FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
It will depend on what is included in your remodel. If you are planning to upgrade your electrical appliances and add A/C or a hot tub, you will need an electrical upgrade. However, if you are not adding or changing your electricals when you remodel you might not need to upgrade.
This is where the power comes into your home and is installed right after your electrical meter and is inside your home. It’s also call a load centre, service panel, and circuit breaker box. It is the most important part of your electrical system when it comes to safety.
No. Upgrading your electrical panel only includes your panel and electrical service. It does not include any wiring inside your house.
If you have 50 amp or 60 amp or 70 amp electrical service, it is most likely you will need a service upgrade to 100 amp or more.
If your panel and circuit breakers are old, you will need a panel change. Old breakers sometimes don’t protect from overload and short circuits which are the breaker’s main function. You may also need to change your panel if you are planning to install GFCI or AFCI breakers as most old panels don’t offer those breakers or they are expensive.
It depends on if your service upgrade is for a single-family, multi-family, commercial or other applications. It is best to consult with an electrical contractor and ask them to do an electrical load calculation for your situation according to Canadian Electrical Code Book- Section 8
It is your electrical contractor’s responsibility to inform your utility provider and get the approval for electrical upgrade and ensure the electrical grid and transformer in your area are able to handle the additional load which will result from your service upgrade.
The square meters of living space, kitchens, laundry rooms, heating and cooling loads, electric water heaters, EV, hot tubs, sauna, steam showers, machinery, equipment, and any additional loads and equipment.
You need to do a load calculation prior to doing your service upgrade to make sure you get the right size of electrical service.
It will help you to decide if you need electrical service upgrade or just panel upgrade. If you need service upgrade, the calculation will determine the size of service upgrade.
Yes. Because your home’s electrical safety is directly impacted by your electrical panel and electrical service, they consider your service as a factor in your home insurance rates.
When your circuit breaker is tripping, it might be overloaded, short circuits, ground fault, or defected old breakers that need replacement
It depends on your home square meters of living area, appliances and equipment. Have a certified electrician do a load calculation.
If your breakers are old you will need to change your panel. Old breakers don’t trip when a short circuit happens, so they will not protect your home or business. If you need to install AFCI or GFCI breakers or need more space on your panel, I recommend you consult with an electrical contractor or master electrician to see if you need to change your electrical panel.
The power will be out for 4 to 8 hours, so you will need to plan for heating and cooling and keeping your freezers and fridge cold for that period. Unplug all sensitive devices, equipment, and electronics and your electrical contractor may need power for that period to complete the electrical service upgrade.
Hire reputable electrical contractors who are certified, insured, and have good reviews and accreditations specifically in electrical upgrades.
If you are running a range, dryer and some other electrical items you will overload the circuit that is 60 amp. Your range is rated to carry up to 40-amp 220V and your dryer is rated to carry up to 30 amp 220V and include other electronics and you will be using more than 60 amp power for which your house is rated.
Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI): This types of breaker or outlet is required when electrical devices are close to water. GFCI plugs or breakers will cut off the power when the water gets in the electrical devices.
AFCI (arc fault circuit interrupter): AFCI circuit breaker or outlet is designed to interrupt power when it detects arcing. In most cases arcing happens because of overheating which may be caused by overloading or damaged wires.
GFCI is required where electrical is close to water. AFCI is required almost everywhere in the house for electrical receptacles. GFCI interrupts because of wetness and moisture. AFCI interrupts because of arcing. And GFCI breakers are more expensive than AFCI breakers.
In most cases it is connected to the street side of the water meter, but it can be connected to the ground plate or ground rod. This may differ for different electrical jurisdictions and local and national electrical codes.
Grounding the gas line in the houses which is required by electrical code is called gas line bonding.
You will get a new panel, new breakers and all new terminations and connections inside your panel which will provide for an overall safer and better panel.
You will get new service mast, meter, service wiring, grounding, bonding, panel, new breakers and all new terminations and connections inside your panel and meter which will provide for an overall safer and better panel.
Federal Pacific panel, Federal Pioneers, Westinghouse, Commander, and etc.
Siemens, Cutler hammer, Square D, GE, and Eaton.
The main electrical panel is the source of power distribution in your home and it receives power directly from your meter. The sub-panel is a branch of your main electrical panel. The main panel has the main breaker and all branch circuit breakers including the breaker for your sub-panel feed.
Electrical service upgrade means bringing more power to your home or changing your electrical service devices and equipment to newer electrical mast, meter, panel, breakers and wiring. In most cases electrical upgrade is changing your service from 50 amp, 60 amp, or 70 amp to 100 amp, 200 amp or more. This will enable you to add A/C, hot tub, EV charging stations, etc.
Safety is the first and most important benefit of an electrical service upgrade. The upgrade will also provide you with more options for adding new appliances and electrical equipment to your home. It is also a good investment and it will add value to your house. It might lower your home insurance premiums.
No. This will be done by your electrical contractor or electrician.
If your electrical panel is overloading, tripping, warming up, smells, and is making noises, or there is anything unusual, you need to immediately consult with a licensed electrician about upgrading your panel.
The answer is 100 % yes. It will save you time, money and headache, because in most cases this involves working with 220V- 100 amp power and any mistake and wrong wiring and installations will be very dangerous and jeopardize your family’s safety.
Because a license electrician is familiar with electrical and building codes and regulations for service upgrades, is experienced and has the right tools. Additionally, your electrician is insured and bonded.
No. It is not allowed by the electrical code enforcement authority and you can double check with your local electrical code enforcement authorities.