Common Signs Your Electrical Panel Needs an Upgrade

Electrician,at,work,on,an,electrical,panelYour electrical panel is the heart of your home’s electrical system, responsible for distributing electricity throughout your house. Over time, it may become outdated or unable to handle the electrical demands of modern appliances and devices. In this blog post, we will explore some common signs that indicate your electrical panel needs an upgrade.

Frequent Circuit Breaker Tripping

One of the most obvious signs that your electrical panel is struggling to keep up with your electrical needs is frequent circuit breaker tripping. If your circuit breakers are tripping more frequently, it’s a clear indication that your electrical panel is overloaded. This could be due to the increased number of appliances and electronics in your home, or simply because your panel is outdated and unable to handle the load. If you find yourself constantly resetting circuit breakers, it’s time to consider upgrading your electrical panel.

Dimming or Flickering Lights

Another telltale sign of an inadequate electrical panel is dimming or flickering lights. If you notice that your lights dim or flicker when you turn on certain appliances or when multiple devices are in use, it’s a sign that your panel is unable to supply enough power to meet the demand. This is not only a nuisance but can also be a safety hazard. Upgrading your electrical panel will ensure that your lights shine bright and steady, without any voltage fluctuations.

Outdated Electrical Panel

If your home is older and still has its original electrical panel, it’s likely time for an upgrade. Electrical panels have a lifespan, and older panels may not meet the safety standards or electrical demands of today’s appliances and devices. Fuse-based panels, for example, are outdated and not as safe as modern circuit breaker panels. Upgrading to a new panel will not only improve the safety of your home but also provide the capacity needed for modern electrical usage.

Limited Number of Circuits

An insufficient number of circuits is a clear sign that your electrical panel needs upgrading. Older panels may have a limited number of circuits, which means there are fewer opportunities to distribute power throughout your home. This can lead to overloading, frequent tripping, and potential fire hazards. By upgrading your electrical panel, you can have additional circuits installed, providing ample power distribution and reducing the risk of overloading.

Power Outages

If you experience power outages in your home, it may be a sign that your electrical panel is unable to handle the electrical load. Older panels may not have the capacity to keep up with today’s increased energy demands, resulting in frequent outages. Power outages can be disruptive and can potentially cause damage to your electrical appliances and devices. Upgrading your electrical panel will help eliminate frequent outages and ensure a steady supply of electricity to your home.

Buzzing or Overheating Panel

Any unusual sounds or signs of overheating from your electrical panel should be taken seriously. If you notice a buzzing sound coming from the panel or if it feels hot to the touch, it indicates a potential issue. These could be signs of loose connections, failing components, or even electrical arcing. Ignoring these signs can lead to electrical fires or other serious safety issues. To ensure the safety of your home, it’s crucial to upgrade the panel and address any buzzing or overheating issues.

Adding New Appliances or Renovating

If you are planning to add new appliances to your home or undergoing a renovation project, it’s often necessary to upgrade your electrical panel. The additional power requirements of new appliances or the increased electrical demands during a renovation may exceed the capacity of your existing panel. Upgrading to a higher-capacity panel will provide the necessary power supply for your new additions or the increased electrical demands of your renovation project.

Inadequate Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) are designed to protect you from electric shock. If your electrical panel does not have sufficient GFCIs or if the current GFCIs are not functioning properly, it’s a strong indication that your panel needs an upgrade. Upgrading your electrical panel will ensure that you have adequate GFCIs installed throughout your home, providing enhanced protection against electric shock.


Your electrical panel is a critical component of your home’s electrical system. Recognizing the signs that your electrical panel needs an upgrade is essential for ensuring the safety, efficiency, and reliability of your electrical supply. Frequent circuit breaker tripping, dimming or flickering lights, an outdated panel, limited number of circuits, power outages, buzzing or overheating, the addition of new appliances or renovations, and inadequate GFCIs are all indicators that an electrical panel upgrade is necessary. Consulting with a professional electrician will help you determine the specific needs of your home and ensure a smooth and safe electrical panel upgrade.

Need an Electrical Contractor in Raleigh, NC?

Box Electric Company is a commercial electric company located in Raleigh, North Carolina since 1995. For over 24 years, we have been dedicated to providing a wide range of commercial and industrial electrical services, from new construction on electric systems to upgrades and renovations; to lighting designs, repairs and maintenance; and much more. Our experience spans across industrial, municipal, commercial, and small business verticals, with niche experience in medical and dental offices and technology companies. If your business requires electrical services or upgrades, you can count on our decades of experience to work for you. Call us today or visit our website for more information!