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Do I Need a Permit To Upgrade My Electrical Panel?

The technical answer? No. The right answer? Yes. Electrical panels age along with your home, and there will probably come a time when you need a new one or have to upgrade the one you have. While it may seem easiest to do all the hard work yourself, it’s better to leave a procedure like this in the hands of a professional.

Upgrading your electrical panel is one of the many things our permit-possessing, licensed electricians at Black Diamond Plumbing & Mechanical can do. Here’s why it may be best for you to leave electrical panel upgrades to our professionals.

What Are Some Common Signs an Electrical Panel Should Be Replaced?

While there are some obvious signs that your electrical panel may need a tune-up, there are also subtler signs that are important to look for. If you suspect your electrical panel needs to be replaced, it’s most likely:

  • Because your electrical panel smells. This one is probably the most common and obvious. If you notice your electrical panel is producing a distinct burning smell, that likely means you have a bad circuit breaker or disconnected wire. This issue is urgent, so if you notice this smell, call a certified electrician quickly due to the risk of an electrical fire.
  • Because your lights flicker often. Trying to relax at home and your lights keep going on and off? This is probably because something is loose in your panel and it’s time for a new one. Or, a connected wire may be failing internally with nothing outwardly obvious to indicate it.
  • Because you’re upgrading your home appliances. If you’ve seen that your appliances aren’t running at full capacity and need an upgrade, or you’re planning on upgrading old ones, your electrical panel will probably need some attention too. Newer appliances usually mean more amps, so you’ll need a stronger panel to support them.
  • Because you’re using a lot of power strips. Not enough outlets to plug in your hairdryer, lava lamp, speaker, and mini-fridge? Your electrical panel is probably working overtime to accommodate all this additional energy and would benefit from an upgrade.

Can I Replace My Electrical Panel Myself?

We strongly advise against it. When handling an electrical panel, you’re dealing with high voltage levels of live energy. It’s an incredibly dangerous process where a single mistake could lead to serious injury or death. In addition, the process of changing an electrical panel is quite complicated.

If you’re replacing a breaker box, you’re probably installing new cables and an electrical meter. Working inside an electrical panel is dangerous and is best left to a professional and licensed electrician.

Working with an electrician guarantees a safe and successful experience and saves you the headache of figuring out if you need a permit and the hassle of getting one. Electricians also know about building codes in your area, so your box will be up to date on local regulations.

The only time we would suggest working with your own electrical panel would be when inspecting it to decide whether it should be upgraded.

If your electrical panel has problems and you feel it’s time for a replacement, the licensed and professional electrical experts at Black Diamond Plumbing & Mechanical are here for you.

Contact us online to schedule electrical repair, or call 815-444-0979 today.

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