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4 Reasons to Upgrade Your Electrical Panel

Panel Upgrade Santa Clara County

Improve Your Home With a New Electrical Panel


Older homes, businesses, and commercial buildings often have outdated electrical panels. While you may be able to live or work with a slightly older electrical panel, it may present issues with your home’s functionality, safety, and efficiency. An upgraded electric service will not only bring your property up to the present day, but it will also help future-proof it for days to come.


As the leading team of electricians in the Gilroy, CA, and Santa Clara Valley area, Watson’s Charging Stations & Electric understands the value of a modern, well-working electric service in your home. We put together a quick guide to help you understand why you should consider improving your home with a new electrical panel.


What Is an Electrical Panel?

Every home and property has an electrical panel in its garage, basement, utility room, or somewhere else of importance. Some call electrical panels breaker boxes, panelboard, breaker panels, electrical service, switchboard, or fuse box. While electrical panels go by many names, they all serve the same purpose.


Electrical panels are a series of switches that provide a safe barrier between the electricity coming into your property from the utility company and the rest of the property. In California, homes, and businesses have their main electrical panels on the property’s exterior connected to a single or series of subpanels filled with breaker switches that control various parts of the property. One breaker may turn on/off the outlet to an electric dryer, while another might control power to an entire room.


If too much current goes through a specific line, the breaker will turn off. This “trip” shuts off power before the excess current can cause problems like damaging appliances or causing an electrical fire.


Your electrical panel is the gateway to your home’s electrical grid and the epicenter of future electrification projects.


4 Reasons to Consider an Electrical Panel Replacement

Now that you understand the importance of your home’s electrical panel, it is also worth looking at the benefits of new electrical panel installation.


Electrical Safety

The primary purpose of an electrical panel is to keep your property safe from power surges and electrical overloads that could cause severe damage to your home. An outdated service panel leaves your property at risk.


Many older homes even have panels that are no longer up to code. If your home has a Federal Pacific panel, Zinsco panel, or split-bus electrical panel, you need to call an electrical contractor immediately. These panels are not only outdated, but they are also unsafe.


Federal Pacific breakers, for example, are known not to trip when there is a short circuit or overload. These service panels are responsible for countless fires in homes nationwide. They are also known not to adequately turn off power when switched off, thus leading to various electrocutions.


Electrical components like wires, outlets, and fixtures can wear out over time. The same is true for your breaker box, and too much deterioration puts your property, electrical equipment, and family at risk.


Modern Devices

Older electrical panels often lack the capacity to handle modern electrical demands. As more families and property owners join the electrification movement and use electric-powered appliances, smart home tech, and equipment, the demands on the service panel increase.


Imagine spending $50k on a brand-new electric vehicle only to find that your electrical panel does not have the capacity to charge it properly, let alone add an at-home EV charging station. Before you upgrade your home, ensure your service panel can handle the new demands.


Lower Utility Costs

Believe it or not, investing in an electrical panel replacement can save you a ton of money in the long run. For starters, older electrical systems come with higher home owner’s insurance costs, and an upgraded system is safer, which means it also costs less to insure.


Modern smart electrical panels allow property owners to better track and control their electric use. For example, you can program your smart panel to prioritize which electrical lines get power during high peak and more expensive times.


On that same note, many homeowners are moving towards creating microgrids with their smart electrical panels and a whole house backup battery system. This nanogrid allows you to store electricity when it is the cheapest and then use that stored energy when costs are higher.


Increased Reliability

Commercial buildings require consistent power to keep businesses running. Outdated electrical systems are less stable, leading to inconsistent power dips. These dips can strain the property’s grid and overload breakers. The last thing you want your company, tenets, and family to experience is wavering power, not to mention the higher risks of electrical fires on the property.


An upgraded electrical panel ensures you can provide more consistent and reliable power. Everyone can rely on equipment running without interruption.


There Has Never Been a Better Time to Upgrade Your Electrical Panel

Many home and property owners would love to improve their electrical grids but worry that it will cost too much. Luckily, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, which provides various tax incentives for going green via electrification.


Under the IRA, homeowners can earn a tax credit of up to $4,000 for updating their electrical panels and another $2,500 rebate for updating their home’s electrical wiring. While these new incentives do not kick in until 2023, now is the perfect time to start planning upgrades. Make sure to work with a CPA or tax professional to properly earn tax benefits under the newly signed Inflation Reduction Act.


If you would like to learn more about upgrading your electrical panel, call Waton’s Charging Stations & Electric. We have served the Gilroy, CA, area for years and can handle all of your electrical needs, from panel upgrades to whole house fans to EV charging stations and more. Contact us today for a free consultation and quote for your next big project.