What Is The Best Time For A Home Electrical Panel Upgrade?

When it comes to ensuring the safety and efficiency of your home’s electrical system, upgrading your electrical panel is crucial. But when is the ideal time to do so? While some may think it’s better to wait until there’s a problem, we at Ampt Over Electric recommend being proactive and scheduling an upgrade with our local electrical contractors before issues arise. This can prevent costly repairs down the line and keep your family safe from potential electrical hazards. 

This blog post explores the signs indicating it’s time for an upgrade and how to choose the right contractor. Stay tuned!

12+ Tell-Tale Signs That You Need To Upgrade Electrical Panel

Homeowners often overlook upgrading their electrical panels because they lack awareness. To assist you, here are some tips to spot signs of a panel needing replacement:

1. Your Circuit Breakers Continue To Trip

If your circuit breakers frequently trip, it’s a clear sign that you need an electrical panel upgrade. This happens when the panel can’t handle the power demand, causing safety issues. Upgrading to a higher-capacity panel will prevent overloads and enhance safety.

2. Your Electrical System Operates On Fuses

If your electrical system still relies on fuses, it’s time to upgrade. Fuses are outdated and pose safety risks due to their slow response to overloads. Modern circuit breakers are more efficient and provide better protection. An electrical panel upgrade will ensure safer and more reliable power distribution.

3. Your Circuit Breaker Panel Is Old

An old circuit breaker panel indicates that it needs an upgrade. Outdated panels may need more essential safety features and can’t support modern electricity demands. Upgrading will enhance electrical efficiency and reduce the risk of electrical fires or hazards. It’s a wise investment for a safer and more reliable electrical system.

4. The Wrong Amp Wiring

If your electrical panel has the wrong amp wiring, it can lead to safety hazards. The panel must match your home’s power needs. Incorrect amperage can cause overheating, circuit failures, and even fires. So, it is recommended to upgrade to right-amp wiring to ensure a safe and efficient electrical system.

5. You Have Rust In Your Electrical Panel

Rust in the electrical panel is a worrying sign. Rust can weaken connections, leading to poor electrical flow and potential hazards. It might also indicate moisture infiltration, raising the risk of electrical shorts and shocks. Replace the corroded parts and consider upgrading to a more corrosion-resistant panel for enhanced safety.

6. There Is A Burning Smell

If you notice a burning smell near your electrical panel, it’s a clear sign of trouble. Don’t ignore it, as this smell indicates potential overheating or electrical issues that require immediate attention from a licensed electrician. Ignoring it could lead to more significant problems like electrical fires or damage to your appliances and devices. So, be proactive and address the issue promptly to ensure the safety of your home and family.

7. The Panel Feels Hot When You Touch It

A hot electrical panel is a concerning sign. When you touch it, which feels unusually warm, it may suggest an overload or loss of connections. Contact a professional electrician immediately to inspect and address the problem. They can identify the underlying cause and make the necessary repairs or upgrades to prevent potential hazards and ensure the panel operates safely.

8. A Black Spot Or Burned Area On The Panel Or An Outlet

Discovering burned areas or black spots on the panel or outlets is dangerous. These indicate electrical arcing or sparking, which can lead to fires. Flickering lights, tripped circuits, or power outages may also be present with these burned spots. Taking quick action can prevent further damage and potential electrical hazards, giving you peace of mind about your electrical system’s reliability.

9. There Is A Buzzing Sound From The Electric Panel

If you hear a buzzing sound from your electric panel, it could be a sign that it needs an upgrade. Buzzing indicates loose or faulty wiring, which can be hazardous. Address this promptly to avoid potential risks. A professional electrician can inspect the panel and recommend the necessary upgrade to ensure the safety and efficiency of your electrical system.

10. You Have Recently Upgraded Your Home Appliances

Upgrading your home appliances may strain your current electrical panel’s capacity. This strain can lead to overloading and cause electrical issues. For instance, circuit breakers may trip frequently, or the appliances may not perform optimally. To avoid such problems and protect your appliances, consider installing circuit breaker panels to accommodate the increased demand and ensure safety.

11. There Is Frequent Flickering Or Dimming Lights

Frequent flickering or dimming lights suggest an inadequate electrical panel. When the panel can’t handle the power demands, it causes fluctuations in voltage. This can result in annoying and potentially damaging effects on your lights and other electronic devices. An upgrade will stabilize the electrical supply, eliminate flickering, and prevent further lighting issues. It’s essential to have a licensed electrician assess your electrical panel and carry out the upgrade to ensure everything functions smoothly and safely in your home.

