Reasons for an Electrical Panel Upgrade in Los Angeles
It may not be as exciting as upgrading your car, your TV or your smart phone, but an electrical panel upgrade for your Los Angeles home could be a better investment, to ensure your family’s safety and to fully support today’s gadget filled lifestyle. Even if your electrical panel looks OK and does not seem to be causing any problems, regular inspection is recommended by most manufacturers and can help to identify any emerging weaknesses before they become major faults.
The most common reason for needing a panel upgrade is to keep up with today’s power hungry homes. If the capacity of your panel is anything less than 200 amps, then you really need to have a new one installed. With all the heavy duty appliances and the electronic gadgets that modern living requires drawing heavily on your electricity supply, smaller panels are no longer able to cope. The amount of electricity used to power a whole home a generation ago is now hardly enough for a single room.
In 2008, the Consumer Safety Institute declared that Zisco and Federal Pacific branded panels are unsafe as they do not meet the required standards. The problem lies in the circuit breakers which have been known to fail to trip when they should. So although you may not have experienced any issues with these panels, they do constitute a hazard and can damage any of your appliances and devices that are connected to your household circuits, or possibly lead to a fire. If you have one of these panels, you should have it replaced at the earliest opportunity.
When you are looking to buy a home, an electrical inspection forms an important part of the process. This inspection always includes examination of the electrical panel and can identify any issues. Common problems that are found include circuits wired into the wrong part of the panel and mismatches between the size of the fuse and the gauge of the wiring. These would not necessarily require the installation of a new panel to correct the problems, but starting off in a new home knowing that your electrical system is safe and adequate for your needs gives peace of mind and taking the opportunity for an upgrade will add to the value of your home as well.
Your electrical panel controls the electricity coming onto your home and is constantly working 24/7. Rapid cooling and heating of the breakers and other parts eventually causes them to degrade and render them unable to perform their job. If you have identified a problem with your panel, such as sparking or a buzzing sound, you should have the panel inspected by a professional certified electrician, who will be able to advise as to whether it can be repaired or a new one is required. However, degradation may have already started to occur without any obvious symptoms. This is why regular inspection and maintenance can lengthen the life of your panel and is an important aspect of keeping your home and your family safe from electrical hazards.
Installing a new panel is not a suitable job for DIY. Safe functioning of the panel is vital and such a task should only be undertaken by a qualified electrician in accordance with the California code. Once your new panel has been fitted, arrange for it to be inspected on an annual basis, so you can be assured it continues to perform. It isn’t the most stylish or eye catching feature in your house, but you can’t do without it. Investing in an electrical panel upgrade for your Los Angeles home ensures you can have all the appliances and gadgets you want without any worries.