How often do you think about your electrical panel? Even though it’s not the most exciting topic in the world, it still warrants your attention beyond those random power outages.
Did you know that you need to replace your commercial electric panel every 20-30 years? That’s right; if it’s been out of sight and out of mind in the past, start thinking about when you’ll need an upgrade.
We’re not making these claims on a whim— in fact, there are eight fantastic reasons to consider upgrading your commercial electrical panel, and we’ve gathered them all below!
1) You’re Using More Power Now Than You Used To
Many decades ago, you only needed to power your kitchen appliances and lights. But now, we have laptops, desktop computers, phone chargers, televisions, and many more devices on top of our regular appliances.
Many older buildings were set up with a 60-amp service. While that was once the standard, today’s buildings run on much more power than ever before! 120 amps are now the standard. You’ll need to upgrade to an appropriate panel to support all the devices in your building.
2) Your Current Electrical Panel Has Reached Its Lifespan
As we mentioned earlier, electrical panels should be replaced every 20-30 years. If you have a particularly old breaker, there may have been wires added to it in the past. This is called “double-tapping,” and it could overcrowd your breaker box, leading to fire risk.
The best way to know if your electrical panel has reached its lifespan is to schedule an inspection with a professional electrician.
3) You’ve Noticed Suspicious Problems
It can be easy to overlook issues with your electrical outlets, but at some point, the little quirks should send off alarm bells. Keep an eye out for these indicators of problematic wiring:
- Dimming lights when turning on larger appliances
- Flickering lights
- Warmth around the electric panel
- Unusual burning smell
- Scorch marks or discoloration on your outlets
- Sparks when plugging in devices
- Small electric shocks when touching an appliance
- Cords that feel warm
- Frequently blown fuses
- Hissing noises in the breaker box
If you notice any of these problems, call a professional right away.
4) You’re Making Frequent Repairs
Have you found yourself repeatedly having to repair your fuses? If this is the case, it may be time for a total upgrade— especially if your electrical panel is on the older end. Doing so will allow you to save money in the long run and have a more functional, modern system.
5) Power Surges Are More and More Common
If you’ve noticed that power surges at your business are occurring more frequently, alarm bells should go off. It’s always valuable to get commercial surge protection devices installed, but if you’re still experiencing surges, there’s likely an issue stemming from the source.
Save your money in the long run by getting a new electrical panel installed. That, combined with a high-quality surge protection plan, will keep your appliances and devices protected for years.
6) You Can Lower Your Insurance Premiums
When you upgrade your commercial electrical panels, you significantly reduce risks to your building. Since your business will now be safer, your insurance company may take note.
Making safety investments in your building is a green flag for insurance companies. The safer your building, the less “high risk” it is. Be sure to let your insurer know about your upgrades, and you may qualify for lower monthly premiums.
7) Reduce the Risk of Fire in Your Building
Unfortunately, electrical fires happen in commercial and residential properties across the country. Old electric panels experience strain, which increases the risk of overheating. An overheated electrical system can lead to a fire.
As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to protect the employees, tenants, and guests in your building. So, reducing fire risk needs to be a top priority.
If your electrical system is nearing 20 years of age, or you’ve noticed any of the other issues on this list, your building has a higher fire risk. Upgrading your electrical panels is the best way to avoid the risk of electrical fires.
8) You’re Planning a Remodel
Are you planning to remodel your restaurant, office space, or other commercial building? As you undertake this remodel and update different parts of your electrical system, it’s much easier to replace your main breaker.
It may seem like an annoying extra expense, but it’s actually much better in the long run. You’ll have a safer electrical system that’s also more energy efficient, and all the new electrical functions will work like a charm.
Get in Touch With Your Local Electrician
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar? Don’t make the mistake of waiting too long to upgrade your electrical panel— unless you want to risk paying for all new appliances and devices!
If you’re located in Minnesota, you have a trusted partner in Electric City Corporation. Our local team has upgraded countless commercial electrical panels in addition to any other electrical service you may need.
Reach out today to schedule a free consultation!