Panel Upgrade Santa Barbara

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Electrical Panel Upgrade Santa Barbara

If your home’s main breaker keeps tripping, this is a good sign that you may need to an electrical panel upgrade in Santa Barbara.  The main breaker looks just like your other circuit breakers, but it is not usually located in the your panel box.  If the main breaker trips, you will lose all electricity in your home!

The electric panel distributes electricity through the home. The more electric usage a home gets, the stronger the electric panel should be. If your system is too weak, you may have a difficult time using multiple electric devices at the same time and your circuits may trip often. If you want to better supply your home efficiently flowing electricity, you may want to consider an panel upgrade in Santa Barbara.

There are varying types of strengths of electrical panels with weaker ones usually located in older homes. In the 1960s these began replacing fuse boxes for current controlling home safety. Those panels were 60 amp and are not commonly seen anymore due to electrical code making 100 amp the minimum requirement. If you still have a 60 amp circuit, please keep in mind that finding replacement parts for it will become increasingly difficult!

If your home still has a fuse box, there is no need to fret. Fuse boxes are viable current distributors throughout your home and if correct fuses are used, do not need to be replaced with an electrical box. There are many reasons why you may want to consider upgrading your fuse box to an electrical panel though. You can read why in the following section.

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Do You Still Have a Fuse Box?

If you still have fuse boxes you will eventually need to upgrade to a circuit breaker in Santa Barbara. Whether you are tired of replacing “blown fuses” or you are looking for convenience and home value, call us! We can guide you through the process to replace your fuse box with a circuit breaker. Start with a FREE quote today!

When to Upgrade or Replace Your Electric Panel

There are many cases in which it makes sense to upgrade your electrical panel. For the reasons related with safety you may not necessarily upgrade and you may need to replace the circuit breaker with a new one. Today most modern homes are built with 150 amp and 200 amp circuits.  Some may even have 400 amp systems depending on the size.  For these homes, the only houses that may need to consider panels stronger than 200 amps would be very large homes or ones with many strong and redundant appliances such as having more than 1 refrigerator or many split ACs with separate condensers. 


A panel normally should be replaced every 25 to 40 years. When your junction box is not distributing electricity properly through your home, it can cause things to overheat and even burn. Also, they break or may need upgrading. Let the following give you notice to start looking at upgrading your electrical panel:

Burning smells – Smelling burning smells when nothing is cooking is a sign that too much energy is making its way through the house.
Burn or scorch marks around the outlet – This can be related to smelling something burnt and is very dangerous.
Hot to the touch – Also related to burning smells, a hot panel can quickly turn into an electrical fire if the heats build.
Small shocks when handling appliances – This may not be due to your breaker and could be the switch or wiring as well. When in doubt, get it inspected by a licensed electrician.
Lights flickering – One of the causes of flickering or dimming lights could be a stronger appliance taking power away from another circuit. If this is due to a weak electrical system, you may need a panel upgrade.
Tripping circuit breaker – Anytime a circuit trips, it indicates that your home’s electricity is not being managed properly. If the breaker is at fault, it’s time to upgrade or replace the panel.

If you are looking to install a large electrical appliance to your home, such as an air conditioning system, you may additionally want to consider upgrading your panel. You may also want to consider an electrical meter upgrade to allow more electrical capacity into your home.

Finally, since an electrical panel should be changed every residential generation, you may get a positive ROI when upgrading your electrical panel before selling your home! If you need electricity to get to places further from the main panel you may benefit from a sub panel installation in Santa Barbara. Common examples are garages, upstairs, or room additions. If you are unsure if you have a problem with your electrical panel, let our expert electricians at Top Electrician Santa Barbara advise you on what is best for your home. We would love to provide you a free quote or estimate for all your electrical needs!

This picture shows an electrical panel installation with upgrade to 200 Amp in Santa Barbara. The electrician is pointing at the circuit breaker to show the new panel

Electric Panel vs Fuse Box

Considerations of upgrading a fuse box to an electrical panel are mainly for convenience. The convenience comes with resetting the circuit breaker versus replacing a blown fuse. With stronger appliances, you will also need stronger fuses. Since the fuse technology is not as used as much as the circuit breaker one, larger fuses are not as accurate as their smaller counterparts.

A lesser known reason is that fuse boxes are not able to work compatibly with GFCI outlets. GFCI outlets are extra protection outlets in your kitchen and bathrooms. If you have seen a small reset button in between outlets in your kitchen or bathroom, this is an example of a GFCI outlet. GFCI outlets are now part of electric code to provide better electrical protection in areas that commonly consume more electricity than others.

Possibly the main reason families opt to upgrade their fuse box to an electrical panel is that it adds value to your home. You may not mind the fuse box, but if you’re selling your home, your buyer may not want one!

The average starting price to upgrade your fuse box is just $1,500. Many real estate agents will recommend upgrading for a positive ROI when selling your home.
Do you want to upgrade your fuse box to an electrical panel? Top Electrician Santa Barbara can help you out! Ask for your free quote and we’ll take care of everything.


Get a Free Quote For a New Panel Installation in Santa Barbara

Our Santa Barbara electrical contractors are the experts when it comes to electrical panel installation, repair, and upgrades. We have an experienced crew and affordable prices for the community. Call us for panel installation in Santa BarbaraGoleta, Isla Vista, Carpinteria, Montecito, Guadalupe, and nearby cities! We provide FREE non-obligations quotes.

Why Choose Our Electricians for a panel installation or upgrade in Santa Barbara?

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What is the purpose of an Electrical Panel?

The electrical panel in your home is an area that accepts all the power to your home, distributing it to all the different circuits that need power. If too much electric current goes through a circuit, it can cause a fire. The circuit breakers inside the electrical box have been designed to immediately shut off to prevent fires. It is an essential part of electrical safety for all homes.

Electrical panels go by many names. You may also know it as an electric panel, circuit breaker box, load center, and a variety of different names using these words. If you need a panel installation in Santa Barbara don’t hesitate to contact us for a free quote.

What is a Fuse Box and Should I Upgrade to a Circuit Breaker?

It’s possible that your home doesn’t have a circuit breaker box. Before electrical panels or circuit breaker boxes existed, the fuse box was Santa Barbara’s way of distributing power through the home. Fuse boxes use fuses instead of circuits. The fuse is still able to break a circuit from exposure of too much energy, but it doesn’t trip like a circuit breaker does. Instead of tripping, a fuse will absorb the heat from the current to the point where it burns and stops working! Also known as a blown fuse, after burning out, the fuse will no longer work and electricity will not be able to go through the circuit.

Even though they react very differently, the fuse and circuit breaker function in almost the same way. While a fuse may be more sensitive than a circuit breaker, the major advantage for a circuit breaker is that it can be reset after tripping. When a fuse is blown, it must be replaced for that circuit to work again.

Fuses are not very expensive, but the process of constantly buying fuses, using the correct ones, and replacing them can be very annoying. This is the main reason why electrical panel boxes have replaced fuse boxes since the 1960s and afterwards.
In Santa Barbara, fuse boxes are still used, especially in historic houses, but they are very rare. The fuse box still works well at protecting your home from electrical fires and doesn’t necessarily need to be replaced. If you are unsure if you should do a panel upgrade in Santa Barbara, contact our electricians to get a free quote on what the cost to you will be.