Electrical Panel Upgrades: When And Why You Need Them

Do you know that heart of your home’s electrical system is the electrical panel? It distributes electricity to all your appliances, gadgets, and light fixtures. Yet, the majority of us only pay attention to it when a circuit breaker trips. Over time, however, even the most robust electrical panels require upgrades for enhanced safety, functionality, and to meet modern power needs. 

In this article, we’ll take you through when and why you need electrical panel upgrades.

Older Homes And Aging Panels

Did you know that if your home was built over 30 years ago and its electrical panel has never been upgraded, it might not be safe or efficient anymore? 

Vintage might be a good look for a collector’s car, but it’s not so desirable for an electrical panel. Outdated panels could be prone to shorts, fires, and inadequate power distribution.

For instance, electrical repairs in Murfreesboro, TN, often involve upgrades of electrical panels in older homes. Professionals there have noticed that many aged panels can’t handle today’s electricity consumption, leading to frequent circuit trips, flickering lights, and potentially dangerous situations.

The Upgrade Of Appliances

As you modernize your home with newer appliances and tech gadgets, it is essential to ensure your electrical panel can handle the increased load. 

Upgraded appliances like HVAC systems, refrigerators, electric vehicles, chargers, and home theaters require a lot more power than their older versions. So, an electrical panel upgrade will be necessary to keep them running smoothly and safely.

Frequent Circuit Breakers Tripping

Circuit breakers are designed to trip and shut off the power when the current load is too much to handle, preventing electrical fires and other damages. But if your breakers are tripping frequently, it’s a telltale sign that your panel is working too hard. An upgrade can resolve this issue and make your electrical system safer and more reliable.

The Need For More Circuits

If you’re adding more rooms or planning a significant renovation, you might need more circuits. Older panels often don’t have room for additional circuits, limiting your expansion plans. Upgrading your panel provides extra spaces for new circuits, ensuring you can add any rooms or appliances you need.

Visible Signs Of Damage

Inspect your panel for any visible damage, such as corrosion, burnt marks, or wires with worn-out insulation. These signs indicate potential safety issues that could result in electrical shocks or fires. If you notice any of these, consult a professional immediately and plan for a panel upgrade.

Insurance Requirements

Some insurance companies won’t insure homes with certain types of old electrical panels because of their known safety issues. 

For instance, panels from Federal Pacific Electric and Zinsco have lost their UL approval due to their failure rates. Upgrading such panels not only increases your home’s safety but also ensures you can secure adequate homeowner’s insurance.

Preparing For Solar Power

If you’re considering switching to solar power, an electrical panel upgrade is often necessary. Solar systems need a compatible electrical panel to ensure the power generated can be effectively distributed throughout your home. A modern electrical panel can help you transition smoothly to renewable energy sources.


Your electrical panel is a crucial component of your home’s safety and functionality. Don’t wait until a minor issue becomes a significant problem. 

Regular inspection and timely upgrades can prevent potential disasters and accommodate modern electricity needs. Whether it’s due to aging panels, frequent circuit breaker trips, or upgrading appliances, understanding when and why you need to upgrade your electrical panel is key to maintaining a safe and efficient home.