Service Panel Upgrades in Toronto
Business owners have plenty of potential setbacks and challenges to face every day. Don’t let malfunctioning appliances or electrical fires add to your workload by hiring Best Electrician. Whether it’s better lighting to make products more attractive or safety measures to prevent equipment damage, our professional experts can improve and protect your business. Our trained experts will know exactly how to fix your problems so you can get back to work.
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Electrical panels, also known as breaker boxes or service panels, control where power goes in your home. Every appliance uses electricity that travels from outside through the panel, where it is directed through the house via a circuit. You’ll recognize the panel as a steel box full of switches, usually found in the basement, laundry, or other utility room. When a breaker gets tripped, as often happens when using appliances like hair dryers or space heaters, the panel has disconnected a circuit to protect electrical equipment. Panels also control how much power is available for personal electronics and appliances.
Today, most houses last for over 35 years, but now many personal electronics need to be upgraded every couple years. The power needs today compared to the electricity needs of ten, five, or even two years ago is tremendous, and an older home is just not designed to provide enough power. Get a panel upgrade in Toronto by contacting Best Electrician today!
There are no major functional difference between the panels used in homes and businesses, although of course, businesses consume more power.
How do you know if you need to replace your electrical panel?
Call Best Electrician today if you have one or several of the following problems:
- One appliance needs to be unplugged in order to use another one
- Fuses are constantly blowing or breakers are constantly tripping
- Flickering lights
- Melted electrical wires
- Appliances running at less than full power
- Two-pronged outlets (these are a sign that your panel is old and may not be grounded, which is an extremely important safety feature)
- Frequent use of extension cords
- Your home still uses a 60-amp electrical service
A good panel also protects from fires, overheating, and electrical shocks. If a defective circuit breaker does not trip and electricity flows where it shouldn’t, electronics can be damaged and people could be in danger. In this situation, a good panel ensures that the circuit disconnects so electricity no longer travels through the wires. At Best Electrician, we work hard to keep our customers safe. Call us for a panel upgrade in Toronto!
Your panel also may be telling you that it is getting old and is ready to retire. You may see or hear one or many of these following signs:
- Rust or corrosion on the panel or the breakers themselves
- Crackling sound from the panel box
Electrical panels are crucial because they centralize and control electricity. Since they contain so many parts, there are other benefits of replacing or upgrading. If your home does not have ground fault circuit interrupters (the outlets with “reset” and “test” buttons), a panel upgrade is likely in the future. If you still use a fuse block panel or split-bus panel, a panel upgrade is also a good idea. These panels does not include a main breaker, which is important because it can stop the flow of all electricity into a home or business.
A panel inspection should be performed when making any large alterations to a building. Consider replacing or updating the panel when:
- Adding a home addition
- Renovating a home, particularly in the kitchen, since that room’s appliances need a lot of power
- Adding additional outlets to your home or replacing old ones
- When upgrading to 240-volt outlets
- When updating to comply with homeowners’ insurance
- Installing a new power-hungry appliance such as central air conditioning, heating, stoves, spas, or power tools
- Installing a sub-panel
In any of these situations, there are several great reasons to call Best Electrician. For example, it would be disappointing to go through the work of adding a brand-new appliance or changing outlets and then having problems getting them to work because your home wasn’t built to handle it. Also, since a professional electrician is already coming to work for you, it’s a great time to make sure electricity needs are met and that your home or business is safe. For a Toronto panel upgrade, it’s not difficult to see that Best Electrician is a “safe bet”.
Professional electricians will also choose the perfect panel for you. There are many different things to consider when upgrading or replacing a breaker box. For one thing, each panel includes several different parts. There are also several different types of panels.
Electrical Panel Parts
- Main Breaker:
A large circuit breaker that can cut off the main supply of electricity to prevent damage and injury.
- Bus Bars:
Bus bars carry power from electrical meter through the circuit breakers and into the circuits.
- Grounding Bus Bars:
This connects all the grounding wires to the ground. The grounding wires direct power away from the building when there are dangerous surges so that you stay safe.
- Neutral Bus Bars:
After electricity flows through a circuit in your home, it returns to the electrical panel where the neutral bus bars redistribute the atoms to return the wires to a neutral charge.
- Circuit Breakers:
It’s easy to see the circuit breakers. These are the actual switches that flip when a circuit is broken. The flipped switch disconnects the wires so current can’t flow, which protects electrical equipment from damage.
- Main Breaker Panels:
These panels already have the main breaker built in, so shutting it off will shut the power down through the entire building.
- Main Lug Panels:
These do not include a main breaker, since they may be located near the meter. These panels can also function as sub-panels and connect to the breaker via the electrical panel. If a fire should occur, having another place to cut off power will make it easier for the firemen to turn the electricity off.
If the panel provides enough electricity, but one particular room keeps experiencing problems, a sub-panel can help. These can change energy distribution and make sure enough energy reaches important places such as greenhouses or computer rooms. It is important to note, however, that sub-panels do not make more electricity available. If you need more power, call Best Electrician for a panel replacement instead.
- Transfer Switches:
These sub-panels also act as generators, so they are idea for people who live in rural areas or in areas that experience a great number of storms.
Some models of electrical panels simply need to be replaced because they are old and could potentially be unsafe. If you have one of these following panels, please make an appointment with Best Electrician so that you, your family, or your business is safe again. Need a safety inspection so you can stop worrying? Best Electrician can give you peace of mind.
Federal Pioneer Electrical Panel
These panels were manufactured from the ‘50s to the ‘80s, and were relabeled as Federal Pioneer panels when installed in Canadian homes. Not all Federal Pioneer panels are unsafe, but Best Electrician can assess whether your home needs a replacement to prevent fires and shocks.
Zinsco Electrical Panel
The last Zinsco panel was manufactured in the middle of the 70’s, and for a good reason. There are design flaws in the manufacturing that make it difficult for circuits to turn all the way off. This can cause shocks, electrical fires, and frequently melting wires in older Zinsco panels. If your home or business uses one, make sure to get it replaced as soon as possible.
Pushmatic Electrical Panel
Pushmatics have weak breakers that are difficult to reset over time, meaning that they need to be replaced. Also, they sometimes lack a main breaker so it is extremely important to make a panel replacement appointment if your home or business has one of these panels!
Fuses boxes are the oldest type of electrical panel, and are designed for 30-60 amps of electricity. Most modern appliances need 100-200 amps or even more. An old fuse box presents a very significant fire risk. They also do not have a main breaker to stop electricity from flowing through the panel, greatly increasing risk of shocks.
There are many reasons to hire a professional to perform any electrical maintenance in your home. It may seem tempting to try to do it yourself, but as you can see, with so many different varieties to meet so many different needs, a professional will have a much better idea of exactly what panel you need. A professional electrician will ensure:
- That you get the right-sized panel
- Wiring is installed according to often-changing government codes
- Local planning permits and approvals are complete
- Existing wires keep up with codes and regularly get repaired and replaced
- The power company supplies a different power supply or meter, if needed
- The materials used for wiring and grounding mechanisms are ideal
Best Electrician will take the time to make sure you know how to use your new system and know the locations of all key pieces of equipment. When you need a Toronto panel upgrade, make sure to call Best Electrician. That way, you can get back to work or relax at home without annoying interruptions.