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Are you like millions of people across the country who now have their offices in their homes? Working or schooling from home has become much more common in the last couple of years. There are huge advantages to working at home. You avoid the long commute, and you can enjoy much more flexibility in your daily life.

However, working at home usually adds many power-consuming pieces of equipment that typical home wiring and electrical systems were not designed to support. Historically, people worked at home occasionally and could tolerate a weaker home electrical system for those short periods of time. Except now, people are spending full-time in their offices at home and are putting much more strain on electrical systems that were originally designed for a bedroom or a living room. Many of these systems simply can't keep up with the extra load. Fortunately, it is not difficult to figure out if you should upgrade your system and it's not difficult to have the system professionally upgraded.

DO YOU NEED AN UPGRADE TO YOUR ELECTRICAL PANEL?

The most common upgrade that is needed in a home is to upgrade the electrical panel, sometimes called the circuit breaker panel. To find out if that's what you need, find your electric panel and see what type of electrical system exists right now. If your house is older, you might have a system that uses fuses. Every time there is a problem or a short in a circuit, the fuse actually blows requiring you to replace the fuse. If you have this type of electrical panel, it needs to be replaced with a panel that uses circuit breakers. Even if you have a panel that uses circuit breakers, and the system is older than 10 or 15 years, it's probably due for an upgrade as well.  This is because older circuit breaker systems are not as sensitive as the newer technology, and they might not trip or turn off when there's a problem. This increases the probability of wires overheating or electrical fires.

MODERN HOMES USE MORE ELECTRICITY

Computers, printers and other appliances are more efficient now, but the overall electricity use has increased because we simply have more of them. Most households have more of these types of appliances than ever before. It is typical for a family to have many televisions, computers, printers, and video game consoles. We also have appliances that our grandparents would never think of getting, such as air fryers, wine coolers, and hot tubs. This appears to be a trend that will continue. Because homes are adding more electrical devices, the demands on our electrical systems are more than they ever have been.

ELECTRICAL PANEL REPAIR - WHEN DO YOU NEED IT?

If you find that your electrical system is regularly tripping circuit breakers, that is an indication that you are overloading your electrical panel. Even if you find that every so often a circuit breaker trips, a system overload is probably the cause. If you notice a breaker infrequently trip due to an electrical surge, it's not necessarily a problem, it could just be the circuit breaker doing its job.

Sometimes bigger appliances such as washing machines, freezers, or air conditioners will draw more power than expected and this could overload the system and trip the breaker. If your home has multiple large appliances running simultaneously, and then you add more devices such as woodworking equipment or air compressors, these also can overload the electrical system. The circuit breaker that is protecting a particular circuit could be rated for a single large appliance but when you have two or three heavier appliances on a single circuit, it might be time for an upgrade. The circuit breaker might not be able to handle more than one such appliance at a time. The size of a piece of equipment is not always an indicator of power consumption. Appliances that have heating coils such as hair dryers or deep fat fryers consume a lot of electricity and can overload a system if turned on at the wrong time.

You might be able to find workarounds to using these types of equipment. You could avoid using the microwave while you are using the toaster, for instance. This is, at best, a temporary solution. Running to the circuit breaker box every time you forget and use the two of these appliances at the same time is not a very good solution. Not only is it inconvenient but it compromises your home’s safety and comfort.

WHAT IS THE BEST PATH FORWARD?

YouTube is a good source of information for many DIY projects. But your home electrical system is not a good DIY project. When dealing with electricity, it is very important to take every step in the correct order because mistakes can be very dangerous. Home maintenance issues dealing with electricity are better handled by well-trained professionals. PowerMaster in Fuquay-Varina can come to your home and make sure you are safe, and your system is performing well. Get in touch with us to schedule an appointment for the electrical needs of your house. If you need to upgrade your circuit breaker panel, your home office upgrades, line conditioners, surge protection for your whole house, internet or phone cable installation, or line conditioners, we can come to your home and take care of you. Many people are not comfortable working with electrical equipment. If you have any electrical problems and need professional assistance with your electrical system, call PowerMaster in Fuquay-Varina and we will come right out to take care of the problem