If your home's electrical service is overburdened or has become obsolete, then you're a good candidate for an electrical service upgrade. The cost to upgrade your home's electrical service can be expensive, but it is necessary to ensure the safety of your home and protect its value.
So, what does changing the service involve? Keep reading to find out what typically happens during a typical electrical service change.
1. Inspecting and testing wiring systems
If you're looking to upgrade your electrical service, you'll likely need to change your wiring to handle the increased electrical load. The first step of the electrical service changeover will involve checking old wiring for safety and efficiency and replacing it where necessary.
Rewiring your house can be a tough job because the existing wiring may be hidden behind the walls of the home and will require breaking up of the walls to access. This is why remodelling projects present the best opportunity to upgrade your home's electrical service.
2. Replacing all of the other parts making up your electrical service
The "service" refers to all of the different electrical components located around your home and the main means of disconnecting the power supply to the home. These include but are not limited to the following components:
- main electrical panel
- sub-panels (the different electrical distribution panels)
- electric circuits connected to the various electric outlets in the home
- meter main
- circuit breakers
- grounding electrode system
- line side service and load side service entrance cables
The above-listed and other parts that make up your existing electrical service will need to be replaced just like your home's wiring. This helps to ensure the new electrical service is fully up to code with your increased residential electrical load.
3. Doing a service drop
If your home is really old, an electrical service upgrade may not be complete without a new service drop to increase the capacity of your service to the desired voltage or amperage. Simply replacing the old wiring and the other components of your old service won't work if the above-ground or underground power connection to your home doesn't match your increased electrical load. You'll need to upgrade your service drop, too.
Depending on where you live, you may need more than a qualified electrician to upgrade your residential electrical service. Consulting a local certified electrician near you about your situation and needs is a great starting point.