The Benefits of Upgrading Your Electrical Panel in Folsom
Many homeowners in Folsom, California are still using the original electrical panel that was installed in their home decades ago. While these older panels served their purpose for many years, upgrading to a new panel today offers numerous benefits that can improve the overall safety, efficiency, and functionality of your home's electrical system. For those considering a panel upgrade, here are some of the top advantages to making the switch.
One of the main reasons to upgrade an old electrical panel is for enhanced safety. Electrical wiring and components do degrade over time due to daily wear and tear, weathering, and other environmental factors. Older panels are more prone to overheating, shorts, fires, and other potential hazards due to outdated wiring and breaker technologies. Newer panels are constructed with heavier gauge wires and grounded wiring that maximizes safety. They also feature overcurrent protection devices like circuit breakers which can quickly shut off power in the event of a dangerous electrical surge or short. This helps prevent potentially life-threatening situations. New panels also integrate additional safety features like labeling of circuits for easy identification.
Ample Circuit Space
Older electrical panels were designed to service fewer circuits to power fewer electrical devices than what modern homes require today. Consequently, older panels often run out of space when trying to add new circuits for TVs, computers, Wi-Fi systems, garage door openers, hot water heaters, AC units, and other appliances that have become standard in most homes. Running out of circuits can result in overloading existing circuits, which stresses the wiring and increases fire risks. Upgrading allows for ample room to add new dedicated circuits for today's energy-hungry devices while staying within safe electrical capacity limits. Larger panels provide space for 15-30 circuits or more depending on your home's needs.
Increased Power Capacity
The electrical service capacity for most pre-1980 homes was only 60, 100, or 150 amps. This low power capacity can be problematic for homes with modern energy demands. Today's standard is a 200-amp panel which allows homeowners to run more high-wattage appliances simultaneously without blowing a fuse or tripping a breaker. Upgrading to 200 amps future-proofs your home's infrastructure while safely powering large kitchen appliances, spa/pool equipment, HVAC systems, hot water heaters, EV chargers and more you may want to add in coming years. 200 amp service increases your home's value and makes a big impact on power reliability.
Outdated Breaker Technology
Early circuit breaker panels used outdated technology that is no longer considered safe by current electrical codes. Specifically, older "plug-on" style breakers can degrade over time due to loose connections, component failure or arching problems within the breaker. Modern "bolt-on" style breakers snap securely onto the busbar for a more reliable connection that is less prone to overheating issues. New panels also come equipped with AFCI (arc fault circuit interrupter) and GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) breakers that enhance safety by quickly shutting off power if tiny surges or ground faults are detected before a fire can start.
There have been many safety improvements to electrical codes since panels were first installed in older homes. Modern panels meet all current UL (Underwriters Laboratories) safety standards and NEC (National Electrical Code) compliance guidelines. If your panel is not already up to code, some insurance providers may decline coverage or charge a higher premium due to the added risk. During a home sale or refinance, an outdated panel could delay closing until upgrades are complete. Staying code compliant ensures your home passes all inspections and protects its insurability and resale value down the road.
Peace of Mind
Older panels that have reached the end of their lifespan can be unpredictable and unreliable. Worn parts mean they are more susceptible to failure during power surges or storms which can cut power to parts of your home for hours until a pro can diagnose the problem. A trustworthy new panel offers the security of knowing your home's electrical system is robust and hardworking enough to handle anything Mother Nature throws its way without tripping or failing. It also means not worrying about mysterious blown breakers or repairs that could cost hundreds during inconvenient times. The investment pays for itself in reduced stress and improved home dependability.
Improved Home Value
According to Remodeling Magazine's 2022 Cost vs. Value report, a new electrical panel ranks as one of the remodeling projects with the highest return on investment. The average $4,914 installation expense recoups 104.4% of costs at resale. This is because buyers and appraisers see a new panel as a modern upgrade that increases the home's safety, longevity, amenities and electric capacity. It assures future owners that they won't need to tackle expensive panel upgrades for years to come, making a home more appealing. A new panel positions your home well for maximum sale price or ease of obtaining financing if needed down the road.
With all of the aforementioned advantages, upgrading an old electrical panel is an essential home improvement for the safety, functionality and value of Folsom properties. From future-proofing power delivery to enhancing code compliance and resale appeal, a panel replacement pays dividends for homeowners. With the high return on your investment factored in, it's easy to understand why a new panel rises to the top of priorities for those evaluating upgrades to their home's infrastructure. In most cases, the process is a simple one-day installation handled by a licensed electrician. For improved home security, functionality and investment protection for years to come, upgrading an outdated electrical panel is well worth considering.