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The Reliable

Tripping Circuits? You May Need a Larger Electrical Panel at Home

It’s no surprise that today’s appliances and HVAC equipment are more powerful than the machines of the past. Unfortunately, your Marietta home may still be wired for outdated cooling and entertainment systems that are no longer a part of modern life. The inconvenience of one or two tripped electrical circuits is no big deal. However, if you experience repeated outages and want to upgrade electrical equipment, you may be ready for an electrical panel capable of handling the heavier load. Here is help to decide when this electrical upgrade is right for you.

Telltale Signs of Overloaded Circuits

The most obvious sign of an overloaded circuit is when the power fails. When a circuit trips, it means the electrical system’s safety mechanism has gone into effect. Blown fuses and tripped circuits usually involve adjustments at the circuit in question. For example, circuits that cannot handle televisions and other appliances in conjunction with a humidifier will not benefit from a new fuse or resetting of the electrical circuit.

If your home’s circuits keep tripping, one approach is to spread out the amount of equipment that depends on the circuit in that area of your home. Several outlets usually correspond to a single circuit, so you may have a large television set, hair dryers, cooling equipment, lights and a stereo system feeding off the same circuit. Your home’s tripped circuits are sending the message that they can’t handle the load.

When a Larger Electrical Panel Makes Sense

The telltale signs of regularly blown fuses and tripped circuits mean your power needs are exceeding your home’s capabilities. In some cases, it may not make sense for you to downgrade your electrical needs. When your electrical usage is not excessive but is concentrated in certain areas of your home, electricians will recommend upgrading to a more capable panel. Upgrading to new HVAC equipment may also require a panel with more amperage. High performance, high efficiency HVAC systems need more capability to do the work even when overall energy use is lower.

Most older homes in the Atlanta area are outfitted with panels that provide around 100 amps of capability. Though 100 amps is the standard in most electrical codes, it is not uncommon to find homes outfitted with 150 or even 200 amps of capability in larger homes built in recent years. Tripped circuits in homes with larger panels may point to bigger problems for an electrician to address.

How an Electrician Can Help

Electricians inspecting your home can diagnose whether you are overloading circuits. Homes with the proper amperage in the electrical panel may have short-circuited wiring or a ground fault. In both cases, an electrician will have to look into your home’s electrical system to take care of this problem safely. Homeowners without professional experience should never try to fix short circuits or ground faults when circuits are tripping.

In fact, regularly tripped circuits, malfunctioning outlets and rising energy bills are signs you have electrical problems at home. Between the increased safety you’ll have with a new electrical panel and the capability to install new HVAC equipment, upgrading your home’s wiring may make sense.

Ask Reliable Heating & Air technicians whether you need new wiring to handle modern HVAC systems and overloaded circuits.
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