“Do I need a Service Panel Upgrade?” is a question homeowners ask frequently. An upgrade of an electrical service typically involves an older residence with service size of 100 amps or less and the homeowner is deciding whether to increase the amperage to 200.
- Is the main electrical panel sized properly for the size of the home?
Most people dont realize that the homes we had and powered in the 50’s & 60’s is now the power we need just to run our kitchen’s. To small of a main electrical service can cause serious hazards and most homes today require at least a 200 Amp main electrical service. Our homes are growing and the appliances and electronics we now rely on is constantly requiring more power. The last thing you want is an undersized electrical service that could potential shut everything down!
- Is the panel a Federal Pacific Brand Panel?
This brand of panel is known to have ALOT of problems and in my opinion should be replaced immediately. The problem with these panels are the circuit breakers as they have been known to not trip when they are supposed to. If they don’t trip when they are supposed to it could lead to overheating and a major hazard
- Is the panel a Zinsco Brand Panel?
Experts Have Identified Two Major Reasons Zinsco panel Fail.
1. Zinsco panels may not meet today’s updated safety codes.
Production of Zinsco panels halted in mid-1970s. Experts say that Zinsco panels produced during this time would not receive today’s UL listing. They would not be allowed to be sold to the general public because they no longer pass current safety codes. Safety standards that were once acceptable years ago are no longer considered safe.
2. Zinsco panels may have significant design flaws.
Experts report that the identified design flaws in Zinsco panels are not shared with other panels of similar age. Some of the problems include:
Certain components of the panel contain aluminum.
The connection between the breakers and the bus bar is often not solid.
The bus bar appears to corrrode easily.
Breakers may appear to be off, yet internally the panel is still conducting power.
- Is the panel a fuse block panel?
These electrical panels are outdated and do not offer the level of protection any home should have today in regards to electrical safety. I typically find wrong and improperly sized fuses protecting to small of a wire which is a major hazard and risk. Do your home and your family a favor and just replace this panel if it’s in your home. This panel is way undersized for nearly every home in America AND it offers very little if any protection for you, your family, and your home.
Is the main electrical panel a split buss panel? A split buss panel will not have a main breaker to shut off the entire panel. What you will typically see is the top half of the panel capable of having (6) 2 pole breakers or “disconnects” of which one of these breakers will control the bottom 2/3 of the panel.