You might notice that we at EVSOL Energy frequently refer to the electrical panel, electrical wall panel, main electrical panel, or electrical switchboard in our previous blog articles, as well as in our product and service mix. What is this thing, exactly? More importantly, what does it do, and why should we upgrade it, isn’t it enough after all? In this article, we look at why upgrading your electrical wall panel is a worthy investment. We explain the purpose of an electrical panel, as well as why you shouldn’t go poking around it too.
Got an issue with your home electrical system, or want to upgrade it? Perhaps you’ve bought an EV and want to install that slick new Level 2 EV Charger that the dealership told you about that would make charges a quick experience? Maybe your neighbour has installed a rooftop solar system and is revelling in the free electricity. We are on hand to help with all things electrical. We’ve got decades of collective knowledge and experience across our Master Electricians and stand by our work with pride and conviction. So much so, in fact that we offer a lifetime warranty on labour. But enough on all that for now, let’s dive into (not literally, figuratively) the electrical panel stuff.
What is the Electrical Panel in My Home, and What Does it Do?
Simply put, the electrical panel is the control central of your home’s myriad of electrical circuits. It’s the place where electricity enters your home from the National Grid and is distributed across the myriad of circuits across your home. You may not think it complex, but it is.
Behind the walls of your home are a myriad of electrical circuits. Room lighting is one circuit. The power outlets or receptacles are another. If you’ve got individual HVAC units in rooms, each of those require their own circuit, as does the washing machine, electric oven, dishwasher, dryer, cooker, boiler or water heater, EV charger and any other high-current equipment. In fact, some equipment may work on 220v – 240v, rather than the more common 120v you find at regular outlets in our homes, and once again, the electrical panel takes care of this by managing the various phases. We won’t go into further technical detail, let’s just say that the electrical panel is quite an important piece of equipment without which your home would be instantly plunged into the Dark Ages – literally and figuratively.
However, your electrical wall panel does so much more than just distribute power across various circuits. It also contains circuit breakers for each circuit, as well as GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) and AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interruptor) devices that detect potential faults and leakages in the electrical circuits and switch off power to those circuits in the blink of an eye. If you’ve ever gotten an electrical shock and lived to tell the tale, you should thank your electrical wall panel for detecting it and switching it off before the current stopped your heart and you dropped dead. Makes you feel bad now for cursing on your way to the panel to reset the tripped circuit breaker, doesn’t it?
If it's Working Fine, Why Upgrade it?
Your electrical panel is working fine – today. However, it’s never a bad time to evaluate your current and future electrical needs and determine if your electrical panel needs an upgrade. There are a few compelling reasons for this, of which we present three.
Number one is if your home is old, typically over twenty-five years, it’s always a good idea to have a professional give your electrical panel a comprehensive once-over. These things are designed for a lifespan of up to fifty years, but it’s best to have everything checked out well before. Think of it as preventative maintenance. After all, automobiles can easily last fifty years, but they need preventative maintenance to do that. Imagine if you never changed the oil in your engine? It wouldn’t even last five, let alone fifty years!
Number two is that over the years, our electrical consumption has increased. Whilst efficient appliances and HVAC systems have brought it down on one side, our hunger for smart devices has increased it on the other side. We are constantly charging our phones and tabs. Our smart TV, smart speakers, smart vacuums, smart refrigerators, and the necessary WiFi equipment to support them all are constantly on standby, sucking power even when not in use. Couple this with the fact that older homes may have 100A or even 60A electrical panels, and an upgrade is a good idea. With the increasing popularity of electric vehicles, the aforementioned Level 2 EV Charger looks appealing, however you need an electrical panel rated at a minimum of 200A to accommodate those, so an upgrade is compulsory if a Level 2 EV Charger is on the cards and your electrical panel is rated less than 200A.
Number three is if you want to install rooftop solar, you will most likely need to upgrade your electrical panel, as older panels will most likely not support the complexities of rooftop solar.
Who Can Do it for Me?
EVSOL Energy can! Just give us a call and we’ll pop right by, have a look and a chat, and give you a comprehensive quotation. Our work carries a lifetime labour warranty, and our transparent quotes clearly state the cost of materials and labour. As experts in all things electrical, we’ve got you covered!
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