Let’s face it, the holidays are going to look a lot different this year. Many families aren’t even able to get together due to health concerns, and traveling is still questionable too. There’s still plenty to look forward to for many homeowners though. For instance, many people have a ton of fun decorating their homes, inside and out, for the holidays.
But before you go all Clark Griswold on the outside of your home, consider this: is your breaker box ready for it? Also known as your electrical panel, the breaker box is responsible for safely routing electrical current to and from the various electrical appliances and fixtures in your home. An overloaded electrical panel, though, can lead to expensive problems and potential safety hazards.
Read on as we uncover a few signs that you should upgrade your breaker box before plugging in any holiday lights!
What You Actually Have Is a Fuse Box
It’s rare that we see fuse boxes in homes anymore, but some older houses may still have them. If your property was built before 1960, then it may be one. With a fuse box, instead of tripping a breaker when there’s excess electrical voltage, one of the fuses burns out to stop the flow of electricity.
Unfortunately, though, this isn’t actually safe, particularly with the advanced electronics and technology we’re plugging into our homes these days. If your home still has a fuse box, then the recommendation to upgrade to an electrical panel more suited for your needs is more of a necessity than it is a suggestion.
Your Home Is Old
Even if you do have an electrical panel or breaker box in place, but your home is over 30 years old, then you would do well to consider an upgrade. Worn down electrical appliances can become hazardous, first of all, but also you could overload your home’s electrical capacity.
Electrical panels that are more than a couple of decades old can handle about 60-100 amps, while newer electrical panels can handle up to 200. This is much better suited to the rise in electrical demand we’re seeing in many households, with the addition of charging stations, computers, and other electronics.
Unsure how to tell the level of amps your panel can manage? Take a look inside the door—there is usually a sticker there that states how many amps are available.
Your Breakers Are Frequently Tripping
There’s a good chance you’d rather not make regular visits to your electrical panel each week just to reset a tripped breaker. If this is happening, it doesn’t have to! If just a single circuit is affected, it could be a problem with just that one appliance that’s hooked up to it, or it could be wiring problems. You will need electrical repairs in this case.
However, if a number of circuits keep tripping, it’s possible that the panel itself is worn down, or no longer able to meet your home’s electrical needs.