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Every home has some kind of electrical panel. Some have older-style fuse boxes. Many others have newer breaker box electrical panels. Replacements for either type often depend on a variety of factors. Most commonly, you’ll find your electrical panel in your basement or an attached garage. However, this isn’t always the case: some homes have them hidden behind a panel in a kitchen cabinet.

There is a wide variety of maintenance tasks that come with home ownership. Not all of these are fun: no one likes to climb a ladder and clean out their gutters. Generally speaking, from time to time it may be necessary for you to have an electrical panel replacement. This is a component of your electrical setup within your house that you don’t think about.

That is, until something trips the breaker or blows a fuse.

What causes breakers to trip or fuses to blow?

Have you ever turned on your microwave while also baking something in your oven — both while using your stand mixer? That’s a lot of power demand, and depending on how your previous electrician wired everything, it could cause a breaker to trip or a fuse to blow.

Regardless of the type of electrical panel, replacement projects often focus on trying to improve the power demands within a given circuit. When there is too much demand, the system “freezes” — a shorthand way of saying it kills the power to that part of your home.

Blown fuses and tripped breakers are your electrical panel’s way of doing so. It protects your plugged-in appliances from burning out or causing a fire. Some of us may even remember (from many, many years ago) our dads running to the basement regularly to replace blown fuses.

This is a prime example of a home desperately in need of a residential electrical panel replacement.

Residential Electrical Panel Replacements

So let’s start there. There are many reasons to consider replacing the electrical panel in your home. In our previously mentioned scenario, it’s painfully clear that the homeowner needs a new electrical panel setup. Not only have the home’s power demands outgrown the original breaker box install, they also run the risk of causing larger problems within the home’s entire electrical power grid.

Most commonly, electrical panels need to be replaced as a result of an electric service upgrade – your power needs have increased and your current panel cannot continue to properly supply the demand. This could be because of large appliances, new electric in an outbuilding, additional circuits for more lights, and other factors. Depending on the specific needs of your project we may be able to add a sub panel instead of a complete panel replacement. Our sales team can help you best identify which will fit your needs best when we schedule your estimate appointment.

Another reason to consider replacing your aging electrical panel with a replacement is if your home is still using older wiring. Often, an electrical panel replacement and a whole-home rewiring go hand-in-hand, updating your home with updated power specifications.

Yet another reason to consider replacing your home electrical panel is if your existing fuse box is rusty. Rust forms from the oxidization of metal, usually as a result of excessive humidity or moisture.

Finally, there have been significant changes over the past few decades within the electrical industry. Some breaker box electrical panels need replacement because they no longer adhere to standards. Others have been known to have design flaws, and are no longer safe to use.

In virtually all of the above cases, we’re going to recommend replacing your existing panel, whether a fuse-based system or otherwise, with a breaker box. Not only will this save you the headache of replacing blown fuses (or not having any on hand, yet needing to install one), but it’s simply easier to figure out which circuit is the problem with a breaker box.

Commercial Electrical Panel Replacements

Although you would be very hard-pressed to find a commercial or industrial facility still using an old-school style fuse box electrical panel, it doesn’t mean they may not still be out there. If your facility has one, you’ll want to schedule an electrical panel replacement right away.

After all, commercial and industrial facilities have much more intensive power needs than a house. Often, there are multiple electrical panels throughout a facility. The key to replacement with these is age. If your facility is over 25 years old and hasn’t had an updated electrical panel replacement since then, it’s worth having an inspection to evaluate both the age and reliability of the unit.

In addition, safety is often a major reason to update a commercial electrical panel. OSHA and other state or local governing authorities can dictate how facilities operate. The R&T Yoder Electric team can help your facility manager make an informed choice to comply with all necessary laws and regulations.

Requirements for an electrical panel replacement

As with any project, the first step in replacing an electrical panel is a thorough evaluation of your current setup. Our electricians’ top priority will be the safe power distribution of your home. It’s helpful to let us know if you’re experiencing any problems as well, such as flickering lights or the occasional light shock from touching a switch.

Our team members will review your power situation and then make recommendations. If your home still uses older-style wiring, we may recommend a complete replacement in addition to updating your electrical panel with an updated model.

Another “requirement” for electrical panel replacements is the ease of access. For example, some homeowners inherited less-than-ideal placement of their electrical panel — say, behind a door in a cabinet that they use daily. Because this is not optimal, we’ll help the homeowner with choosing a new location for their updated breaker box.

Finally, all openings need to be sealed properly once your electrician installs your new electrical panel. This is why it’s best to work with a fully trained and licensed electrician such as us. We’ll make absolutely certain that, when we leave your home, your electrical panel replacement is installed properly and adheres to all safety standards.

