Can I Upgrade My Breaker Panel Myself?

Most homeowners take pride in home maintenance and DIY projects. If you are in the habit of completing all of your own home maintenance, you might be hesitant to hire outside help. There are, however, certain jobs that require professional help. Electrical work, for instance, often requires the expertise of a professional.

Replacing an electrical breaker box is one type of job that can pop up in home maintenance. This quick guide will provide you with information on this important job and when it is a good idea to hire a professional.

When Is Upgrading the Electrical Panel Needed?

One of the main reasons a homeowner would need to replace a breaker box would be if the home was built a long time ago. In the past, breaker boxes were not built to handle the extra electrical load that all of our modern appliances place on them. Larger, more powerful appliances use more and more electricity. If you are running a lot of modern appliances on an old breaker box, you might notice that you often trip breakers. A solution to this problem is to install a new box that can handle the energy load.

Should You Replace the Electrical Panel By Yourself?

Generally, home maintenance can be done by homeowners. This is usually a great way to save money and even learn new skills. One exception to this, however, is when it comes to electrical work.

Unless you are a certified electrician, there are certain jobs that you should not do. In fact, there are certain jobs that it is even illegal for you to do. Most counties require that electrical work be conducted by a trained electrician and that the proper permits are granted from the county before the work can even start.

There are also often rules and regulations set in place by your insurance company that would prohibit anyone except a trained electrician from working on the box.

Breaker Box Dangers

The most significant danger of working on a breaker box would be the risk of electrocution. The breaker box is the location through which most of the home’s electricity flows. This means that this location carries with it the most significant danger of electrocution. Electricians are trained in how to avoid these risks.

Another risk would be the risk of damaging the wiring to the house. If you make a mistake and cause damage to the home’s wiring, it can be a long and expensive process to correct.

Electrical Capacity

Beyond the obvious physical dangers, there is also the issue of having the correct electrical capacity installed. In order to make sure that your home will have the proper amount of electricity flowing through the breaker box, you need to have the proper capacity box installed.

A professional electrician will be able to evaluate your home and your energy needs and then recommend the appropriate electrical capacity for your home.