Electrical manufacturers in previous eras could scarcely imagine all the electrical amenities and luxuries we enjoy today. Whether it be an electric vehicle charging station, a solar PV system, an induction cooktop, a hot tub, sauna, or radiant patio heater, your old panel was not designed for it. Sometimes just needing to add a few circuits and install code-required arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) breakers will necessitate a panel upgrade.
Another possible reason for replacing an electrical panel could be that the original installer saved a few bucks by opting for lower cost equipment with aluminum bussing (where the circuit breakers attach), and the aluminum bus has developed hot spots and scorch marks over the years due to corrosion. This is especially common in the more notorious panel brands such as GTE, Sylvania, and Zinsco.
Whatever the reason, replacing a panel is a 50+ year decision for your home, so it is important to approach the project thoughtfully. At Frederickson Electric, we install only copper bus panels from the top electrical manufacturers. Our go-to brand for conventional electric panels is Eaton Cutler-Hammer, which offers a lifetime warranty on circuit breakers.
Along with your panel upgrade, the National Electric Code (NEC) now requires a whole-house surge arrestor, which will provide some extra protection against voltage spikes for all your valuable appliances. Upgrading existing circuit breakers to AFCI models is typically optional but can provide some extra peace of mind for customers with old wiring in questionable condition.
Once you have decided on a plan to replace your electric panel, you will be glad to know that it can almost always be done in a single day. Frederickson Electric coordinates with the local utility to disconnect the power in the morning and our electricians will have you back up and running with your new panel in the afternoon. A new electrical panel brings peace of mind and the freedom to add all the modern electrical amenities to your older home.