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Upgrading And Replacing Residential Electrical Panels

What Is An Electrical Panel Box?

A home's electrical panel is a grey metal box with a door usually located in basements and garages. If a home does not have a basement, as is the case of homes in Austin, Texas, storage rooms, hallways, or entranceways are utilized.

The electrical panel components include a removable protective cover with spaces for circuit breaker switches, consisting of the main breaker switch shutting power to all house areas, and individual circuit breaker switches for specific rooms. There are also open spaces, providing the opportunity to upgrade the electrical panel. Panel boxes also include metal lugs. These lugs are attached to thick wires which connect to the outside electric meter, which acts as a service drop for the electricity that flows from the electric company utility poles by a bundle of cables.

The Signs Electrical Panels May Need Upgrading

The following are some of the indicators of a potential difficulty of the electrical panel:

  • House 15 to 20 years old with original breaker panel box.
  • Flickering or dimming of overhead lights while using two electrical appliances simultaneously.
  • The electric panel door is warm to the touch.
  • A burning smell emanates from the electric panel.
  • Power suddenly ceases in a particular home area due to electrical panel switches flipping off.

Homeowners should NEVER remove the protective cover of this box. Touching those metal lugs or wires on top of the panel will be a FATAL error! Any difficulties with the circuit breaker panel require the intervention of the electrical professionals found at ATX Electrical Solutions!

Upgrading An Electrical Panel Box For 21st Century

ATX Electrical strongly recommends that all their Austin, Texas clients upgrade the home electrical panel every 20 years to avert the danger of circuit overloads. Circuit overloads result when more amps are flowing into the electrical panel than what it was initially designed to handle.

Routine maintenance by ATX Electrical will keep residential electrical panels running smoothly. Such upkeep involves examining, repairing, or replacing rather than upgrading. When hearing a buzzing sound, finding burns or black spots or rust on the electrical panel, or the panel door feels hot, these are the indicators for replacing an electrical panel. Another sign ATX electrical professionals look for with regards need to replace the electrical panel is seeing burns on electrical outlets in the home.

Upgrade Options Include:

  • ‘Heavy Up’: Where electrical system upgrades are concerned, 'heavy up' means to increase the amperage, or amps, going into a house at the service panel. Amps, the measurement of an electric charge, are increased by adding another circuit breaker to the circuit breaker panel open spaces.
  • Adding Branch Circuits: Branch circuits are part of the main service panel and increase the volt size of circuit breakers. 120-volt branch circuits supply power to standard outlets and house fixtures, with 240-volt circuits powering appliances requiring greater wattage.
  • Installation Of Sub-Panels: When no space is available for a new circuit breaker, a separate electrical panel, known as a sub-panel, serving one specific home area is installed. Sub-panels may assist the kitchen with its many appliances or the family room with the computer, printer, and large-screen TV. Sub-panels are usually placed adjacent to the main panel.
  • Addition Of Smart Home Panels: Our tech sharp Austin, Texas homeowners now embrace upgrades that include Smart Home panels. A Smart home panel can stand-alone or in conjunction with the traditional electrical panel. A Smart Home panel permits homeowners to see how much power a breaker circuit is drawing and can turn each circuit on and off from their Smartphone.

Contact ATX Electrical for a free consultation of your home or business’s electrical system. ATX Electrical provides a lifetime warranty with any electrical panel replacement or upgrade.

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