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Pros and Cons of Upgrading an Electrical Panel

Sep 08, 2022


Your home’s electrical panel provides the energy that powers the utilities in your house as well as supplies electricity to all outlets and appliances. As a homeowner, it’s important to consider a home electrical panel upgrade since electrical panels deteriorate over time.


A lot of people disregard the benefits of upgrading an electrical panel since they don’t always understand the importance of the equipment. It’s worth considering the pros and cons of upgrading an electrical panel as a homeowner. A faulty or obsolete panel can pose more problems than you might think, while a properly maintained panel can last for 20 to 30 years.


Keep reading to learn all about your home electrical panel upgrade including our own list of pros and cons.

Signs You Should Get a Home Electrical Panel Upgrade

The lifespan of a home electrical panel is limited. While regular maintenance and safe electrical practices will extend its lifespan, you should pay attention to the following signs so you know when it’s time for an upgrade.

The Panel is Over 30 Years Old

Typically, a reasonable lifespan for a home electrical panel is three decades. If your electrical panel is older than that, or if you’re not sure how old it is but your home is more than 30 years old, it’s a good idea to look at upgrading your panel. An outdated panel will eventually fail, resulting in a breaker tripping unnecessarily or a circuit not tripping when it should.

If You See Sparks or Smell Burning 

It’s unusual for an electrical system to suddenly spark, especially an electrical panel. If you frequently see sparks, your electrical panel is likely functioning incorrectly. Pay attention to odd scents as well like burning or overheating smells. These are clear indicators that something is wrong with your electrical system that needs immediate attention.

Strange Noises

If you hear buzzing, snapping, hammering, or any other strange noises coming from your electrical system, this is a sign it needs replacing. Your electrical panel, especially older ones, may also generate some crackling noises.

Electrical Shocks

Mild shocks indicate improper installation or defective wiring signals, particularly when touching a switch or outlet. Pay attention to electrical shocks that might occur when you turn on appliances, dim lights, or operate any other piece of electrical equipment. This can be a sign that your electrical panel is unable to meet your modern electrical demands. An overloading circuit attempting to transfer electricity from other sources to appliances can be dangerous.

Pros and Cons of Upgrading an Electrical Panel

Pros of Upgrading an Electrical Panel

Service panel upgrades provide a number of benefits beyond experience and money value. Here are 5 benefits of upgrading an electrical panel that you might not already know:


  • Improved safety: an outdated electrical panel likely can’t keep up with the electrical demands of modern homes. This means they can function poorly, overheat, and even catch fire. Upgrading to a new system will improve your home’s safety and keep your home working smoothly without the threat of fire.
  • Increase home value: some improvements are necessary if you’re looking to increase the value of your home. Making sure your home’s electrical system is up to date is one of the best ways to do this. This means upgrading your electrical panel to keep your home running smoothly.
  • Enhance home’s electrical performance: if you’re tired of frequent electrical circuits tripping, shocks when turning on switches, or even random dips in electrical performance across your home’s appliances and equipment, then an electrical panel upgrade is for you. This will improve your home’s electrical performance immediately.
  • Get more outlets: when you have an upgraded electrical panel in your home, you can install more reliable, functioning outlets. This can add to the functionality of convenience of your home.
  • Extend the lifespan of your electrical equipment and appliances: when you have a reliable electrical panel, you won’t have to worry about shocks and tripped circuits that could damage your home’s equipment and appliances. A new system will protect your equipment.

Cons of Upgrading an Electrical Panel

Since an upgraded electrical panel increases the value and safety of your home as well as your peace of mind, the cons are usually few and far between. That being said, here are a few points you may want to consider before replacing your electrical panel:


  • Cost: home upgrades don’t come free. An electrical panel upgrade is no exception. Upgrading your panel can range from $2,000 to $5,000 depending on your current electrical needs, the complexity of the job, and the materials needed.
  • It can be time consuming: upgrading your circuit breaker can take a few hours for a skilled technician to complete. If you’re looking for a serious, valuable upgrade, it can take up to half a day, especially if you need to replace the main circuit breaker or your home’s fuse box

How to Get a Home Electrical Panel Upgrade

Now that you have some clarity on the pros and cons of upgrading an electrical panel, you may be wondering how you can get the process started. At CroppMetcalfe, we like to keep all home upgrades as straightforward as possible for our customers. Reach out today to learn more about our electrical services and to ask any questions you might have about your project.



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