Electrician,Meyer Electrical Services Inc.
Written by Walt Meyer

Upgrade Your Electric Panel to Be Ready for the Holidays

The holiday lights strung around your windows, trees, and landscaping, the animatronic snowman, and Santa’s sleigh with reindeer may not seem to be using much electricity but together they add a significant load to your home’s electrical system.


Just several strands of holiday lights can stress the electrical system of older homes. This is because the original service panels can’t handle today’s modern power demands. Homes with outdated systems will certainly benefit from upgrading to a 100-amp or higher electrical service, which is called a heavy-up. Due to the growing number of electrical devices being used, a 200-amp electrical panel has become the standard for many new homes.


Other Stresses


Holiday lights are not the only stress on your electrical system during the winter. Your home may be equipped with a large HVAC for heating and cooling, several large flat screen TVs, a large refrigerator, washer / dryer, microwave, and dishwasher. On top of all this are electronics and mobile devices for everyone in your family.


Hazardous Breaker Replacement


Most homeowners get tired of constantly resetting a circuit breaker that trips frequently. They then replace it with a larger breaker that is connected to a wire that’s not rated to carry the current. Doing this is hazardous because you increase the chance of overloading the circuit and causing a deadly electrical fire. This is one reason that modern electrical panels must be equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) for overload and electrocution protection.


Signs You Need A Upgrade


1) Older Home – Electrical panels are typically designed to have a service life of 25 to 40 years. Some older electrical panels were built with defective components and were recalled because of the danger. Homes built before the 1950s were built with services that were only 60 amps or less.


2) Dimming Lights From Large Appliances – It is often the case that the lights in your house either dim or flicker every time a hairdryer, HVAC, microwave, or washing machine is turned on.


3) Frequently Tripping Breakers – Homeowners who are resetting their circuit breakers frequently need to contact a licensed electrician as soon as possible to schedule an electrical safety inspection.


4) Danger Signs Inside Panel – Scorch marks or dark discolorations inside an electrical panel must be addressed immediately and require the attention of a licensed electrician.


Electrical Services You Can Trust


Founded in 1991, Meyer Electrical Services provides home and commercial electrical services in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., where we are licensed and insured. 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.