed a “fire hazard.” The fire hazard classification has been contributed to a “safety defect.” Some states, including New Jersey, have filed lawsuits against FPE, alleging “lack of testing.”
Electrical Fuse Boxes
Instead of an electrical panel, some homes have an electrical fuse box. This box is very similar to the electrical panel, but instead of housing circuit breakers, it houses electrical fuses.
Fuse boxes and fuses are rarely installed in modern homes because they are so limited. Some modern appliances, such as a large refrigerator, need at least 200 watts of power to operate. Fuses, on the other hand, are limited to 30 and 60 amps. So, they are no longer suitable for modern lifestyle.
When To Upgrade An Electrical Panel
Pittsburgh Electrician services believe an electrical panel should be updated in the following situations:
- When the manufacturer is determined to be FPE
- When the electrical panel is determined to be no longer “efficient”
- When the electrical panel is no longer able to switch off the entire home
- When signs of oxidation are detected
The best way to determine if your electrical panel needs to be replaced is with the help of a professional, visual inspection. Pittsburgh Electrician provides free electrical panel inspection by appointment only.
Know The Terms Associated With A Residential Electrical Panel
While it is not always necessary to be knowledgeable, it will play in your favor to know the common electrical panel terms. These include the following:
- Circuit breaker
- Breaker box and fuse box
- Load center
- Main electrical panel
- Main circuit breaker
- Knob-and-tube wiring
- Aluminum wiring
- Cloth-covered wiring
- Plastic-covered wiring
When Is An Electrical Panel Considered “Too Small”
An electrical panel is too small when it can no longer keep up with your household energy needs, it cannot support an additional circuit breaker, and the circuit breakers frequently trip.
Professional Electrical Panel Upgrade Service
When most homeowners think of an electrical panel upgrade, the overall expense comes to mind. An electrical panel upgrade should not break the bank. If you hire up to do the job, it will not cost you a fortune or send you into bankruptcy. We are willing to work with your schedule and budget to see that your electrical panel returns to code.