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Upgrading to a 200 Amp Panel in Tucson, AZ

Many homeowners ask if they should upgrade their homes’ electrical service. Upgrades typically involve older homes with service sizes of 100 amps or fewer, and where homeowners want to upgrade to a 200 amp panel in Tucson. Depending on location, the cost of such an upgrade can be in the thousands. Below are some questions to ask when deciding to upgrade a home’s electrical service.

Does my service have circuit breakers, or fuses? Circuit breakers became standard in service panels in the 1960s; before then, panels had cartridge or screw-type fuses. Electrical panel manufacture is the same whether fuses or breakers are used. Fuses get a bad reputation because of the ease with which they can be replaced with those of a larger size; replacing a 10-amp fuse with a 20 amp may mean changing the fuse less often, but doing so can create an electrical hazard.

Many insurance companies require that fuse panels be replaced with circuit breakers before a home can be sold. If your home’s current service has fuses, upgrading to a circuit breaker panel is a worthwhile investment.

What’s the amperage on my current service? Electrical service is measured in amps, and 100, 150 and 200 are the standards. The more amperage a service has, the more electricity the home can receive. If you don’t plan to add more electrical components (such as air conditioners and water heaters) to your home, upgrading your amperage doesn’t make much sense.

Will a service upgrade keep my circuit breakers from tripping? No, it won’t. Amperage increases won’t stop your fuse or breaker from tripping, and it won’t have an impact on your home’s current circuitry. Any fuse or breaker that continually trips does so because the amperage is greater than the fuse or breaker size.

Reasons to Upgrade Your Home’s Electrical Service

There are only two real reasons to upgrade your home’s electrical service: to make the switch from a fuse panel to a circuit breaker panel, and to increase your home’s electrical load so more components can be added. Switching from fuses to breakers will increase your home’s value, and it will eliminate the hazards that come with oversize fuse installation. Increasing your home’s electrical load may require service upgrades, but you and your electrician should do the math first.
For more information visit Mr. Electric of Tucson and Southern Arizona.

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