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Serving the South Puget Sound and Western Washington Areas Since 1976

Serving the South Puget Sound and Southwest Washington Areas Since 1976

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What to Know About Your Electrical System Before You Put Up Holiday Lights!


There are a lot of homeowners stressing about how different the holidays are going to look this year, which is understandable. Families across the country aren’t able to get together due to health concerns, traveling is questionable for many folks.

There is still much to look forward to, however! For example, if you’re like many homeowners who enjoy decorating your home for the holidays, it’s your season to shine.

But before you attempt to challenge Clark Griswold outside your house, consider this—is your electrical panel ready for the increased demand? Also referred to as the breaker box, this component is tasked with safely touring electrical current to and from the various electrical appliances and fixtures in and outside your home. An overloaded electrical panel, however, will lead to expensive problems and even potential safety hazards.

Keep reading to learn if you may need an electrical panel upgrade before touching those outdoor holiday lights.

Do You Have a Fuse Box?

It’s rare to see fuse boxes in homes anymore today—and no, this is definitely not the same thing as an electrical panel. Aging homes may still have a fuse box in place—if your home was built before 1960 then it can be one of them. With a fuse box, rather than tripping a breaker when there is excess electrical voltage, one of the fuses burns out in order to stop the flow of electricity.

This may sound safe enough, but it isn’t, which is why we’re writing this blog post! Homes today have advanced electronics and technology putting increased demand on electrical systems. If your home is still using a fuse box, then we definitely recommend upgrading to an electrical panel that’s better matched for your home and your specific needs, especially if those needs include holiday lights!

How Old Is Your Home?

So let’s say that you do have a standard electrical panel in place instead of a fuse box. That’s great, but how old is it? If your home is more than a few decades old, it’s time to consider the safety and functionality of your electrical panel.

This is because panels that are over 20 years old can handle around 60-100 amps while newer panels can handle up to 200. This is much better suited to the increase in electrical demand we are seeing in homes throughout our area and throughout the country, with the addition of charging stations and other electronics.

Are Your Circuit Breakers Constantly Tripping?

If you’re like the average homeowner, we’re going to guess that you don’t want to pay regular visits to your electrical panel every week just to reset a tripped circuit breaker. If this is what you’re doing, know that you don’t have to!

If it’s just one circuit breaker being stubborn, then you could try unplugging things and assigning them to different outlets to see if that resolves the problem. But if it’s multiple circuits, then your electrical panel is likely trying to tell you something, like it’s time for a new one!

To get in touch with a professional electrician in Centralia, WA, contact Sunset Air today!

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