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Is It Time to Upgrade Your Electrical Panel?

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6 Benefits of Upgrading Your Home or Business Electrical Panel for Improved Safety

As a homeowner or business owner, you rely on your electrical panel to deliver reliable and safe power to your property. However, electrical panels can become outdated over time, leading to potential safety hazards and efficiency issues. When these issues arise, you could be looking at an unsafe situation for your property and the people inside of it.


Here is what you need to know about when it is time to hire a Gilroy, CA, electrician for an electrical panel replacement and the safety benefits you’ll enjoy once the job is complete.


What is an Electrical Panel?

An electric service panel, also known as a breaker box, circuit breaker, or service panel, is the hub of your property’s electrical system. This is where the electrical current enters your property from your utility company and is distributed to various circuits and outlets throughout your home/facility.


The panel houses circuit breakers or fuses, designed to shut off the power in case of an overload or short circuit, preventing fires and other potential hazards. Our understanding and use of electric panels have grown and improved over the years. That means older homes may have electrical panels that were up to code upon installation but are considered unsafe by today’s standards. For example, older homes with a Federal Pacific panel, Zinsco breakers, or a split-bus panel should bring in a Santa Clara County electrician for an immediate upgrade. These older panels are no longer safe and should be replaced right away.


An electrical panel in the process of being wired on a work bench.

Signs that You Need to Upgrade Your Electrical Panel

Those who don’t have an electrical panel brand or style that has been deemed unsafe wonder how they are supposed to know when their service panels need to be replaced. Here are some signs that indicate you may need to upgrade your electrical panel:

  • The panel is outdated: If your electrical panel is over 25 years old, it’s likely outdated and needs an upgrade.

  • Your electrical needs have increased: If you’ve added new appliances or devices to your property, your electrical panel likely may not be able to handle the increased electrical load. Homeowners looking to join the electrification movement often need a better electric panel to handle their updated needs.

  • Circuit breakers trip frequently: If your circuit breakers trip frequently, it’s a sign that your electrical panel may be overloaded, and you need to upgrade it.

  • Flickering lights: If your lights flicker when you turn on an appliance or device, it’s an indication that your electrical panel may not be able to handle the increased load.

  • Buzzing or humming sounds: loose or damaged writing can result in buzzing or humming sounds.

  • Burn marks: if you notice burn marks or strange odors coming from your fuse box, it could be a sign of a serious electrical problem immediately.


If unsure, you can always schedule an inspection from a reputable and licensed electrician. Many companies even offer free or low-cost consultations to help you get the right information.


As electric vehicles become more popular, at-home EV charging station installations are on the rise.

Benefits of Upgrading Your Electrical Panel

While it might seem like upgrading your electrical panel is just another recommended home project, there are numerous benefits that make this project worthwhile.

  1. Improved Safety

One of the primary benefits of upgrading your electrical panel is improved safety. Older electrical panels may not be up to code and pose a significant risk to your property and family. Upgrading your electrical panel will ensure it’s up to code and meets the latest safety standards.

  1. Compliance with Building Codes

An upgraded electrical panel ensures compliance with modern building codes and safety regulations. The last thing you want to do is make significant upgrades to your home only to get in trouble for violating local building codes from an outdated service panel.

  1. Increased Energy Efficiency

Upgrading your electrical panel can also improve your property’s energy efficiency. Old electrical panels may not be able to handle the increased electrical load, leading to energy waste and higher energy bills. An upgraded electrical panel can handle the increased load and help you save on your energy bills. Modern smart electrical panels can even help you monitor and control how electricity is used throughout the property.


The electrification movement involves moving away from fossil fuels or more efficient and lower-cost renewable energies.

  1. Ability to Handle Modern Electrical Needs

Modern electrical needs have increased significantly, especially with the increased use of smart home technology, electric vehicle charging stations, electrical appliances, and other high-powered devices. Upgrading your electrical panel will ensure that it can handle increased needs. It would be a shame to upgrade to energy-efficient, electric appliances or smart home features only to find that your current electrical panel cannot handle the increased load.

  1. Avoid Electrical Hazards

An outdated electrical panel can pose a significant risk to your property and family. Circuit breakers that don’t trip when they should, frayed wires, and other issues can cause electrical hazards. These hazards can lead to fires and other dangers. Upgrading your electrical panel will help you avoid these hazards and keep your property and family safe.

  1. Increased Property Value

Upgrading your electrical panel can also increase your property’s value. Potential buyers will be more likely to purchase a property with an upgraded electrical system that meets modern safety and efficiency standards.


Trust Watson’s Charging Stations & Electric with Your Panel Needs

The team at Watson’s Charging Stations & Electric has been the premier electricians in Gilroy, CA, and the Santa Clara Valley for years. If you are considering making any electrical panel upgrades, it is critical that you work with licensed electricians with a stellar reputation for quality workmanship and affordable pricing.


Our team specializes in electric panel upgrades, including smart panels, backup battery storage systems, and microgrids. We can help you determine if an upgrade is necessary while providing a plan to meet your property’s needs. You won't find a more experienced team in Santa Clara County.


Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about our services. We will ensure you have the right information to make an informed decision.