Electrical Repair , Electrical Heavy-up
Written by Walt Meyer

How to Tell If Your Home Needs a Heavy-Up

You might need a heavy-up if your home was built more than 30 years ago. A heavy-up increases the amperage entering the home through its electrical service panel, allowing its system to manage a greater load. Many older homes also need an electrical system upgrade to meet modern demands. When they were built, many tech devices did not yet exist, appliances were smaller, and homes consumed much less electricity. 

When You May Need a Heavy-Up

  • An addition will significantly expand home’s square footage.
  • Circuit breakers trip often.
  • Electrical lights dim or flicker when another device or appliance is turned on.
  • Electrical service panel uses fuses rather than circuit breakers.
  • House will have an extensive remodeling.
  • Installing device like HVAC system that will consume a great amount of electricity.

Amperage Increase Expected

Typically, a heavy-up for an older home will upgrade from a 100 to 150 amp electrical service to one that is 200 amps, the standard for new homes for meeting today’s electrical needs.

Electrical System Upgrade

An outdated knob & tube electrical system probably requires replacement. Although not necessarily less capable than modern plastic-coated wires, years of wear and tear may have caused the knobs to break and the rubber on wires to fragment in knob & tube electrical systems. In addition, they are less safe because they are not grounded.

Not a DIY Project

For safety and performing the project to code, an experienced licensed electrician should be hired for a heavy-up. The project will require shutting off the power from the utility and then the replacement of the whole electrical service panel. As mentioned above, an upgrade of the electrical system may also be required. Additionally, a grounding rod that is connected to the service panel will have to be installed. Finally, the service drop cable may require replacement.

Electrical Services You Can Trust

Founded in 1991 and serving Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., where we are licensed and insured, Meyer Electrical Services provides home and commercial electrical services you can trust, including:

  • Standby Generator Installation
  • Panel Upgrades (Heavy-Ups)
  • Electrical Vehicle Charging Stations
  • Structured Cabling
  • Circuit Breaker Replacement

Based in Bethesda, our team proudly serves all of Montgomery County. Receive a free consultation for custom electrical work today by calling (301) 941-1400.