Should you replace your electrical panel?


Should you replace your electrical panel?

In response to last week’s post on knob & tube wiring, we received an inquiry from Scott regarding panel maintenance and replacements.  So, this week’s blog is about replacing and maintaining your electrical service panel.

Every building (commercial or residential)  has an electrical service panel that controls and distributes electrical power throughout your space. The electrical service panel is sometimes referred to as a circuit breaker panel or fuse box.  The electrical panel prevents the overflow of electricity.

Why would you need to replace your electrical service?

Old-style fuse box

Old-style fuse box

  • It hasn’t been properly maintained.
  • If you have an older fuse style system, they typically don’t stand up to today’s electricity demands.
  • If you are remodeling your office, kitchen, media center or adding new appliances you need to ensure your service is large enough to support it.
  • If your outlets are ungrounded, and you want to add more, or ground existing outlets
  • If your existing electrical service panel is damaged
  • If you are selling your house and want to add value
  • If you have Zinsco or Federal Pacific panels. According to the Underwriters Laboratories, these are not safe and should be inspected and replaced by a professional. These were primarily installed from the 1950s to the 1980s.

If you have a good electrical service, to keep it in good working order, you must maintain it.

Preventative maintenance includes periodic exercise of the operating mechanism. A best practice is to exercise the trip latch mechanism as it can seize due to lack of use. The trip latch can be exercised by primary injection testing or, if it has one, by pushing the Push-to-Trip or similar button (usually red in color). Exercising the trip latch is recommended every 6 to 12 months. Visual and mechanical inspections and calibration tests are recommended to be professional performed every 1 to 3 years.

You can read more on electrical service maintenance here:  Maintenance Technology


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Danielle administrator

2 Comments so far

pedullaelectricPosted on  11:23 am - Jul 3, 2012

L & M Pedulla Electric is a family owned and operated company, the owners and employees of the company truly believe in taken pride in there work, and believe that family brings added value to the customers.

    DaniellePosted on  4:59 pm - Jul 14, 2012

    It’s great to hear from another family-owned and operated electrical company. We couldn’t agree more – family does bring added value to the customers.

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