February 1, 2024

Modern life runs on electricity, now more than ever. Computers, phone chargers, smart appliances, and connected devices all need to draw from your home’s electrical system for power. Of course, many Australian homes were built (and wired) long before this kind of electrical demand was common. In terms of both safety and convenience, it may be time to upgrade your home’s electrical panel.

Electrical panels determine how much current can safely run through your circuits and how many circuits there are in your home. They also provide protections against surges and power fluctuations in either direction, so that your devices and circuits remain safe. Older electrical panels have limited capabilities and limited protections. Tune in to learn how to future-proof your home with an electrical panel upgrade.

Signs Your Electrical Panel Needs an Upgrade

How do you know when it’s time to upgrade your electrical panel? There are a few common signs that you can rely on that will tell you if your wiring is old or your panel is less safe than it could be due to age and use.

  • Flickering Lights
    • Flickering lights indicate irregular power flow through your home’s circuits. It could be a sign of old wiring or a poorly wired circuit that will cause increasingly more trouble over time. 
  • Frequently Tripped Breakers
    • Breakers that trip and must often be reset indicate that your circuits can’t handle the amount of power that your home needs. Your electrical panel likely needs additional breakers and circuits added to meet your needs.
  • Fuses Instead of Breakers
    • Some Australian homes are old enough that they still have fuses instead of breakers. These are an old safety measure, but not as safe and must be replaced every time they prevent an overload.
  • Strange Sounds
    • Buzzing sounds can be an indication that there is a flaw in your electrical panel or circuits in the home.
  • Burning Smells
    • Burning smells can indicate a short circuit or old wiring that has begun to degrade and burn with the heat of electricity in the circuit.
  • Scorched Fixtures
    • Scorched fixtures show where heat has already burned and damaged the electrical elements of your home and where an upgrade is needed to ensure household safety.
  • Visible Signs of Wear
    • If you can see frayed wires and other signs of wear, an electrical upgrade is urgently important.

The Importance of Upgrading

In order to handle the amount of electricity needed in modern homes, electric panels and home wiring must be upgraded. You need a modernized breaker system to prevent surges and to separate your circuits for safe voltage control. You may also need to update the wiring and individual circuits in your home to accommodate modern appliances and prevent electrical fires.

This type of upgrade is essential to avoid electrical overloads and keep your property safe.

What to Expect During the Upgrade Process

During the electrical panel upgrade process, a team, typically consisting of two electricians, will efficiently replace your electrical panel equipment and re-wire everything into the breakers of the new panel. Any necessary repairs to damaged fixtures and circuits will be undertaken to ensure your home meets the safety and performance standards outlined in the AS/NZ3000:2018-1 Electrical Standards. 

It’s important to note that, as part of the upgrade, there will be a temporary interruption in your electricity supply while circuits are adjusted and rebuilt in the new breaker box.

Cost Considerations and Potential Savings

Replacing your home’s electrical panel is one of those important long-term investments. Fortunately, it is also one of the most affordable major home upgrades on the books. Upgrading to a modern breaker box typically costs between $500 and $2500 depending on the model and the additional electrical work that may need to be done.

The good news is that choosing an energy-efficient breaker box design and upgrading your home’s electrical systems to a more efficient arrangement can access government incentives and rebates to drastically reduce your cost and increase your return on the investment. Not to mention the savings on power bills due to the more efficient use of electricity.

Choosing the Right Professional for the Job

Most importantly, you need to hire a licensed and skilled electrician for your electrical panel replacement. This ensures that you receive the highest quality work and that your electrical system performs at optimal efficiency and safety when the work is done. 

You can identify the right professional for the job by investigating their license and past customer reviews or referrals. You can then request quotes and seek to verify credentials to be certain you have found a reliable electrician service who is well-liked and respected by the local community. Astley Electrical is dedicated to providing high quality electrician services throughout the Sydney Metropolitan Area. Contact us today to chat about your electrical needs.