Electrical Panel Replacement F.A.Q.

One famous tagline we’re all familiar with is “You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.” When it comes to Yoder Electric and your electrical panel replacement, that tagline is 100% spot on. Our team has collected the most common questions we’ve been asked for electrical panel replacements and compiled this set of answers to get you started.

And of course, if you have any questions beyond these, don’t hesitate to ask. Email us at Office@Rtyoderelectric.com and we’ll follow up with an answer.

What types of electrical panels are most common?

We’ve already mentioned it indirectly, but to be clear there are two primary types of electrical panels. The first is your old-school-style fuse box system. These operate by causing a tiny wire to pop within the fuse whenever the power flow exceeds the circuit’s capacity. To use any electrical appliance or components on that circuit, you need to replace the blown fuse with a good one.

Breaker boxes eliminate the need for fuse replacements. In this case, whenever the power load exceeds what the circuit can handle, the breaker kills the power. Now to restore power, all you have to do is flip the breaker back to the “off” and then back to the “on” position.

In many cases, there will be a quick visual reference of the tripped breaker: a red strip visible through the breaker’s small glass window. If you see red, that means that’s the breaker that just turned off.

How long does it take to perform an electrical panel replacement?

The time to perform an electrical panel replacement can vary depending on the extent of the project and if multiple electrical panels are needing to be replaced. In addition, if you’ve also requested a whole-home rewiring as a part of the project, this can add to the time involved.

While we hate to say any job can be performed quickly, as there are always unexpected situations that can pop up, as a rule of thumb you should expect a residential electrical panel replacement to take no less than four hours. A better timeframe would be closer to eight to ten hours, though again this can vary depending on the scale of the project.

Commercial projects simply have too many variables and we encourage your team to reach out to us as soon as you know you need our services so we can minimize downtime as much as possible.

Do I need a permit to replace my electrical panel?

If you’ve ever added to your home or did any work that required digging, you’re likely aware of the need to obtain a permit for the work. Electrical panel replacement projects often fall into what some municipalities call a “large-scale” project. In addition, a city or county inspector frequently has to sign off on the work.

While the answer can and will vary depending on where you live, you may need a permit for an electrical panel replacement. It’s better to err on the side of caution than to face unexpected fines for not obtaining a permit. Our team can help you decide whether you will or will not need a permit, which is yet another reason why this type of project should be handled by a licensed professional.

What are some signs that you need an electrical panel replacement?

We’ve already mentioned a few of the things that can point to the need for an electrical panel replacement. Those include flickering lights, minor shocks from switches, rusty fuse panels, constantly tripping breakers, and the age of your electrical panel. There are also other causes for each of those problems; the best solution is to contact our office and set up an appointment for service. We will be able to then let you know if you need a replacement or if another problem is causing the issues you’ve encountered.

How often do you need an electrical panel replacement?

Electrical panels should last for, at a bare minimum, twenty-five years. Some may even be rated for upwards of 40 years. The answer to this question will depend on a variety of factors, though if you had a replacement at any time in the past ten to fifteen years, you should be good for another decade or so.

What is the typical cost for electrical panel replacement services?

Many customers have asked for a “ballpark” quote for electrical panel replacement services. Like our many other services, we believe tailored and customized estimates allow us to better serve both our residential and commercial customers.

If you think it may be time for an updated electrical panel, you can start by contacting our office. Our knowledgeable sales team can help you set up a convenient time for a technician to come to your property to complete an estimate.

Do you offer quotes for electrical panel replacement?

Yes, we offer quotes for electrical panel replacements. Each of our sales offices can help you with the steps to getting a quote, including whether one of our team members will need to visit your home or if we can conduct most of the estimate via email.

Will I need to rewire my house if I’m having an electrical panel replacement?

As with many of these questions, the answer is not cut and dry. Rather, the needs of each home or commercial facility will be different. If your home is using older or less reliable wiring, and you’re switching from a fuse box to a breaker box, you may need to rewire your home. On the other hand, if your home is relatively newer and you’re simply replacing your electrical panel with a newer model, then it’s equally possible we won’t need to update any wiring throughout your home. Again, a custom project estimate will help you make an informed decision.

Contact Yoder Electric if you need an electrical panel replacement

When it comes time for an electrical panel replacement, it’s best to trust the professionals. Our team has been proudly serving Columbus and the surrounding area since 2004. Let us know if you think you might need an electrical panel replacement, whether residential or commercial, by sending us a message HERE. You can also give us a call at 614-206-5401. We’ll follow up with a time to gather more details and schedule a visit to look over your home’s needs as soon as possible.

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