When Should I Update My Electrical Panel?
Updated: Apr 27
We get a lot of phone calls from clients asking this exact question. There are more than a few answers depending on the situation.
Your panel is more than 30 years old. Electrical codes have drastically changed over the years. So depending on the installation date and quality of the supplies used, it might be a good time to have your electrical panel inspected by a Licensed Electrician. If you have just bought a home, keep in mind that a Home Inspector, IS NOT, a Licensed Electrician. They are only taught to spot the bare minimum and give recommendations from that.
You are planning to add a deck with Lighting, Hot Tub, RV Plug, additional Power or Lighting in other ares. If you are planning on adding additional circuits in your home, you will want to make sure that your Electrical Panel is up to the challenge. Things to look for are: Panel Amperage. This is the max amperage your Electrical Panel is rated for. It can range from 100A to 200A and above depending the size of your home. The next thing to look for is available spaces in your Electrical Panel. Depending on the size of equipment or lighting you plan to install, you want to make sure you have the space needed to accommodate the breaker(s) needed to serve the load.
You have Federal Pacific Electrical Panel. The breakers in these panels have a bad habit of not tripping when the load is exceeded. This can cause heat, sparks, and then fire. Below is a study that was done regarding this specific brand of Electrical Panel.