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Replacing an old circuit breaker box, panel change, is a homeowners first line of home safety defense

Home Safety:
Replacing an old circuit breaker box, panel change, is not always on home owners minds as a first line of defense, but it should be for a number of reasons. Most homeowners can sleep soundly knowing their electrical panels will protect them by tripping off when a circuit overload occurs, but many homes built between the 1950s and 1990 still have circuit breakers made by the defunct companies Federal Pacific and Zinsco, which may not trip, thus posing a fire hazard. I don’t like using the extreme example of — fire — when talking to my customers about their breaker panels upgrade, although it can happen but  a circuit breaker box upgrade also protects electronic devices and the data contained within them. Almost everyone has something electronic in their home with valuable information inside that electronic equipment. Whether you’re a video aficionado or a stock market trader or you collect family photos, or you just invested $2000 in a new flat screen, whatever your area of interest, that’s the best reason to have up-to-date, functional electrical equipment protecting your home.

Things to consider when replacing your electric panel:
When replacing that circuit breaker box, don’t assume you’ll need to upgrade your capacity. Most modern homes actually use less amperage, new computers and televisions are actually using less energy. A LED wall-mounted flat screen TV uses less energy than a 30-inch tube-type TV, so unless you’re planning a big addition to your house, you should be good with the amps you have now.So if your old 100-amp breaker box needs replacing we recommend a 100-amp replacement.

You also want to steer clear of reconditioned panels and breakers that you can find online or in a local supply store. if one of your breakers goes bad on an out of date panel, you can’t go to the store and buy that. You would have to use an original used circuit breaker in order to pass inspection. The reconditioned ones that they sell online can not only be dangerous, but usually will not pass inspection.

Federal Pacific and Zinsco Panels are implicated in thousands of house fires each year.

If your home has one of these panels it can nullify your homeowners insurance policy (call your broker to be sure) or increase your rates.

Selling your home will be more difficult. When people go to purchase a home , it’s a red flag for the inspector.