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All You Need To Know About Upgrading Your Electrical Panel

Electrical Panel Box

Your Guide On When To and Why You Should Consider An Upgrade

Your home’s electrical panel is its central hub to all things plugged in. And, when you think about it, you probably have a lot of things plugged in. TVs, chargers, appliances, computers, toys, video games - we plug in a lot more than we used to. Unfortunately, all those connections could mean a strain on your 20 or 30 year old electric panel. The electricians at Hobaica Services are experts in panel upgrades. With their guidance, we’ll explore the ins and outs of upgrading your electrical panel, helping to shed a little light on this important (and electrifying) service!

Signs You May Need An Electrical Panel Upgrade

Your electrical system may be trying to tell you that it’s time for a panel upgrade. Look out for these signs:

  • Frequent Breaker Trips: If your circuit breakers trip frequently, even with normal electrical usage, it could mean that your electrical panel is outdated and unable to handle the current load demands of your home. Older panels were designed for fewer appliances and devices, and as you add more electronics, the circuits can become overloaded, causing the breakers to trip as a safety measure.
  • Flickering Lights: If you notice your lights flickering or dimming, especially when turning on appliances or electronics, it's a sign that your electrical panel is struggling to meet the power demands. Flickering lights can be caused by voltage fluctuations or an overloaded circuit, which can be resolved by upgrading to a panel with a higher amperage rating and more circuits.
  • Overuse of Extension Cords: If you find yourself relying heavily on extension cords to power multiple devices or appliances, it's a clear indication that your house doesn’t have the right amount of outlets for your electrical needs. Extension cords are meant for temporary use and can become overloaded, posing a fire hazard. An upgraded panel with additional circuits that can handle additional outlets will eliminate the need for excessive extension cord use.
  • Adding Major Appliances: If you're planning to install new major appliances, such as a hot tub, electric vehicle charger, or a significant home addition, your existing electrical panel may not have the capacity to handle the increased power demand. In such cases, an electrical panel upgrade is often necessary to ensure safe and reliable power distribution.
  • Age: Electrical panels have a limited lifespan, and if your home's panel is more than 25-30 years old, it's likely outdated and may not meet current safety codes or your household's electrical needs. Older panels can also have deteriorating parts, which can increase the risk of electrical hazards. Even if you're not experiencing immediate issues, it's a good idea to have an electrician assess your panel's condition and recommend an upgrade if necessary.

Typical Age of House That Needs a New Panel

Most homes that are 25 to 30 years old (or older) might be due for an upgrade. Older homes weren’t built to handle today’s electrical demands. If your home falls into this age bracket and still sports its original panel, it’s time to consider an upgrade.

How An Electrical Panel Upgrade Works

Upgrading your electrical panel involves replacing your current breaker box with a new one that can handle more power and more circuits. This is a complex electrical task that requires a licensed electrician and should never be attempted as a DIY project. 

Here’s what the upgrade process generally looks like:

1 - Assessment

A professional electrician will first evaluate your current system to determine the appropriate size and type of new panel needed. They should provide you with an upfront quote so you know exactly what you will pay. 

2 - Permitting

Before any work begins, you'll likely need a permit from your local building department. This ensures the work will be inspected and meet current electrical codes.

3 - Power Down

To safely work on your panel, the power will need to be shut off. Yes, it’s inconvenient but a necessary step for safety. Typically, you can expect to be without power for up to 48 hours. 

When you work with the Hobaica team of electricians, we make sure to set your house up with generators so that you are not without power for more than about 6 hours. 

Removal and Installation

Out with the old and in with the new! The electrician will remove your old panel and install a shiny new one.


Once installed, your electrician will test the new panel and connected circuits to ensure everything is working correctly.


Finally, an inspector from your local building department will check the installation to ensure it complies with electrical codes.

Why Upgrade? Home Value

When you go to sell your home in the Phoenix area, the fact that you have upgraded your panel will be shown on your inspection report. A modern, up-to-date electrical panel is a strong selling point for a home in our area. It signals to potential buyers that your house is safe, capable of handling modern electrical loads, and won’t require immediate electrical work. 

Why Upgrade? Safety

Upgrading your older electrical panel makes your home a safer place in a number of ways, including:

Prevents Overloads 

Older electrical panels are often not equipped to handle the electrical demands of modern households. Think about all the high-powered appliances, multiple electronic devices, and sophisticated lighting systems of today. An upgraded electrical panel is designed to accommodate these increased loads without overloading, reducing the risk of fires caused by overheated wires.

Eliminate Faulty Wiring Issues

The process of upgrading an electrical panel often involves inspecting and possibly replacing old or faulty wiring. Upgrading your panel ensures that all connections are safe and meet current electrical codes.

Enhanced Circuit Breaker Technology

Modern electrical panels are equipped with advanced circuit breakers that offer better protection against electrical surges and short circuits. These breakers are more sensitive and responsive to electrical faults, quickly cutting off power to prevent damage or fire.

Reduce the Risk of Electrical Fires

By addressing issues like overloaded circuits, outdated wiring, and inadequate surge protection, electrical panel upgrades significantly reduce the risk of electrical fires. This is particularly important in older homes where the original electrical infrastructure may not have been designed with current safety standards in mind.

Why Upgrade? Reliability

It Will Support Additional Circuits - An upgraded panel allows for the addition of more circuits, which is essential for supporting new appliances, home renovations, or extensions. This means you can expand your home’s electrical capabilities without compromising safety or reliability.

Stable Power Supply - By eliminating issues that cause flickering lights, power dips, and unexpected outages (like overloaded circuits and outdated components), an upgraded electrical panel ensures a more stable and consistent power supply throughout your home.

Future-Proofing Your Home - With technology constantly evolving, electrical demands are only going to increase. Upgrading your electrical panel prepares your home to support future technological advancements, whether it’s smart home devices, electric vehicles, or energy-efficient appliances.

Efficiency and Energy Savings - Modern electrical panels are designed for optimal efficiency. By facilitating a balanced electrical load and reducing the chances of power wastage, they can contribute to more efficient energy use and potentially lower electricity bills.

Consider A Panel Upgrade Today

Upgrading your electrical panel is not just about keeping the lights on; it’s about ensuring your home is safe, efficient, and ready to meet the demands of modern living. While the thought of temporarily living without power can seem daunting, the benefits far outweigh the inconveniences. An upgraded panel adds value to your home, enhances safety, and prepares your household for the future.

If your home is showing signs of electrical aging, consider reaching out to a licensed electrician at Hobaica Services for a FREE electrical safety consultation.

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