How to Tell If Your Florida Home’s Electrical Panel Is the Right Size

Posted on: February 10, 2017

The electrical panel, or circuit breaker panel, in your Tampa home could basically be considered the gatekeeper of electricity coming into your home. It’s responsible for keeping you and your home safe, and for allowing energy to all of the circuits in use. So, of course, having the right size panel is a very important point. But how can you tell if your panel is the right size? The experts at Hoffman Electrical are here today to tell you how!

Is it time for a panel upgrade for your home in Tampa, St. Petersburg, or the surrounding areas? Contact the certified electricians at Hoffman online to set up your appointment!

What Is a Panel’s Size?

The first thing to hash out is what exactly we’re talking about when we say “size.” It’s not the actual metric measurement of the panel, but rather it’s amp capacity. Your panel’s amp capacity is basically how much current it will safely allow into your home, and this number is used to determine exactly how much power your home can hold.

The amperage needed in your home is going to depend on just how much energy you use. For example, a single-floor home with a modest square footage and minimalistic appliances is going to need a smaller “size” panel than a modern two-floor smart home. You can determine the size of your panel quite easily, since it is usually printed on a label or on the main breaker switch located on the top or bottom of the panel.

How Can I Tell if My Panel Is the Right Size?

Well, you could do electrical work and add up the watt values of all of the items in your home, or you could go with some simple rules of thumb. There are some specific things that are going to go wrong when your panel is too small, such as:

  • Flickering lights. You’ve probably had your lights flicker briefly on occasion. Maybe when someone in the home turns on a heavy appliance or when you plug in too many things. But this shouldn’t be happening all of the time, or when routine appliances are in operation (microwaves, refrigerators, washing machines, etc). If you’re dealing with flickering lights on a routine basis, it’s probably time to get a heavy-up.
  • Frequent breaker trips. A breaker that trips is telling you that you’re drawing too much power on that designated circuit. It is possible that you simply need added circuits in your home, but this often necessitates a panel upgrade.
  • Hot outlets. Char, discoloration, and an “ozone,” acrid smell are all indications that your home has a serious electrical issue. The odds are good that you are using more power than your home deems safe, and a new, larger panel may be just the service.

It is also common to need a larger size panel when home additions or renovations are being planned, as the need for more electrical access is natural in these situations. When planning these sorts of projects, it’s always wise to ask a certified electrician!

Why Choose Hoffman Electrical for Breaker Panel Services?

Family owned and operated since 1989, Hoffman Electrical provides high quality electrical craftsmanship. With over 25 years of industry experience, our professionally trained and licensed electrical technicians can help solve any electrical issue in your Tampa or St. Petersburg home. We offer:

Call Hoffman Electrical at (866) 238-3243 or contact us to schedule your electrical services today!