How to Upgrade Electrical Panels?

How to Upgrade Electrical Panels?

Electrical panels provide electricity to the entire house. The electricity from the utility company is supplied through a large main wire to your house in this box, from where it is distributed in the entire house, in the form of small branches, leading to each room. It has circuit breakers for all the rooms and even sometimes different for switches, supporting heavy appliances, as well.

In old houses made before the 2000s have 60 amp or a 100 amp electrical panels. These electrical panels don not provide enough power to run heavy appliances like stoves, central heating or cooling etc. They require an upgrade to a 200 amp electrical panel.

Reasons for Upgrading Your Electrical Panels

They require an upgrade because of many reasons. Some of them are listed here;

  • 60 amp or 100 amp electrical panels because they do not meet the energy demand and thus a strain is caused resulting in overloading of a circuit.
  • Overloaded circuits result in lots of problems like flickering, melting of wires, sparking, overheating and fire as well.
  • There are usually fuses and lots of breaker trips.
  • Lights usually dim or flicker when there is load. Appliances are damaged due to improper and inadequate supply of electricity power.
  • They also pose a hazard to the family.

Steps to Upgrade an Electrical Panel

Due to this and many other reasons the upgrading of the old electrical panel is required, having more capacity to supply the power.

  • To upgrade an old electrical panel, the first step is to turn off the main power and then start the work.
  • Next remove all the circuits from the box. Detach all the wires from the old panel and remove the old panel.
  • Now mount the new electrical panel. The main service entrance cable is added to the new panel from the top and connection is made and screwed.
  •  Make all the connections carefully and accordingly and complete the circuits. Pass all the wires through the cable connectors carefully none of them should be left.
  • Ground the wires that need to be grounded by connecting them to the neutral wire. Usually, the white insulated wires are grounded. Ground connections must be made in all the switches of the house because if, they are not present it pose a lot of the problem, the life duration of all the electrical appliances is reduced and things don’t work properly.
  • Connect the main ground wire from the bottom to the main connection.
  • And then add all the circuit breakers attach them to the appropriate circuits. It’s better to use GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupters).
  • Mostly for 14 g wire 15 amp breaker is used and for 12 g wire 20 amp breaker is used.
  • Now turn on the main switch. The new electrical panel is installed.

It is better to hire a trained electrician from Sullivan Electric because it’s not an easy task as it’s very dangerous, laborious and require experts to do it because a small mistake can result in a big blunder. If you are reluctant to hire an electrician and do all the work yourself you will need to get permission from local building authority or an electric officer.


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