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Edmonton Electrician | What To Do With Maxed Out Electrical Panels

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Edmonton Electrician | What To Do With Maxed Out Electrical Panels

What’s up Edmonton, it’s Ryan here with Hauer Power Electrical – your Edmonton Electrician. And here today, we want to talk to you guys about panel room, whether you want to have a sub-panel or a service upgrade, what’s going to be the better option for you. If you have any questions concerning the promise about this, even after the video, give us a call 780-935-0622. But other than that, we’ll dive right in here and give you as much information as you possibly can and help you make the right decision.

Edmonton Electrician

Again, it’s Ryan with Hauer power electrical. Here we go. So we’re going to go through the service upgrade advantages and the sub panel advantages and disadvantages of both. And then after that, we’ll see if you really need a sub panel or a service upgrade, or if someone was just trying to sell you something that you didn’t really need in the first place at the whole end of the day, our whole mission is powering customer service.

Getting Electrical Service Upgrades

And that even if you don’t hire us, we just want you to have a good time here. That’s the whole point. Edmonton Electrician makes these videos so we can praise customer service back to the trades. And we got into this business so that if we can show professionalism, we can blow it out of the park. And that’s the whole goal here. So a service upgrade advantages; whether you have a 60 amp to a a hundred amp service upgrade, a hundred amp to a hundred amp service upgrade, or a hundred amp to a 200 amp service upgrade, they’re all going to have a little bit of different advantages. And at the end of the day, the disadvantage really would just be the price of it. And the, the time of the electricians spent in your home there, if you really value your privacy, that is important.

New Electrical Panel Or Subpanel?

So more panel room would be the number one advantage of a new panel new more panel room, meaning that if you have a full panel, whether it’s a federal Pacific panel, federal pioneer panel commander Sylvania, bulldog, pushmatic, and it doesn’t matter what kind of panel you have. If it’s full, you need more room. That’s where it comes into play of whether you want to get a sub panel installed or a full service upgrade with a new panel. You can’t just do a panel swap that existing panel. Isn’t going to comply with current codes, especially with the federal panel, just because of the age and the, the code changes every three years. So if your house is built in the 50, 60 seventies, service code has changed since then. And we can’t just change out that panel legally. We have to change all the service as a whole.

More Spaces For More Circuits

What’s called a service upgrade, and that’s why we have to change our panel meter service and mast, or a underground if, if that’s the case as well. But anyways more panel room, that’s the number one advantage of a brand new panel. It’s going to be a bigger panel. You’re going to have more spaces for more circuits, and then you can do with it as you please one panel is the other advantage of a service upgrade over a sub panel sub panel. You’re going to have, you know, sub panel sub panel gonna have more panels or different grads, more different breakers more different spots. So when you trip a if you’re not super familiar with your own system, you’re going to be going into each panel wondering where that circuit was tripped. But the advantage of a service upgrade is you’re going to have it all at one panel.

Comply With Current Electrical Codes

So we re-route the circuits from the other panels, we’ll wire to the new panel, and then feed it from there. That way you have one panel it’s nice and clean, and it’s simple. And that’s the whole purpose of why you probably wanted to work in the first place. So it’s clean and simple and safe. The other part is of a service upgrade. Your grounding will be upgraded. So to comply with current electrical codes, we’re going to have to upgrade your grounding not just your bonding, but a little bit of that too, but your main system ground, if it’s an existing copper water meter, perfect, then Edmonton Electrician can run a number six copper continuous from your panel to that water meter. If it’s currently number eight, that’s too small. It won’t do. If it’s currently non-continuous or it’s just bonded across your water meter, that’s not okay that won’t do.

Edmonton Electrician Can Bring Your Grounding Up To Code

So the grounding will be brought up to code. In addition at your furnace, your gas lines and water lines, those are going to be bonded too. So that if you were to ever have any sort of electrical contact with a plumbing pipe, it’s not just going to live enough, all your plumbing fixtures and give someone a shock without tripping the breaker. It’s going to have that grounding difference back to earth. That’s going to signal your over current device to trip, and that’s the whole point of the grounding system. And that’s the whole that’s the whole objective here is to make your system safe. So the safest way to do it would be to have a service upgrade, get your panel, right, get it up to code, get your grounding up to code your bonding in your home, get your breakers safe, clean make makes it simple.

Financing For Electrical Projects

But at the end of the day, it does cost money. So we also offer financing if budget’s pretty tight and it doesn’t allow for it, but you know, you need it. The first step is knowing that you need it, then you give us a call. And then the final step is Edmonton Electrician will get a five-star review from you after you’re a satisfied customer, but we’ll get, we’ll get more into that later. Once you, once you hire us, you can see what we’re all about. As far as the other option of a 200 amp service upgrade, that would be the only other option. Only other advantage right now that I can really see that stares you in the face for a service upgrade is you may have the option to upgrade at 200 amp depending on the transformer size and availability there from EPCOR.

Edmonton Electrician | Fixing Overloaded Electrical Panels

So if EPCOR, Fortis, or whoever utility may be according to Edmonton Electrician. If they say, yeah, you can have a 200 amp service upgrade. Perfect. Then we can go ahead with that. Otherwise, all we can do on our end is make everything rated for 200 amp and slapping a hundred amp breaker for you. And then in the future, once they want to upgrade the transformer, or if you want to upgrade with them, then that’s between a homeowner and utility provider. We can’t touch that, but that’s, that’s where that all comes through disadvantage to a service upgrade. Again, it’s going to be the cost of it. It’s one of the biggest investments you can do for your home. It’s one of the safest things you can do for your electrical system in your home. Highly advise it if your homes built in the sixties and the panels never been touched, definitely might be something to look into if it’s between that or a new roof you know, it’s, it’s pretty tight.

