23 Feb Is It Time for an Electrical Service Upgrade?
Electricity is the main source of power in our homes, and it must be properly regulated for safety. So . . . have you been avoiding the task of updating your home’s electrical service panel?
How about the power lines connecting to your home? Have you noticed they look aged, dry rotted, or cracked? In Buffalo and many other Western New York communities, homes were built in the early- to mid-1900s, meaning a lot of the electrical equipment is the same age.
Honestly, it’s not often a homeowner pays to have their electric service brought up to date until they have too. It’s one of those things, like . . . if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it . . . right? Not quite.
Every three years, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) release a new National Electric Code (NEC) book that outlines all provisions any electrician shall follow to perform work with-in any City, Village or Township. The purpose of the NEC is to prevent electrical shock and fires using knowledge gathered every three years about new or old products, as well as good or bad installation theories and techniques.
So when considering solar energy for your home, a homeowner must consider the current condition of their electrical equipment due to the simple fact there will be change coming to its current infrastructure. For example, the current NEC requires that a home must be grounded using two methods—a ground rod and bonding the water pipe—as a safety precaution. Construction of homes back in the day didn’t necessarily follow the same standard (not to mention some homes aren’t even grounded from the earth), making electrical shock more likely to happen.
A grid-tired solar energy system may end up tying into your main service panel to back-feed electricity into your home before going to the utility meter and being net-metered. When doing so, it is crucial that current safety standards are present and followed in terms of over-current protection (circuit breakers) and grounding (earth bonding).
Now let’s get to the nitty gritty.
- Do you have fuses over circuit breakers? Every time you burn a fuse, you must buy a new one to replace it. when a circuit breaker trips, flip a switch and the circuit is reconnected.
- Is your circuit box full, but you’d like to add a new circuit somewhere in the house? When upgrading your home’s utility service panel, you can choose how many breaker slots are available (starting around 24 slots and going up to 72 slots).
- Do you have a circuit that trips often? For example, do you have a kitchen circuit that trips every time too many appliances are running at once? An electrician can split up circuits to help spread the load out, so there isn’t maximum current draw on a single circuit. Doing so helps you cook for the family holidays with no distractions!
- Are you concerned about the condition of the power lines attached to your home? We work hand and hand with all local utility companies to replace any aged or damaged lines that may connect from a telephone pole to your home.
- Are you unimpressed with how your electrical panel looks? Maybe it’s very old and equipped with out dated technology. This is where we want to tell you about the beautiful work our electrician Clay does, but instead, we’ll have you see for yourself!
Ask one of our solar educators today why it’s more affordable to have your electrical service upgrade taken care of during your solar panel installation.