Problems Outdated Electrical Panels Present

Older Panels Can't Handle Current Society's Elecrical Demands

Older homes with outdated electrical panels can’t handle the electrical needs of today’s current society. In the past, 60-amp service was considered more than enough. Today, people’s power requirements are much greater.

Among a variety of older panels, there are two distinct types that electricians will recommend upgrading the most. They offer unique problems for homes. These two types of panels are fuse boxes and split-bus panels.

1. Fuse boxes were the precursor to the panel box. If an overcurrent or short circuit occurred, a fuse would pop and have to be replaced. This is where problems regularly occur. When replacing the blown fuse, especially if it routinely happened, people would:

  • For example, replace a 15-amp fuse with a 20- or 30-amp fuse. That creates a massive fire hazard; the wires are not able to handle that much electricity and heat!
  • Insert a coin, usually a penny, where the blown fuse once was. That possibly presents an even larger fire hazard! That fuse can never pop, no matter how much electricity surges through it. It leaves the home open to the potential for a fire risk.

2. Split-bus panels present unique challenges as well. Namely, these panels do not have a main breaker; instead, they have a smaller breaker feeding the bottom half of the panel. These smaller breakers have been known to melt or burn due to the excessive demand placed on them. Today, split-buss panels probably would not be UL listed and would not be considered a safe option.

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