If you live in an old house that has a lot of its original materials, you may need to replace the electrical panel at some point. Panels can last for decades, so if your home is fairly new, you may not need to worry about your electrical panel unless it's damaged somehow.
An old home with an old panel is different because an old electrical panel might not supply enough power for your needs since there is a higher electrical demand in homes now than in decades past. Here's why you might need or want an electrical panel replacement.
1. You Want A Tankless Water Heater
If you buy a modern appliance that uses a lot of electricity, your old panel may not be sufficient. This is sometimes the case with a tankless electric water heater. The heater has to draw a lot of power to heat water fast. An old panel may not be able to handle this increased demand safely. Before you have an appliance such as a tankless water heater installed, let an electrician check your panel to see if it needs to be upgraded first.
2. Your Home Needs More Dedicated Circuits
Newer homes often need more dedicated circuits due to additions such as an EV charger, small kitchen appliances, power tools, and large appliances. Rather than adding appliances to an existing circuit and causing the breaker to flip off regularly, it's a good idea to have new dedicated circuits put in that are for only a single appliance rather than being shared.
The problem could be your old panel doesn't have room for any new circuits. When that's the case, an electrical panel replacement is a good idea. You'll have room for many new circuits so you can add them now and in the coming years.
3. The Panel Develops Problems Or Rusts Out
Electrical panels are made from metal, so rust is a potential problem, especially for panels outdoors. If your electrical panel shows signs of rust or other deterioration, it's good to have it inspected by an electrician. You may need an electrical panel replacement for safety reasons.
4. You Frequently Overload Outlets
Signs you're probably overloading circuits include using extension cords and power bars, flickering lights, and a circuit breaker that trips often. Overloaded circuits are a potential fire hazard, so it's wise if you avoid the practice. If necessary, the electrician can give you an electrical panel replacement so your home has more circuits and a lower risk of overloading any of them. This makes your home safer, and it's also more convenient for you to have more outlets and circuits.
For more information on an electrical panel replacement, contact a professional near you.