Removing An Unsafe Federal Panel

It’s, it’s one of the, one of the safest things you can do for your electrical system, especially with those old federal breakers, ask any electrician, you know, about a federal breaker. And you’ll probably want to get that changed out pretty quick, as far as the other disadvantage it’d be, yeah, again, our electricians time in your home, depending on the size of the service upgrade typically it’d be in and out in one day, be a full day without power. Otherwise we’d be in and out in about two or three days, depending on how much rerouting we have to do, but you’d still be only out of power with one day when you hire us. That’s a, that’s just, that’s how we’re going to do it for you one day without power. And that’s, that’s long enough getting to the sub panels, then a sub panel advantages.

Check Panel Sizes On Electrical Quotes

The main advantage of a sub panel is going to be downtime, as well as the cost. It’s going to be cheaper. It’s going to give you more space. It’s going to give you more, more breaker availability in the new panel. As long as we give you a panel, that’s large enough, which if any electrical contractor is giving you quotes, make sure that they’re quoting on the same size panel. If they’re going to give you a smaller panel, yeah, they’re going to be less expensive, but then you’re going to be needing another sub panel in another couple of years. When you do your kitchen renovation, when you get air conditioning, when you go to get any other device or circuits added to your home, when you finish your basement, anything like that, make sure they give you a good size sub panel so that you’re not getting two or more, or get a sub panel.

More Subpanels Means More Maintenance

And then you need a service upgrade. That’d be a pain, wouldn’t it? But yeah, that’s the main advantages of a sub panel. So the advantage is it’s going to be less costly. It’s gonna be a fraction of the price, and it’s going to be faster, right. Probably take the guys four or five hours maybe. And in your, power’s going to be down for about 20 minutes, even if they have to, if they even have to knock the power down, not only be for tying in, at the main panel there just to avoid shock and do the work safely. But yeah, that would be the main advantages to your sub panel. Disadvantage is, would just be the fact that, yeah, you’re going to have multiple panels. The more things that are involved in a system, the more things that can go wrong, that’s true with anything, whether it’s cars, whether it’s electrical panels if you have 14 different electrical panels, your Edmonton Electrician is going to have to do more maintenance on them, right?

Upgrade Everything To The Current Canadian Electrical Code

There’s more things that can go wrong. So even if you only have two, right, two is more than one. I always advise a service upgrade first, but the sub panel is usually an option. You can also have probably different panel brands. So if you have a federal main panel and then you’re adding in a, a sub panel after that, whether it’s Siemens panel, Eaton panel square D panel it doesn’t matter. You’re going to have a different brand than that original panel. Pretty typical for that. The other option there too, is the service upgrade to get that permitted and inspected and to pass legally, we have to upgrade everything to the current, current Canadian electrical code, which again, changes every three years. So your grounding is going to be out of date. If your home was built in the fifties, sixties, seventies, your grounding’s going to be out of date or meter box is going to be out of date.

Does Your Grounding Need Upgrading?

Your bonding is going to be out of date. So, I mean, I say chances are pretty good. Nine times out of 10, what we see is the grounding needs to be upgraded. So if you’re doing a sub panel install, that’s not included in that price. So you’re not getting an updated grounding. You can’t change out that meter enclosure without upgrading your service. And it’s, unless it’s an emergency, but that’s another thing there too. So you’re not going to have an insulated neutral at your, at your meter box. So as far as safety goes, service upgrade number one choice, as far as cost goes and time, sub panel, yeah. Number two, choice, a little bit more of a bandaid fix, but it might get you by if you just need a few circuits. And then as far as the breaker availability goes, if you have a main panel and that main panel is commander Sylvania, federal might be a little bit tricky for an Edmonton Electrician to find a breaker for that panel to feed your sub panel now.

When Do You Need a Service Upgrade

So we can rewire some circuits and do a couple of tricks, but still need a breaker to feed that sub panel. And sometimes those are hard to find, especially during the COVID times, but rest assured we’ll get you what you want at the end of the day. We’ll find a way, but that’s another disadvantage as well as rerouting the circuits. So rerouting it to feed out of that sub panel to make room in that main panel. So we can do it. There’s always a will, and there’s always a way, and we can always get that done for you, but there is more disadvantages to a sub panel than there is for a service upgrade just comes down to costs as with anything. Now the big factor here is, do you even need a sub panel or do you even need a service upgrade?

Check Your Panel During Renovations

So if someone comes in and they’re adding air conditioning, or maybe you’re doing a kitchen renovation and you see that your panel is full, sometimes it’s a little deceiving, some breakers take up more space than other breakers. There’s a slim line breakers or a space saver, breakers, tandem, breakers, whatever you want to call them. There’s different options for different panel brands, where we might be able to make space in your original panel while keeping that same panel, simply meaning if we have a full-sized breaker and there is provision that we can add a tandem breaker, then perfect. We can save that size, but make sure that you hire a professional electrician for this. Cause if you start swapping out two pole breakers for tandem breakers, you’re going to have a bad time. You’re going to get some, some bad shared, neutral circuits there. And you’re going to have bigger issues.

Hiring The Best Edmonton Electrician

You don’t want to touch that. So again, hire an Edmonton Electrician, do it right? And I hope this video helped you at the end of the day. Our whole mission is powering customer service. So if you liked the video like us, subscribe to us, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. And if you have any ideas, more importantly, if you have any ideas of what future videos you want to see, get at us, give us a call. Even 780-935-0622. We do new videos all the time, and we love giving back to to what, what this whole cause is all about. So give us a call. 780-935-0622. We are your Edmonton electrician. And yeah, we look forward to working with you. We look forward to getting your power every day. Guys take care and I’ll see you on the next one.

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