12. You Have Discoloured Outlets

If you notice discoloured outlets in your home, paying attention is crucial, as it can be a warning sign of electrical overheating. A damaged electrical panel or excessive heat from it is frequently the cause of this discoloration. Ignoring this issue can lead to more significant problems like electrical fires or equipment damage. Therefore, it’s essential to address the cause promptly by upgrading your electrical panel.

13. There Are Melted Wires In Your Electric Panel

The sight of melted wires in your electric panel is a severe concern that demands immediate action. Poor connections or excessive current are frequently the causes of them. This dangerous situation can lead to short circuits, electrical fires, or power outages. To ensure your home’s safety and prevent further damage, it’s crucial to upgrade your electric panel and have a professional electrician inspect and fix the underlying issues.

14. Your Electric Panel Has Become Aged

Over time, electrical panels can become aged and outdated, struggling to keep up with modern power demands. An older panel might need more capacity to handle today’s electrical appliances and devices, leading to frequent circuit breakers or fuses tripping. Upgrading your electrical panel ensures it can efficiently manage the increased electricity consumption in your home, enhancing safety and preventing electrical hazards.

15. Electric Shocks From Light Switches And Outlets

Experiencing electric shocks when touching light switches or outlets is a serious concern that should not be ignored. This sensation occurs due to faulty wiring or an outdated electric panel. Electric shocks can pose a risk of electrocution and indicate that an electrical system needs an upgrade. Seeking the help of a professional electrician to upgrade your panel will ensure a safer living environment for you and your family.

Now that you know what signs to look for, let us briefly discuss how to choose a local electrician.

Factors To Look At While Hiring Local Electrical Contractors

Here are some factors that can help narrow your search for a quick home electrical panel upgrade

  • Make sure the electrician you hire has the necessary licenses and certifications to practice in your state or region. This ensures they have met the required safety, quality, and expertise standards.
  • Check online reviews from past customers to get an idea of the electrician’s reputation for upgrading electrical panels. You can also ask for references from previous clients and contact them about their experience with the electrician.
  • Ensure the electrician has liability and workers’ compensation insurance. This protects you and your property in case of accidents or damages during the work.
  • Ask for a detailed estimate of the electrical panel upgrades, including fuse box, materials, and labour. The electrician should be able to communicate the scope of the work, the timeline, and any potential issues that may arise.
  • Verify that the electrician follows safety protocols and best practices. They should have a safety plan and provide information on how they handle hazardous materials and equipment.
  • Consider the electrician’s availability and response time. You want to ensure they can complete the electrical panel replacement within a reasonable timeframe and respond to your needs.
  • Ensure the electrician has the necessary equipment and tools to do the job efficiently and effectively. Outdated or poorly maintained equipment can lead to subpar work and safety risks.
  • Find out if the electrician offers a warranty on their work. A reputable electrician who follows the Canadian electrical code will stand behind their work and offer a warranty on labour and materials.
  • Check if the electrician is a member of professional associations such as the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) or the International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI). Membership in these organizations indicates a commitment to industry standards and best practices.

Consider these factors to find a qualified and trustworthy local electrical contractor who can safely and efficiently meet your electrical needs. Remember, always prioritize safety and take the time to research and vet potential electricians before you plan to upgrade your electrical panel.


Let’s Get Started With Home Electrical Panel Upgrade

If you’ve noticed any warning signs, upgrading to a new electrical panel might be a good idea. But remember, panel upgrades can be complicated, so getting help from a skilled electrician is best.

Ultimately, it is if you feel it’s time to upgrade electrical panels. If you want to know more about how Ampt Over Electric can assist you with your home and commercial electrical needs, contact us today. We will discuss your upgrade choices, issues, and the solutions we can offer for your home and commercial locations, like Tesla fast charger installation, aluminum electrical wiring, hot tub installation, and many more.

This post is part of our commitment to transparent, helpful, and informative content for our readers and visitors. For more details on our editorial process and how we ensure accuracy and reliability, please visit our Editorial Process page.


Corey Hayes

Corey Hayes is a seasoned marketing professional with two decades of experience in small business marketing, dedicating 15 years of his illustrious career to elevating Ampt Over Electric's brand. His expertise and visionary approach have been pivotal in shaping the company's market presence and success.

Jorden McCullough,

Master Electrician, CEO of Ampt Over Electric.
Jorden, is a highly skilled Red Seal Master Electrician, with over 20 years of experience serving Calgary’s communities in a commercial and residential electrical capacity. AMPT Over Electric was established in Alberta in 2009 and proudly serves Calgary and surrounding areas. Our goal is, and has always been, to build relationships in business on integrity and respect. Our commitment to our community is to provide safe, high-quality electrical service. In order to guarantee that, we only employ competent Calgary electricians who share the same passion that we do.

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