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A guide to upgrading your residential electrical system in Kitchener, Waterloo & Cambridge

Upgrading your residential electrical system is a crucial step towards ensuring safety and efficiency while meeting the growing electrical demands of your home. Whether you're considering a home electrical panel upgrade or want to replace a 100-amp service with a 200-amp service, it's important to have a clear understanding of the process. Here’s what you need to know:

an electrician works on an electric panel

How do you know when you need an electrical panel upgrade?

Here are some signs that it may be time for an electrical panel upgrade:

  • Your panel is old. Is your electrical panel more than 20 years old? It may have outdated technology and lower capacity, making it inadequate for today's power needs.

  • Your power supply is inconsistent. If you frequently experience tripped circuit breakers, flickering lights or power outages when using multiple appliances or devices, it means your electrical panel is struggling to handle the load.

  • You still have a fuse box. Fuse boxes are less safe and efficient compared to modern circuit breaker panels. Upgrading to a circuit breaker panel protects your electrical system against overloads and electrical faults.

  • You don’t have enough circuits. If a shortage of electrical outlets has you constantly using power strips or extension cords, it may mean your panel doesn’t have enough circuits to support your devices and appliances.

  • You’re renovating your home. Are you planning upgrades for your home, like introducing new appliances or expanding your living space? You’ll need to assess whether your current electrical panel can accommodate the increased load.

  • You have safety concerns. Burning smells, buzzing sounds or hot spots around the electrical panel are serious safety concerns. They could indicate potential wiring problems or panel overload, which require immediate attention and an upgrade to ensure safety.

Reasons to hire a licensed electrician for your electrical services upgrade

When it comes to residential electrical projects, hiring a licensed electrician is crucial. Here are some of the benefits of using a licensed electrician.

  • It’s safer. Electrical work can be hazardous. Licensed electricians undergo rigorous training, education and apprenticeship programs to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to minimize the risk of electrical accidents, fires and injuries.

  • They have experience. Licensed electricians are familiar with the intricacies of electrical systems, wiring, circuitry and equipment. Their knowledge allows them to complete the job efficiently, saving you time and potential headaches.

  • You’ll be in compliance. Licensed electricians stay abreast of updates and changes in local building codes and regulations to ensure all their work complies. This can prevent potential legal issues and complications during home inspections or property sales.

  • You’ll be protected. Licensed electricians typically provide warranties for their work. If any issues come up after the project is done, they’ll fix it for free. Additionally, licensed electricians carry liability insurance. If any property damage or injuries occur during the project, their insurance coverage protects you from liability.

Components of residential electrical service changes

To better understand what goes into upgrading your home’s electrical system, here’s a rundown of the essential components:

  • Electrical panel. The electrical panel — or breaker box — houses circuit breakers or fuses that control the flow of electricity in your home. During an upgrade, the panel may be replaced with a larger capacity panel to accommodate increased electrical loads.

  • Service entrance cable. The service entrance cable carries electricity from the utility meter to the panel, providing the main source of power to your home. You may need to replace the entrance cable to handle higher amperage.

  • Meter and meter socket. The utility meter measures the amount of electricity you’re consuming. It’s typically located on the exterior of your property and connects to the meter socket. You may need to replace the meter and meter socket to meet the new electrical requirements.

  • Grounding system. A grounding system redirects electrical surges and prevents electrical shocks. During an upgrade, the grounding system may be inspected and upgraded to ensure it meets current codes.

  • Circuit breakers. Circuit breakers protect the electrical circuits in your home from overloading. You may need to replace the existing circuit breakers with higher amperage ones or add new breakers to accommodate additional circuits or appliances.

  • Wiring and conduits. It may be necessary to replace or upgrade the existing wiring and conduits to ensure that the electrical system can safely handle the increased power demand.

Home electrical panel upgrade in Kitchener, Waterloo & Cambridge

At Aire One Heating & Cooling, we offer an extensive range of residential electrical services to homeowners in Kitchener and Waterloo. We can also handle your heating, cooling and plumbing needs. To talk to one of our experts about a new electrical panel cost, contact us today.


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