Upgrading the Electrical Panel
American home’s use a lot of energy, and the number of appliances in our homes continue to increase with more than ever before. Big screen TV’s in home theaters equipped with the latest sound equipment, multiple computers, the HVAC system, water heater, stereos, multiple appliances in the kitchen and more. While today’s technology adds conveniences, eases chores and entertain us, the electrical panel in our home is not always capable of handling the increased load. When electrical consumption exceeds the panel’s capacity, it is time to upgrade it. A Mister Sparky electrician in Huntsville, AL can provide the professional electrical services you need.
If you live in an older home, you may have a panel that uses fuses. If so, you need an electrical panel upgrade. Fuse boxes are outdated and can be considered a fire hazard. If you are considering purchasing a home with fuses, rather than breakers, either request the homeowner update the electrical system, or provide an offer that accounts for the need to schedule updating with a licensed electrician yourself.
Furthermore, when a home has fuses, rather than breakers, the home’s wiring may be in need of upgrading. A fuse box is a red flag warning of an outdated electrical system. A licensed electrician can inspect the electrical system and provide you with the answers you need. Contact a Mister Sparky electrician in Huntsville, AL today.
An additional time to consider upgrading the electrical panel is when planning an addition to your home. It may or may not be necessary, and you should rely on the knowledge and advice of a licensed electrician.
Tripped Circuit Breakers
There are several potential causes for a tripped circuit breaker. First, you need to understand the purpose of the breaker. The circuit breaker protects the electrical circuits from damage due to an overload or short circuit. If either occurs the circuit breaker shuts down the electrical circuit in what is commonly called a “tripped breaker.”
In addition, electrical wiring is manufactured in different sizes. For example, the wire supplying an electric water heater, or the home’s heating and air conditioning system, and the electric range will be larger wire capable of carrying more electricity to meet the high demand of these appliances. The wire supplying power to your bedroom lights, for example, will be considerably smaller, for the reduced load. The circuit breaker ensures the power going through the wire does not exceed what the wire was designed to handle. Rely on a licensed electrician in Huntsville, AL for your electrical needs.
In addition, a tripped breaker can also be caused by a faulty breaker. Over time, they will wear out, and when that occurs the breaker will trip. Contact a Mister Sparky electrician in Huntsville, AL for professional electrical services.
You can test this by unplugging all devices on the circuit. Plug a single one back up and turn the breaker back on. Repeat this with each device that was plugged into the circuit, one at a time. If the circuit trips with one device but not the others, you have likely uncovered the device with a problem. However, it is possible with the circuit does not carry enough electricity for a device with the need for large amounts of current, such as an electric heater. However, if the breaker trips repeatedly with all devices, it is time to contact a Mister Sparky electrician in Huntsville, AL for electrical repair.
Reducing the Load on the Electrical Panel
Saving electrical energy also reduces the load on your home’s electrical circuits. This does not necessarily mean you can avoid upgrading the electrical panel, it simply depends on what the circuit is capable of and the load placed on it.
In some cases, such as installing a window air conditioner, or using electric heaters, you may require a dedicated circuit for the appliances that use a lot of electricity. However, if your kitchen circuit trips each time you use the microwave, the toaster oven and the roaster, that is a sign the three appliances are overloading the circuit. Move one of the appliances to a different circuit if possible. Otherwise, contact a Mister Sparky electrician in Huntsville, AL for a solution.
Tips to reduce the load on circuits include:
- Switch to LED light bulbs. While they cost a little more initially, they will save you energy and money in the end. Not only will they use significantly less electricity, they will last longer.
- Try to avoid using multiple appliances on a circuit known to trip. You may need an electrician in Huntsville, AL to install a dedicated circuit for the appliances using the most electricity.
- Purchase Energy Star appliances, you will gain energy efficiency and a higher reliability while reducing the electrical load on circuits.
- Install a programmable thermostat for higher accuracy and to reduce energy consumption. For every degree you adjust the thermostat, you can save approximately 1% on the energy bill. The HVAC system has its own dedicated circuit, but saving money is easy with a programmable thermostat.
- Be aware of where extension cords are being used. Using one occasionally is acceptable, but continuous use due to a lack of outlets not only means you need more outlets installed; it can be an indication you are near overloading the circuit. If the breaker routinely trips for the outlet serving the extension cord, it is being overloaded. A Mister Sparky electrician in Huntsville, AL can provide the outlet installation and additional circuits that you need.
If you need a new electrical panel installed, contact Mister Sparky to schedule electrical services. Our licensed electricians offer a wide range of electrical services for residential and commercial applications. You can rely on a Mister Sparky electrician in Huntsville, AL to provide professional expertise for your electrical needs. Mister Sparky serves the North Alabama region, and is a member of the BBB with an A+ rating.