FAQs About Having Your Electrical Panel Replaced
Your electrical panel is the device through which all of your circuits run. It houses breakers that can cut the electricity through any one of these circuits when flipped. On occasion, a home will need its electrical panel replaced, either because the old panel has become damaged or because it no longer is large enough to serve the home's needs. Here are a few questions you might have if an electrician has recommended that you have your electrical panel replaced.
How large of a panel do you need?
Electricians usually recommend a panel that has enough breakers for every circuit in your home, plus a couple of extras. This way, if you have anything added to your home, like a dishwasher, a heat pump, or a new room, you will have space in the panel to run an additional circuit or two.
If you're replacing your panel due to damage or age, check how many breakers inside are being used. If you still have a few free spots inside the panel, replacing it with a new one of the same size makes sense.
If you're replacing your panel because the existing one is too small, that is another matter. Count how many circuits you need, then add a couple of extras for good measure. For instance, if your current box has 10 circuits but you need 12, then a box with 14 would be a good choice because it gives you some room to expand again if needed.
Can you replace your own panel?
This is not a good DIY project. Even if you are handy, this is a task you should hire an electrician to handle. The electrical panel affects every circuit and wire in your home, and mistakes could cause extensive damage—not to mention, the risk of injuries such as electrocution. Also, most municipalities require that all electrical work is done by a licensed electrician. You could be fined for doing this work yourself.
How long will the panel replacement take?
While this is a more extensive electrical project, it is not a terribly time-consuming one. You can expect your electrician to complete it within a day, or sometimes even less. Most of the work involves disconnecting the wires from the old panel and running them to the new panel.
If you have any other questions about panel replacement, don't hesitate to ask your local electrician. Contact a local residential electrician service to learn more.