Your electrical panel is the heart of your home’s electrical systems. Unfortunately, these complex systems wear down over time. And, eventually, they can stop working altogether. This can not only leave you in the dark but also at the mercy of electrical fires. That’s why you must take steps to ensure your breaker box is always up to code.
Whether you need circuit breaker repair, FPE panel replacement, or a whole new fuse box, our Medford electricians can get the job done. For answers to electrical panel FAQs and tips for keeping your family safe, read on.
Circuit Breakers control electrical current by "tripping" when it senses an electrical overload. Once the cause of the overload is fixed, they can be turned back on. Fuses are an older type of technology where the fuse is screwed into a socket and has a filament that burns out when too much current flows through it. Unlike circuit breakers, fuses must be replaced after being tripped. As fuse boxes become less and less common, repairing them will become more of a hassle.
Also, unlike fuses, circuit breakers support GFCI applications. This makes them safer than older systems. A GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) is a residual-current device that quickly breaks an electrical circuit to prevent serious harm from an ongoing electric shock. They are commonly found around places where one can easily 'ground' out, like the bathroom or the kitchen.
Back when fuse boxes were used, most homes could run off of 60-amp service. Today, most homes require somewhere between 100- and 200-amps. In other words, your fuse box simply doesn’t supply enough electricity for a modern household. Because they often lack dedicated circuits for large appliances like dryers, dishwashers, and AC units, they blow often in well-equipped households.
While fuses were once at the cutting edge of technology, they’re now reaching their sunset years. If you’d like to retire your old fuse box, call us at (541) 770-2723 for a quote on a panel upgrade.
Like us, circuit breakers and their boxes wear down over time. While they’re designed to last for decades, the typical electrical panel will last between 20 and 30 years. Regular safety inspects can help extend this time.
Buying a Home: Make sure your inspector looks at the electrical panel during their inspection. They can give you insight into issues and spot things a layman wouldn't be likely to notice—like aluminum wiring. It’s also a good idea to bring an electrician along with you for this process. A professionally licensed and insured electrical contractor can make recommendations to help you plan out what you need to consider before buying the house.
Fun Fact! Did you know that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that homes with aluminum wiring are 55 times more likely to have “fire hazard conditions” than homes wired with copper?
Selling a Home: Upgrading the panel to a higher amp can increase your home’s value and put your buyer’s mind at ease. It also helps make your home more aesthetically pleasing.
How Do I Know If I Need to Upgrade My Breaker Box?.Common symptoms of an electrical panel problem include:
If you notice a burning smell or scorch marks on your panel, you need to shut your main fuse off and call an electrician immediately. These symptoms signal that a fire is imminent.
New additions and secondary buildings often require individual panel boxes. To ensure that nothing has to get torn out later, it’s important to schedule a consultation with one of our Medford area electricians before the walls go up. We will analyze your electrical needs and make recommendations based on your aspirations. We will also make helpful recommendations to try to ensure that your needs are as "future-proofed" as can be.
The average cost to replace an electrical panel in the US ranges between $850 and $4000. Where you fall on that spectrum depends on the following factors:
Electrical Panels may seem simple in concept but are complex in reality. Electricity is dangerous and can easily be fatal. You do not want someone who is YouTube trained working on your home or business's electrical panel. Incorrectly installed components can lead to fire or electrocution. So, when it’s time to replace your electrical breaker panel, call the Medford electrician your neighbors know and trust—Alpha Heating & Air.