The electrical panel is the backbone of your home’s electrical system. Most people probably don’t give it a second thought, however, until something happens with their electricity.
When people read the words electrical panel, they probably only think of tripped breakers. And yes, that’s where you go to handle those. However, like most things, these panels don’t last forever – they have to be updated and replaced every 25-40 years.
One obvious reason you would need an electrical panel replacement is if it breaks. This usually happens when it’s getting close to the end of its lifespan. A more serious cause or reason to update is getting your panel up to code.
If you house was built before the 1960s and the panel has not been replaced, you’re likely dealing with fuses instead of breakers. Fuses burn out and have to be replaced, whereas circuit breakers are fixed with a flip of the switch. Also, panels older than 25 or 30 years tend to max out at 30-100 amps. In today’s society, houses typically max out at 200 amps in order to run all the different electronic devices found inside. Anything less than 100 amps is illegal today, so check the inside of your panel door to see what max your box can handle.
So can replacing the electrical panel be a DIY job? The answer is typically no.
Unlike outlets in your house, you can’t shut off the power to a breaker box. When you turn off the main breaker, the lugs behind the switches still carry current, making this job difficult for a non-professional. If the power supply to your home is the problem, replacing the box won’t help. An experienced professional would need to replace the cables and electrical meter to give your home more amps.
The bottom line is your safety. Electrical panel updates keep your breakers, or fuses if your home is older, from tripping as often and potentially catching on fire. By calling Champion AC, we will send a qualified San Antonio electrician to your home today to get your panel up to date and make your home a safer place.
Ben is a retired Combat Controller with the United States Air Force. He started Champion AC in 2007. Ben is originally from the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He is happily married and an avid fan of the San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Saints.