When you plan out things for your dream home, what is the first thing that you always take for granted? The electrical system of course! In your dream fantasies of owning a property, perfectly furnished and designed, you always presume that the electrical system supporting the million light bulbs lighting up your house will never falter.
Taking your electrical system for granted can be a big mistake; neglect in this regard can result in all your expensive appliances and lighting fixtures being placed at risk! An outdated and damaged electrical system can cause problems, while an upgraded electric panel can make all the difference in your life.
There are a few things you need to keep in mind when it comes to the electric panels in your home, which include the following,
Know When to Upgrade Your Electric Panel
The biggest problem is not how to and why to change your outdated electric panel, but rather, when! Determining the ideal time to change the electric panel in a residential or commercial building is a conundrum many property owners struggle with, knowing the importance of this aspect.
Before & After
Upgrading a 50 year old panel.
The answer lies in the simple fact that if your home was built 40 to 50 years back, then it is high time that you opt for a complete electric panel upgrade. The old electrical panel will not be able to bear the load of all the electric appliances and machines used today, and the extensive load will further weaken the old system.
Another reason why the wirings and electric panels might need an upgrade is when they have been exposed to high humidity or water leaks.
Determine the Amps You Will Require
Once you have identified the need to change your old electrical system and replace it with a new upgraded electric panel, the next thing to decide upon is the amps you will need. Ask yourself, do you have a lot of appliances in your home? How many amps can a new electric panel handle?
Ask an expert for help if you are not sure yourself. Choose an electric panel which can easily accommodate the amps value you need for the different rooms in your house.
One helpful tip is to make sure that the electric panels in the kitchen and the dining room have 20 amp circuits and are wired to a 12-2 Romex. This is because the circuits in these two rooms will have to ensure electric supply to many appliances, most of which will draw a greater level of amperage.
Select the Suitable Circuit Breaker
Another very important element is to find the right circuit breaker for the upgraded electric panel. Most of the rooms in the house will require a breaker with a 15 to 20 amp capacity. Pay special attention to rooms in which you have placed some heavy duty appliances.
The dryer, stove, and the water heater will need to have double pole breakers with a 240V capacity.
Protect Switches and Outlets with A GFCI
A GFCI is a ground fault circuit interrupter, which is used to ensure security of circuits against any exposure to water. Any switches and outlets which are placed near to the sink or any other source of water need to be duly protected by a GFCI.
A GFCI is built to break the electric circuit if even a small amount of water seeps into the panel. This way, this device helps to avoid any electric shocks, and resultant disasters.
If you are indeed planning for a system upgrade, then it is essential that you keep the above tips in mind, better yet, appoint an experienced professional for the job.