Should I Upgrade My Electrical Panel?

None of us think very often about our home's electrical system because it is out of sight, and therefore, out of mind. Unfortunately, ignorance is not bliss when it comes to the health of your electrical panel. Have you thought to yourself, "should I upgrade my electrical panel?" Your home's safety and efficiency are at risk with an old panel, so it may be time to inspect yours. If you notice things like crackling sounds from your panel box, corrosion on the breakers, flickering lights, or breakers that keep tripping, it is time to update your electrical panel. For more information about electrical panels and when to update, read below.

Signs your system needs upgrading

  • Flickering Lights Unless you are using a strobe light, your lights should not flicker. If you notice that your lights flicker when you turn another appliance on, it indicates an imbalance from a power surge. On the other hand, it could be an indication of a bad circuit. Our electricians will be able to pinpoint the problem.
  • Circuit Breakers That Trip Regularly If circuit breakers in your home trip frequently, something is wrong. In this scenario, there are probably issues with the electrical panel. It may need repairs due to faulty wiring. We can troubleshoot the problem.
  • Sparking or Warm Outlets Have you ever seen an outlet spark or feel warm to the touch? If so, either the outlet has faulty wiring or experienced an electrical fire. Do not attempt a "Do-It-Yourself" project. It will only result in even costlier electrical repairs.
  • Frequent Electrical Problems If your home experiences frequent electrical problems, it is time to upgrade your system. Putting off an upgrade may result in safety risks, so we recommend calling A.B. May as soon as you detect an issue.
  • Outdated Circuit Breaker or Fuse Box If your home was built more than 30 years ago, it's likely you need a new circuit breaker or fuse box. Homes built before 1980 were not intended to handle the amount of electricity we use today. A new electrical panel will increase the safety and efficiency of your electrical system.
  • Expanding or Remodeling Your Home Are you planning a renovation or add-on? If so, a new electrical panel will be necessary.


  • More Consistent Power Does your home experience intermittent power from time to time? This is not normal or necessary. A new electrical panel can prevent this from happening and deliver more consistent power to your home.
  • Resolves Lingering Electrical Problems Flickering lights and blown fuses should not frequently occur in your home. When they do, they reveal a larger problem with your entire electrical system. An older or outdated electrical panel could be to blame. An updated electrical panel solves these issues and gives you peace of mind.
  • Prevent Electrical Fires Upgrading your electrical panel can also increase the overall safety of your home. A new electrical panel can prevent an electrical fire from occurring in your home.


Look for the brand name on your electrical panel. Federal Pacific and Sylvania electrical panels are known to have a 60 to 80% failure rate. This means they seem to work just fine, but if a short circuit or a small surge occurs, the panels fail to trip the breaker and can cause a fire or damaging surge to your home. If you have one of these brands, it needs to be replaced.


We offer Electrical Safety Inspections to give you a full picture of your home's efficiency and safety. If you live in an older home, are planning to remodel, or if it has been several years since your last inspection, it is time to call A.B. May. Unlike HVAC and plumbing issues, electrical problems can put the safety of your home and family at risk. Don't hesitate--call A.B. May immediately.