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When To Upgrade Your Electrical Panel

The electricity in your home runs through your meter and electrical panel, but those don’t last forever. Point Loma Electric shares what you need to know about your electrical panel. See if your electrical panel needs to be replaced.

Details On “When To Upgrade Your Electrical Panel”

Sean: The electricity in your home runs through your meter and electrical panel. But those don’t last forever. Jim from Point Loma Electric and Plumbing is here to help us learn a little bit more about panels and meters. Jim, glad to have you on the show.

Jim: Thanks Sean. Glad to be here.

Sean: So, first, let’s start with the basics. What is a meter and an electrical panel? What do they do?

Jim: Well, typically in the west, western states, the electric meter and the panel is contained in one box. Where as back east, the meter is separate from the panel is usually inside the house. Out here, in the west, the meter will measure the current brought through the power company into the home through the distribution center which is your breaker panel which is attached to the electric meter box.

Sean: So, your meter just measures how much electricity you’re using and then the panel distributes it throughout the house as to set so much, it goes to the different.

Jim: Right.

Sean: And uses. So, they’re not designed to last forever. It would be nice if they did but, if they wear out what are some of the signs that somebody might see that their panel has gone bad with their meter?

Jim: Well, a lot of the panels wear out due to age and weather, and rust and what not. Since they’re outside, breaker, where they attach to the busing inside the panel can become corroded, age worn, rust is a factor. Obsolete is a factor.

Sean: Ya, I want to get to that cause I know there is some dangerous ones. What would the consumer notice inside the home if their panel was going bad?

Jim: Maybe a power outage, a sporadic power outage, flickering lights, that sort of thing usually indicates, or can indicate a breaker that’s burning at the contact point in the panel.

Sean: So, either a poltergeist or a an electrical panel problem. One of the two will probably be the answer.

Jim: It’s usually the electrical panel.

Sean: Usually, electrical panel. So, if it’s gone bad I know there, it can be dangerous. And there’s some that you mentioned obsolete.

Jim: Right.

Sean: Talk about some of the obsolete. What was the time frame that some of these panels that were bad were put in homes?

Jim: Well, the breakers actually came out in the late forties through the fifties, sixties, and seventies they used particular brands. Most commonly was a brand called Zinsco which are the most dangerous breakers still in use today. There was Federal Pacific, usually called FPE. And Bulldog Pushamatics were type of breakers that you push in and out to turn off and on.

Sean: I know those are very dangerous brands and you will come out and do a free inspection and take a look at what somebody has and be able to get them the advice that they need. We’re going to have a list of all of those particular breakers on approvedhomepros.com, in the show extras section. And call Point Loma Electric today to be able to get your inspection done.