Today, we’ll discuss the potential for adding an electrical sub-panel to your house in Kansas City. This is a common upgrade component because homes are using more electricity to energize an ever-growing volume of heavy-duty appliances. In this article, we’ll provide some insights to help you decide whether installing a sub-panel in your home would augment electrical performance.
What is an Electrical Sub-Panel?
What is a sub-panel? It’s a secondary electrical panel installed either next to the existing panel or in another strategic location inside the house. The sub-panel feeds off from the main panel and depends a lot on the capacity of your overall electrical service.
There are a few important considerations you should review before deciding to purchase a sub-panel. The primary factor involves how much power the sub-panel would draw from your main electrical service. You would also need the requisite equipment to complete the installation. Sub-panels require four conductor wires, allowing two hots, a neutral, and a ground.
When Would You Need an Electrical Sub-Panel?
Customers come to us when their panels are full and they need additional breaker spaces. One option is to install a sub-panel as long as you have enough power coming into the home. This is where you might have a 100-amp panel with a 50-amp sub-panel addition. It does not, however, make sense to match an equal-powered sub-panel with the same size primary panel.
Many homeowners find they need a sub-panel to accommodate the electrical requirements that come from adding a room or unfinished basement. If major additions will draw heavily from your existing beakers, then you may need more power, and a sub-panel would help.
In fact, maxing out existing breaker space is the most common reason to either install a sub-panel or explore other service upgrades. It depends on the size of the existing service, but you may want to install a larger main breaker panel or upgrade the electrical service to acquire more breaker spaces.
Is Your Panel Outdated?
Sometimes, adding new sub-panels will only partially address the problem. It may be time to replace your electrical panel altogether. How do you know if your home electrical panel is overworking or outdated?
- You live in an older home (built prior to the 1970s), one that has never had any considerable upgrade work. Chances are it’s not up to code regarding service capacity. Keep in mind that Kansas City homes require a 100-amp breaker capacity in order to service all the various electrical needs. Many older homes have only a 60-amp capacity.
- You’ve run out of electrical outlets for your appliances and seem to rely on extension cords for everything. This is yet another problem for older houses as well.
- The electrical panel itself is obsolete. This is almost a certainty if it comes to some certain defunct electrical brands, such as Zinsco, Federal Pacific, or Push-o-Matic. These manufacturers made breakers with materials like aluminum, which we now realize is suboptimal and dangerous for modern electrical systems.
So, if you notice these problems, call us to have one of our electricians visit your home for an electrical safety inspection.
Call Fusion Electric for Sub-Panel Installation & Upgrades
That’s most of what you should know about electrical panels and subpanels, but we can always field-specific questions or concerns regarding your particular setup. We know how to evaluate your home’s electrical capacity and make recommendations on whether you should add a new sub-panel.
Fusion Electric has earned recognition from numerous business groups and satisfied customers alike. Angie’s List awarded us the Super Service Award in 2019, and we maintain an A+ accreditation with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can also read through all the positive comments we get on Google Reviews (consistent 5-star rating).
For any other electrical sub-panel questions, contact us anytime for expert knowledge from reliable electricians.