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Electrical Panel Upgrade Berkeley

You may be interested in an electrical panel upgrade in Berkley so your home can handle more power, or to fix your existing panel. The higher amperage your panel is, the more power your panel can handle. First let’s understand what is an electrical panel and when you should be looking for an upgrade.

What is an Electrical Panel?

Also known as the circuit breaker box, electric panel, and even the load center, the electrical panel is a box located in your home that houses circuits running through your home. The purpose of your electric panel is to distribute and regulate all the electricity through the circuits of your home. When too much energy flows through a certain area, it can turn into heat. If not regulated, the heat can then become an electrical fire.

Electric panels regulate too much energy in your home with the circuit breaker. If too much electricity flows through the circuit, the breaker is able to turn off or break the circuit, stopping electric flow. When a circuit breaker shuts off, it is sometimes known as tripping the breaker.

The electrical panel is a safety mechanism in your home to prevent fire accidents and electrical damage. If you live in one of the Berkeley older homes, use a lot of appliances or looking to sell your home, it may be very important to make sure your breaker is working properly.

 

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This picture shows an electrician doing a panel upgrade in Berkeley and Oakland. Circuit breaker is being tested after installed.

Electrical Panel Installation With More Amperage

If you are opting for an electrical panel installation or replacement you should consider if you need an upgrade. Here are the amperages to decide on:

  • 60 Ampere: Home built around the 1960s and or very small.  There are not many modern homes that can handle such low levels of electricity except for maybe studios or 1 bedroom apartments.

✔ *Electric code now requires at least 100 amp electric panels. Finding replacement parts or circuit breakers for 60 amp panel boxes are very difficult to find.

✔ Panel upgrade: Needed

  • 100 Ampere: Minimum amp panel box per electric code.  Homes larger than 1,000 sq feet will want to consider a panel upgrade.

✔ Panel upgrade: Recommended

  • 150 Ampere: Most modern homes will be built using this amperage.  Unless your home is bigger than 2,000 sq feet or uses high energy redundant appliances (2 refrigerators), you may not need a panel upgrade.

✔ Panel upgrade: Probably not needed

  • 200 Ampere: Many modern development houses may be built with a 200 Amp panel box.

✔ Panel upgrade: Not necessary

A good sign that you need an electrical panel upgrade is the house’s main breaker keeps popping or tripping.  The main breaker is usually located separate from the panel with all of the other breakers. If the main breaker pops, your home will lose all electricity!  If you do not know the difference between a circuit breaker and your main breaker, please seek a professional!

Looking to replace Fuse Boxes with a Circuit Breaker?

Fuse boxes helped protect homes from overcurrent before electrical panels ever existed. Because those homes still exist, fuse boxes are still used in Berkeley and Oakland homes today, especially if built before the 1960s. By now you may be tired of replacing “blown fuses” and decide it is time to get a circuit breaker for convenience or to add value to your home if you are preparing to sell it. If you are interested in replacing your fuse box with a circuit breaker box, contact us at Pro Electrician Berkeley for a free quote!

This picture shows an upgrade from a fuse box to an electrical panel installation in Berkeley and Oakland

Install Electrical Panel vs Fuse Box

There are not many advantages to installing a fuse box over a circuit breaker box. The only reason they still exist in homes today is that they do work for distributing and regulating energy throughout the home.

Advantages of an an electrical panel replacement in Berkeley include:

Convenient: Resetting a tripped circuit breaker is very easy

Multi use: Once you reset the breaker, you do not need to purchase a new one.

Compatibility with modern electrical use: Larger fuses are needed for more powerful modern appliances. Some of the larger fuses are less compatible with older fuse box technology.

GFCI use: Fuse boxes do not work with GFCI outlets, which area now required by code in the kitchen and bathrooms.

Add value to your home: Homes with breakers are worth more than homes with fuse boxes even if the fuse box is working properly. 

If you need electricity to get to places further from the main panel you may benefit from a sub panel installation Berkeley. Common examples are garages, upstairs, or room additions.

Get a Free Quote From The Best Electrical Contractors in Berkeley CA

Our Berkeley Electrical Contractors are experts with fuse boxes and circuit breakers. Repairs, replacements, and upgrades. Call us today for a FREE quote.

When Do I Need to Replace my Circuit Breaker?

Electrical Panel Installation in Berkeley and Oakland

The best way to know if you need an electrical panel installation or replacement, is by knowing the signs to look for. Your panel helps to properly distribute the electricity flowing from your home meter throughout your home.  It’s an integral part to your home’s power and most people from Berkeley and Oakland don’t know it should be replaced every 25-40 years.  When not working properly, the electrical panel can allow wires or appliances to overheat and even burn.  The most obvious signs that you may need an circuit breaker repair, replacement, or an upgrade are as follows:

  1. Lights flickering
  2. Small shocks when handling appliances
  3. Heat!
    • Burning smells
    • Burn or scorch marks around the outlet
    • A hot to the touch electrical panel
  4. Main circuit box or other appliance breakers keep tripping

If you are looking to install a large electrical appliance to your home, such as a central AC system, you may also want to consider upgrading your panel.

Upgrading or installing a new electrical panel is also great when you’re selling your home!  Wouldn’t you be more interested in a home if you knew that the circuitry was just taken care of?

If you are unsure if you have a problem with your electrical panel, let our expert Berkeley electricians advise you on what is best for your home.  We give free quotes and estimates for all your electrical needs!

 

Why choose our electricians for a Panel Installation or Upgrade in Oakland and Berkeley?

About Us

✔ Licensed and insured electricians
✔ High skill and experience, including in panel repair, installation, and upgrades
✔ Electrician services near Berkley, Oakland, and Bay Area
✔ Friendly and reliable electricians
✔ Honesty and workmanship
✔ Transparent pricing
✔ Affordable hourly rates

 

FAQs

What is Fuse Box?

A fuse box helps to regulate electricity efficiently in the home, and just like an electrical panel, it will shut down a circuit down when too much electricity flows though it. The major difference between a fuse and a circuit breaker is that fuses can only break a circuit once before being replaced. Circuit breakers on the other hand just need to be reset when tripped.

When a lot of electricity passes through a fuse, it will heat up. Too much electricity and a fuse will burn out blocking electricity to pass through it. A burnt out fuse is also known as a “blown fuse.” Replacing a burnt out fuse is the only way to get the circuit working again in a fuse box.

The fuse box has been replaced with electrical panels in modern day homes due to the inconvenience of needing to replace burned out fuses. The fuse box still exists in Berkeley and other Bay Area homes built before the 1960s.

Fuse boxes while old fashioned, still function well. It is not necessary to replace a fuse box with an electrical panel for safety reasons, however you may wish to do it for convenience or to add value to your home. If you are interested in replacing your fuse box with a circuit breaker box, contact us for a free quote!

How Much Does it Cost to Upgrade a Fuse Box to a Breaker?

Unlike upgrading your kitchen, the price to upgrade your fuse box is pretty affordable. The cost could range between $1,500 – $2,500, but there are many factors that go into the final price. If you’re preparing to sell your home, upgrading your fuse box to an electrical panel can make a lot of financial sense. Please contact Pro Electrician Berkeley for your individualized quote on replacing your fuse box.