Service upgrades, service changes, and panel upgrades may be one of the best things you can do to your home as far as infrastructure is concerned. Problems with electrical distribution and lighting equipment makes up roughly 8% of residential fires each year. More than that, these items are major inconveniences when they fail. You will be out of power until a qualified electrician can replace the items; this can come at a great expense in both money and frustration. Depending on the severity of damage, you may also need to get the utility company involved and obtain an underwriters certificate before they will turn the power back on.
It is common for older homes to eventually experience problems with their electrical panel (usually the main breaker or busbar), meter pan (outside), or service entrance conductors (outside between the supply power and your meter pan).
You definitely want to have your panel looked at if it is:
- More than 30 years old
- 100 Amps
- 60 Amps
- Pushmatic Brand (Push in type breakers, not back and fourth switch style breakers)
- Federal Pacific Brand
- Zinsco Brand
- Fuse Box Style (no breakers, screw in fuses)