Are you looking to upgrade electric service? Whether you have an older home, moving into a new home, or building a brand new place for your family to call home — you should always consider your electrical needs. And that all starts with the heart of any home’s electrical system, the electrical panel. Your electrical panel may need to be upgraded but it all depends on what your uses are. For example, if you have a workshop that uses a lot of high-end tools and appliances, you’ll certainly want to consider a higher-capacity electrical panel.
Higher capacity electrical panels are safer for your home, preventing fires and potential damage to your house’s wiring system. It’s also a good way to add value to your home if prospective buyers are in the market for a residence with an already-existing high-capacity electrical panel. And unlike changing a light bulb, swapping out your electrical panel or panel upgrading is something you should never attempt on your own. Always hire a certified and reputable electrician, like the ones at Ontime Electric to help you out. In this blog, our expert electricians will break down the benefits of upgrading to a high-capacity electrical panel so you can decide if this particular home upgrade is right for you and your family.
Consider Your Home’s Current Service Panel Capacity
An experienced electrician can easily tell how much electrical load your home can currently handle. In fact, you might already have a high-capacity panel and not even know it! Alternatively, you could be on a vintage panel that might be good for a standard clothes dryer, dishwasher, fridge and stove on one floor — but not much else.
And when you’re considering your home’s current electrical capacity, think about how much capacity you may want in the future, especially if you have plans to renovate, add a hot tub, workshop or electric vehicle charging station.
How much electricity is required for a home?
Considering electrical panel size, nearly every new or renovated home is equipped with an electrical panel providing 200 amp service. This is more than enough to power all the demands of modern life including multiple appliances and electronics. However, many older homes only come with a 100 amp panel.
As we mentioned earlier, this is sufficient for some families, but that reality is becoming rarer and rarer as the years go on. Talk with your electrician at Ontime Electric about your family’s electrical needs and they can help you to determine how much electricity you will actually need for your home. We will never try to oversell you more power than you need. That’s a promise from us to you.
Why Upgrade to a High-Capacity Electrical Panel
In the electrical business, we refer to your home’s electrical needs as the “electrical load.” We use this increment to help us determine what size of the electrical panel is the perfect fit for your residence. That includes amperage as mentioned above.
And if you’re looking into the cost before you go any further, don’t waste your time with online calculators and reviews. Every home has a different situation based on a multitude of factors. The only way to get a genuine estimate is to request a free consultation from the experts at Ontime Electric.
So you’re probably still wondering: Should I upgrade to a high-capacity electrical panel such as a 200 amp electrical panel? Well, there’s no straight answer that applies to every homeowner, so let’s take a look at a few of the most common reasons why people decide to upgrade in the first place.
And it’s important to note that our electricians will be more than happy to go over these points with you in person, as much as it takes to help you understand the electrical panel upgrading process.
Upgrading to 200 amp service is safer. Overloaded panels are a fire hazard. If you try to connect too many things to an older, smaller panel, there is a chance that you could spark a flame or destroy your home’s electrical system which would be way more expensive to fix than paying for the installation of a new high-capacity electrical panel.
And if there ever was a fire and your insurance company investigated, they may determine you were ineligible because your electrical panel was not up to code and you neglected to fix the issue before it was too late. Installing a 200 amp breaker panel prevents this from happening.
More available circuits
So let’s say you upgrade to a high-capacity electrical panel. You might be wondering if you actually need all of those circuits. Chances are that you might not, but wouldn’t you rather have a one-time installation of a new panel that can accommodate all of your expansion and growth needs as technology changes and your family gets older?
The more circuits you have available, the more options you’ll have in the future to buy fun new toys and appliances. And if you ever go to sell your home, it lets prospective buyers imagine the potential rather than the restrictions of investing in your home.
Can accommodate new devices
Do you need an electric service upgrade? Having more capacity for the future could help when it comes to home additions or even adding extra appliances because you’re turning the basement into a nanny suite. As we like to say, it’s better to prepare for the future than have to do the work twice. Wouldn’t it be a pain if you have to pay an electrician to come back in five years and replace yet another panel?
Are you looking to add some new devices or appliances to your home? Here are a few that will almost certainly require an upgrade to a high-capacity electrical panel:
- Hot tubs
- Room additions
- Air conditioners
- Electric vehicle chargers
- Convection ovens
- Commercial tools like welders and big saws
- A finished basement or garage
If you have any of these specific additions in mind, please let your Ontime Electric representative know about your plans so we can help plan accordingly and accommodate all of your electrical needs in just one job!
Room for growth
Are you thinking about getting an electric car anytime soon? Some of those chargers can take a lot of juice, but working with a professional electrician can ensure that your new high-capacity electrical panel has the bandwidth to take on such an addition in the future.
Don’t let your home’s electrical capacity dictate what type of car you drive! And it doesn’t matter if the new hot tub is imminent or happening five years from now, the more information we have, the better we can work to help you build the home of your dreams.
Less power outages
If you have a very small electrical panel but try to run too many things at the same time, you’ll flip a breaker, or in older homes, blow a fuse. This happens because your system is overloaded and the breaker is actually working to prevent a fire from starting. But even with this safety net in place, it’s still not advisable to trip breakers on a regular basis, not to mention the inconvenience of having your washing machine shut down in a mid-cycle.
How many times will you have to lose the internet halfway through a project or a zoom call before enough is enough? Let the experts at Ontime Electric help you make regular power outages a thing of the past.
Should I upgrade my electrical panel on my own?
We’ll repeat ourselves again because you can’t street this point enough: You should never attempt to upgrade your electrical panel on your own. It’s a complicated and dangerous process that requires a certified and experienced set of hands to complete quickly and safely. You could seriously or fatally hurt yourself or other members of your family.
And if something bad does happen, you will likely not be covered by home insurance because many policies dictate that only a true electrician licensed in the province of Ontario should be working on electrical components inside your home. And this rule goes for pretty much every type of electrical job you can think of, whether it’s replacing a light switch, a wall receptacle or an electrical panel.
If you need electrician services in the Greater Toronto Area, don’t hesitate to call Ontime Electric. Our talented, experienced, and professional technicians have the expertise required to get an electrical job done. From electrical upgrades and renovations to wiring for brand-new builds, there is no project we won’t take on. If you ask any of our past clients, you’ll hear about our commitment to fine details and customer happiness. We treat every homeowner with great respect and admiration. Think of our team as the local handyman who can always help you out in a pinch. We’ll work around your schedule to make an appointment that works for you and get you the power you need in no time at all.
And remember, there’s no such thing as a “stupid question”. Our philosophy at Ontime Electric is to educate homeowners first and foremost, about safety, convenience, and our methods for getting the job done right the first time. Are you ready to work with us and get an electric service upgrade?
Contact Ontime Electric right now to book your free consultation.