Have you ever thought about your electrical wall panel? It’s that box with all the breakers and switches that something trips in sometimes, and you have to go and reset it. This is actually the control central of your home’s electrical system. It distributes power to everywhere it’s required, continuously monitors the myriad of circuits for faults, and basically saves your life from an electrifying demise.
Spare a thought, then for this hard-working piece of equipment, especially if your house is 25 years or older. Have a read-through this article and understand as to why your electrical panel may need an upgrade. If you’re unsure about anything, we at EVSOL Energy are glad to visit your premises, evaluate your electrical panel and energy requirements, and propose value-driven solutions.
Our Electricity Consumption has Increased Over the Years
Over the past two decades or so, digital devices have proliferated our lives to a great degree. Desktop computers were veritable power hogs and have given way to lesser-demanding notebook computers, Our mobile phones and tabs require regular charging. Our TVS have gotten larger and flatter, and we have cinema-quality home theatre systems in our living rooms. Modern convenience appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, washing machines, clothes dryers and vacuum cleaners all demand their fair share of power too.
Our HVAC Demands Have Increased Too
More and more homes and offices are having HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) units installed for occupants to enhance their comfort. Older, less efficient, and polluting gas furnaces are giving way to cleaner and more efficient electrical HVAC systems, whilst stand-alone room units may be retrofitted into homes and offices that do not have a centralized system installed. Moderating the temperature of a room outside the ambient range, whether to heat or cool it, is an energy intensive affair.
Electric Vehicles Enter the Picture
In the past, vehicles were powered by gasoline or diesel, and you simply pulled up to a forecourt, connected a nozzle and filled them up. With the advent of electric vehicles, home charging solutions such as Level 2 EV Chargers (a topic in which we are experts in, having over a decade of experience) are becoming more and more commonplace. Of course, these devices must connect to the main electrical panel, which should be suitably rated to handle their electricity demands. As an indication, a Level 2 EV Charger may draw over 7kW of power when charging an electric vehicle at peak rate.
Older Electrical Panels Simply Cannot Cope
Thirty or so years ago, an electrical panel with a rating of 60A was more than enough for the average home. Fast forward to 2022, and a minimum rating of 200A is recommended to cope with the increased electrical requirements of the average family, due to the reasons mentioned above. Whilst the electrical panel is typically envisioned to have a life span of fifty years or so, it’s best to change it as soon as possible if you find that it’s over twenty years old or rated at 60A or 100A.
Older electrical panels may be less safe and your home or office could be at risk if you continue using them, especially if they are of the lower 60A or 100A type and your electrical requirements have increased. Electrical panels not only ensure that faulty appliances are isolated, but they do so much more to keep you and your family safe.
Wonder what would happen if, for example, a live or ‘hot’ wire were to accidentally contact with a ground wire, say if there were rodents inside your walls who had chewed up the wires? You could receive a nasty shock if you were to touch the body of a grounded appliance if this happens. Fortunately, your electrical panel will instantly detect it and trip, alerting you to this life-threatening situation. A similar situation could occur if a water pipe bursts or leaks, and water comes into contact with electrical fixtures. Once again, your electrical panel comes to the rescue, tripping and alerting you of a possible fault.
Ways to Tell if Your Electrical Panel is Being Overloaded
There are a few signs of electrical panel overload, and if you observe these signs, please give us a call as soon as possible.
Do your lights flicker or dim, especially when you turn on something with a
high current draw such as a water heater or electric cooker?
- Do you face individual circuit breakers (or the main breaker of the panel) tripping whenever you activate a device with a high current draw?
- Do you find that certain circuits or power outlets have less power than usual?
- Is your electrical panel showing signs of excessive heating or other, more alarming factors such as an odd smell in its vicinity?
We Can Upgrade Your Electrical Wall Panel for You
professional. Fortunately, we at EVSOL Energy are licensed professionals with over a decade of experience under out belt. We will visit your home, inspect your electrical panel, and propose a suitable upgrade that will be able to handle your current as well as envisioned future electrical needs, including whether you wish to install a Level 2 EV Charger, for example. Give us a call and we’re glad to help.
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