If you have an older home, you know you’re going to have to upgrade your utilities sooner rather than later. Utility connections wear out over time and become obsolete. If you’ve wondered how much time you have left on your electrical system, here are the five reasons you might need an electrical panel upgrade.

What Does Your Electrical Panel Do

Your electrical panel serves as the connection to your utility service and distributes it to various areas in your home. It serves to control how much electricity goes where and ensures a safety shutdown when circuits become overloaded.

How Long Do Electrical Panels Last

Your electrical panel should serve for many years, but 40 to 60 years seems to mark the point when your panel has outlived its usefulness.

Signs You Might Need an Electrical Panel Upgrade

Be on the lookout for the following symptoms.

1. Repeatedly tripping breakers

If your circuit breakers trip every time you turn something on, it’s likely that your current panel isn’t up to the demand. While 60 amps was adequate 50 years ago, newer homes now require 100 amps.

Given our tech-driven lifestyles, you may need to upgrade to 200 amps.

2. Flickering lights and random blackouts

Flickering lights can indicate that your wiring is dangerously degraded. Protecting your safety and your property is certainly one of the most important reasons to upgrade your electrical panel.

3. Power strip mania

If you’ve found yourself hooking up power strips to every outlet in your home, it’s a sure sign that your electrical needs aren’t being met by your system.

Older homes often only have two or three outlets per room, which isn’t enough by today’s standards.

The need for more outlets is definitely one of the reasons you might need an electrical panel upgrade.

4. Major renovations

Major renovations to your home provide an opportunity for an upgrade. If those renovations include several new appliances, such as a kitchen remodel, it’s likely that you’ll need to upgrade to support them.

5. Infamous brands

Over time, some brands of electrical panels have been called out as inherently faulty. If you have one of these dangerous products, you should have it replaced and upgraded to a modern panel.

Insurance companies have listed the following brands as dangerous:

  • Federal Pacific Stab-Lok

  • Sylvania Challenger

  • Zinsco


Reasons to Call in the Pros

When you own an older home, you may be worried that you’ll be hit suddenly with a hundred emergency repairs. A planned upgrade is often less expensive than emergency service.

Make an appointment today with your local professionals at Mr. Sparky of Pleasantville. We can assess the remaining lifespan of your current panel and help you make informed decisions about future upgrades.