Panel Upgrade – Honolulu, Hawaii

Wires in an electric panel in a home in Honolulu

First, let’s understand what is a panel and why is it so important. An electrical panel, also called circuit breaker panel, is what connects all the electrical circuits within your home to the big wires from your electric company (for us in Hawaii that is the Hawaiian Electric Company). Now imagine too much power flowing through the house wiring (from the big ones to the small one). It can heat up the system and cause it to melt. That can start a fire. Call PRO Electrician Honolulu for a reliable electrical panel upgrade or repair.

Do you still have a Fuse Box?

Another concept you want to understand about your electrical box is if it has fuse blows (on the old panels) or a circuit breaker to flip off (much safer). If you have an old panel chances are that it is working at an overload. Every time you buy a new appliance or add another light, you are consuming more electricity, which means increased electrical load through the wires. If your circuit breaker is old, chances are that you are using a lot more appliances simultaneously overloading the system.  At some point, the typical American family will have lights, TV(s), computer(s), phone(s), refrigerator, washer/dryer, oven, and microwave all turned on at the same time. Add the fans or A/C in Hawaii and the old panels are overloaded and may trip. The 100 amps are not likely to handle all the 2020 modern high-tech consumption.

​As a rule of thumb, you also should avoid loading the same outlet with a lot of appliances connected. Architects have that into consideration nowadays and you may notice that the modern homes have several outlets along the same wall. The same is not true for old houses and in those cases upgrading the circuit breaker and sometimes adding a new outlet can be key for safety and success.

If you are looking into adding a new circuit but your panel is still good, you should look into adding a subpanel to your Oahu home.

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Do You Have a Federal Pacific Panel?

These panels are defective and unsafe

If your home is between 25 and 65 years old, you may have a Federal Pacific panel (FPE). These breaker panels are defective and have high failure rates, which has caused many electrical fires. Our electricians have upgraded many FPE panels, however, many homes and buildings still have them in Oahu.

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When to Buy a New Electric Panel?

  1.   Electrical cabinet is not safe enough (old, old fuses)
  2.   There is rust or corrosion in the circuit breakers
  3.   When you notice lights dimming, appliances running slower, or even shutting off the circuit when you have multiple appliances running together. 
  4.   When considering big electricity changes such as installation of an EV charge
  5.   If you are considering to add devices with big consumption (ex. hot tub, holiday outdoor lighting)
  6.   Need to add more circuits and panel is too small 
  7.  If your panel is older than 30 years or if you experience any of the above scenarios contact us ASAP. Our licensed electricians in Oahu will check what type of box you have and its capacity. 

What to Consider Before Deciding about any Panel Repair or Replacement?

You want to make sure that the electrician is licensed. There is no handyman or DIY when it comes to dealing with electric panels. Commercial electrical panels are different from residential and our certified PRO Electrician Honolulu have the experience in both fields.
There are two types of circuits that you should be aware about: aluminum and cooper.
Aluminum is significantly cheaper than cooper but the price comes with huge risks. Aluminum melts at 1000 degrees and starts corroding in two weeks. Cooper starts melting at 2000 degrees, and last up to 20 years. Cooper panels are much safer and are definitely worth the price. Our expert electricians will always recommend cooper to protect your, your home, and your business in Hawaii.

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Commercial Electrical Panel Upgrade and Repair – Honolulu, Hawaii

Commercial energy demands are unique and so are their wires and panels. In addition to the 6 points listed above, there are specific key points when talking about screening for possible circuit capacity improvement for commercial businesses:

  1.   Computers that don’t have a dedicated circuit yet
  2.   Electronic devices are not operating at full power
  3.   Renovations/additions made to the business
  4.   Addition of new devices; increase in power load
  5.   Notice of new panel required by insurance company
  6.   If you find yourself and your co-workers/employees using many extension cords at work
  7.   For some reason your business still uses a fuse block without a main breaker – very unsafe, should be upgraded ASAP.

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