Let’s face it: replacing an electrical panel is a huge job. It’s extremely labor-intensive, requires skill and experience that only a professional has, and needs a hefty amount of new materials and components. All of this combined means that it’s a rather expensive service. For those who are on a tight budget or living paycheck to paycheck, suddenly needing to replace an electrical panel may be something that simply isn’t in the cards. However, not replacing a panel when it becomes necessary could be extremely dangerous—using a damaged panel could leave your home open to the risk of an electrical injury or fire, and that’s if your electricity will even work at all.
That being said, a full panel replacement may not be your only option—for those looking for a more budget-friendly solution, panel rejuvenation may be your answer. In this blog, we’ll provide you with a more detailed look at this service, including what it entails, why it might be the right solution for you, and what you should know about some downsides of this option before choosing to go with it.
What’s Is Panel Rejuvenation?
Whereas panel replacement means completely tearing out and replacing your electrical panel, panel rejuvenation simply restores its condition by replacing some of its most important parts that have probably worn out over its life. In general, this means that the framework of your panel will remain exactly the same, along with some of the wiring that is connected to it, and a few of the other principal components as well.
What doesn’t stay the same primarily includes your circuit breakers. Old, outdated breakers are an electrical hazard, and a rejuvenation service includes replacing them entirely so that performance, protection, and safety all improve. Rejuvenation may also include minor rewiring and reorganization to clean up your panel and improve the logic behind some of the circuits in your home. Have you ever noticed that for some reason half of the plugs in one room are on one circuit and the other half are on another? Panel rejuvenation may provide you with an opportunity to rectify this, but we suggest asking your electrician whether or not this is feasible or even possible given your situation.
Pros of Panel Rejuvenation
First and foremost, the primary advantage of panel rejuvenation is cost. This service is quite a bit more affordable than a full panel replacement, and that alone makes it appealing to a number of people who desperately need a major electrical panel service. Another major advantage is time—this process is generally much quicker than an electrical panel replacement. If you’re dealing with an electrical emergency at an inopportune time, this may be the option that gets your home up and running again faster than a total panel replacement.
Finally, panel rejuvenation has another major benefit, and that’s the impact on your home’s appearance. Panels generally aren’t the prettiest things in your home to begin with, but they can really stand out like a sore thumb if you have recently had your walls cracked open in order to extract and replace an electrical panel. With a panel rejuvenation, the primary framework for your panel stays in place, and this means no noticeable change to your panel’s appearance from the outside. It’s a small benefit, but one that few people think of when getting a total electrical panel replacement.
Cons of Panel Rejuvenation
Panel rejuvenation isn’t a perfect substitute for a total panel replacement, however. There are some weaknesses to rejuvenation that you should take into consideration. First, panel rejuvenation does add some new life to your electrical panel, but it is only further delaying the inevitable need to replace your panel completely. Circuit breakers generally only last around 10 years, and that means you’ll probably have to face this dilemma again in roughly about a decade. By this point, your panel’s structure and other materials that were not replaced in a rejuvenation service will have aged even further, and it’s likely that you’ll need a total replacement at this point. In short, rejuvenation is really more like a way to buy some additional time before having a comprehensive replacement service done.
Second, panel rejuvenation doesn’t increase your electrical system’s capacity, nor does it give you the ability to expand. New electrical panels offer increased capacity, and that means there is room for your electrical demands to grow as we become more and more dependent on electrical energy. Simply rejuvenating your current panel doesn’t increase capacity and doesn’t give you room to grow. That means you will still be limited to the capacity you currently have now, and that may not be enough to meet your needs a decade from now. Likewise, keeping the same panel may prevent you from installing additional features like smart breakers, thus keeping you behind the times technologically.
Want to learn more about panel rejuvenation or replacement? Call your local electrical experts at All Pro Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical at (909) 253-0664 today.