Electrical Panel Upgrade: When And Why It's Necessary

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Michael Foster
June 23, 2024
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As a homeowner, it is essential to maintain the safety and efficacy of your electrical system. The most critical element in this process--the electrical panel--must be kept up-to-date with modern technology. Containing circuit breakers that offer protection from power outages or surges, these panels are pivotal for ensuring optimal security and performance within the home. Technology advancements, the aging of current wiring systems, and various other reasons could necessitate an upgrade. Keep reading to discover why one may be necessary at your home and when would be the optimal time to do so!

The Necessity of an Upgrade

Electrical panel upgrades are often indispensable when homeowners need to keep up with the ever-evolving technology and modern electrical systems. Currents that call for more power than the existing system can handle are important hints that you should consider a complete overhaul of your current setup. Fortunately, it may be just what’s needed to unlock greater potential in other areas!
Another reason that often comes up with new build houses or existing houses undergoing renovation is the need to comply with local building codes and requirements. These may require individuals to meet certain electrical safety standards or upgrade their systems to a more modern format.
Lastly, many homeowners opt for electrical panel upgrades to improve the performance of their current system. Components such as circuit breakers, boards and fuses all play a vital role in ensuring that your electrical system is active and not compromised during any power-related incident.

Benefits of Upgrading

Upgrade your home's wiring system with an electrical panel upgrade for improved safety and efficiency. Whether you are building a new house or renovating it, upgrading the electrical panel is important to consider the need for this vital installation.
Apart from the obvious safety benefits associated with upgrading your electrical panels, there are some additional advantages too, such as follows:
  • Increased energy efficiency
  • Reduced risk of fires
  • Better functionality
  • Additional Features
Now that you know the advantages and benefits, it's time to contemplate if an upgrade is integral for your home’s electrical panel. Whether you seek comfort or yearn to ensure your residence remains safe and functional, upgrading is indisputably the right choice. Reach out to a skilled electrician today and start relishing all the perks of modernizing your electrical panel!

The Process of Upgrading

Suppose you decide that upgrading your electrical panel is necessary for the safety and efficiency of your home’s wiring system. In that case, it’s important to ensure the job is done right by hiring a qualified electrician who knows what they are doing. The process includes the following steps:
  1. Assess the condition of your electrical panel box and determine whether a full or partial upgrade is needed.
  2. Switch out your breaker panel at the electric box panel with one that has enough space to accommodate new circuits, if necessary.
  3. Upgrade any existing wiring in your home and install additional wiring if necessary.
  4. Test and verify that your new electrical panel is working properly.
  5. Ensure the safety of your home by having an electrician inspect it to ensure there are no additional areas that need to be addressed.
With all these processes and more, it is vital to trust a qualified electrician to handle your electrical panel upgrade. Also, certified electricians know the national electrical code and are up to date on any changes regarding electrical equipment. And this means they know the standard electrical code that will be able to ensure that your new panel is properly installed and meets all local, state, and national safety requirements for a modern-day electrical system.
So if you’re ready to upgrade your home’s electrical panel, contact a trusted electrician today to get started. With their help, you can rest easy knowing that your home’s electrical system has all the protection it needs and is operating at peak efficiency.

Signs You Need to Upgrade Your Electrical Panel

Homes constructed before the mid-1980s usually require an upgrade of their electrical panel since it typically utilizes 100-amp service. And this is no longer sufficient to meet the power demands of today's modern appliances, while those built afterward are equipped with 150-amp service. Even some houses from the 1980s may need a replacement due to their inadequate source of electricity.
Today's standard is 200 amps or higher to handle all of the modern technology found in homes. So if you have an older home or one with limited amperage capacity, you must upgrade your electrical panel as soon as possible. Below are other signs that indicate that your home’s electrical panel needs an upgrade:
  • Frequent tripping of circuit breakers or blown fuses - If you are constantly experiencing problems with power surges, flickering lights, and appliances turning on and off without warning, your electrical panel is likely overloaded and in need of an upgrade. These are all common symptoms that indicate the need for an updated panel.
  • High energy costs - If you are finding that your monthly energy bills are significantly higher than they used to be, it could be a sign of a larger and more complex problem with your home's electrical system. And this could result from an outdated or damaged panel, so it's important to investigate this further.
  • Outdated appliances and electronics - Many of today’s latest appliances and devices require significantly more power than older models, so if your home has an outdated electrical system, it may not adequately support your newer devices. In many cases, upgrading your electrical panel can help solve these problems.
  • Emits a burnt smell - An electrical panel that is overheating, aging, or damaged may emit an unpleasant burnt smell when in use. If you notice this odor, it's time to upgrade your panel ASAP to prevent further damage and keep your family safe.
  • Odd noises or sparks - If you notice an unusual popping or buzzing sound coming from your electrical panel, it could be a sign that something has gone wrong. In addition to these noises, there may also be visible sparks that occur when the panel is opened. And this is an immediate red flag and should never be ignored.
If any of the above signs apply to your home, then it's clear that you need to upgrade your electrical panel as soon as possible. Fortunately, a panel electrical upgrade is generally relatively quick and simple, so don't hesitate to contact an experienced electrician today. With their help, you can rest assured that your home will be safe and up-to-date for many years.

What is the total cost to replace an electrical panel?

The total cost to upgrade an electrical panel will depend on several factors, including the size and age of your current panel, any existing wiring or additional wiring that needs to be installed, and the electrician's level of expertise and experience you hire.
  • The average cost for a 200-amp electrical panel depends on your home's specific needs. A basic installation, including the panel and additional wiring, may cost between $1,000 and $2,500. This price may be higher if you require more advanced electrical upgrades, such as rewiring or installing an underground service line.
  • For the NEC code and new panel, you may expect to pay $2,000 to $4,000. It is important to note that the total cost of NEC electrical will also depend on local labor rates and the qualifications of the electrician that you choose.

What is a mass save rebates status?

The Mass Save rebates program offers several different incentives to help homeowners and businesses upgrade their electrical panels, including a basic rebate of up to $250 for upgrading your panel or adding additional circuits. Also, energy discounts are available when you upgrade to a smart meter system, and there are other rebates and discounts available for additional electrical upgrades and energy-efficient appliances.
The California rebates status indicates whether or not you are approved for this rebate and how much of the total cost you have already paid. To check your Mass Save rebates status, visit the program website and enter your application ID number or contact information, including your name, address, phone number, and email address. You will then be able to view the current status of your application, including any outstanding requirements or issues that need to be resolved before you are eligible for the rebate.


Investing in a circuit breaker panel upgrade can help ensure safe and efficient operation in your home's wiring system—and even add value when selling down the line! It’s important to remember, though, that such upgrades should only ever be performed by a qualified electrician who has experience working with complex wiring systems and understands all relevant safety protocols while doing so. With their assistance and expertise, you can rest assured that any upgrades will help keep everyone safe while maximizing the energy efficiency!
For quality and reliable electrical repair services that you can count on, trust no other than Home Alliance! Our team of certified, licensed electricians has the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to handle any electrical panel upgrade project. Whether you need a simple installation or an advanced repair service for your wiring system, we are here to help. Book us now.