Service Changes & Upgrades

There is very little difference between an electrical service change and an upgrade. A service change might be required when the service is broken and needs to be replaced. If the electrical service is increased an amperage capacity, it is known as an upgrade. An electrical service upgrade isn’t always required when an electrical service change is required. Usually, an electrical service upgrade is more expensive, complicated, and disrupted that an electrical service change. However, an electrical service upgrade will provide the home with an increased electrical capacity which can prevent such as an electrical fire that can quickly escalate into a house fire that can easily burn a house down and sometimes with the family still inside the house. Unfortunately, there are numerous homeowners who don’t really know if they need an electrical service upgrade or not. The best way to answer that particular question is to really understand what electrical service changes and upgrades are.

Literally all houses are connected to a power grid that has an electrical supply of both 240 V and 120 V, sometimes expressed as 115V/23V or 120V/240V. There is nothing in an electrical service change or upgrade that changes this. The only things that are changed when an electrical service change or upgrade is performed is the distribution panel, which is where all of the circuits come from and what hold all of the circuit breakers, the cables and meter that lead in and out of the house, and the connections between the house and the power grid. In addition, an electrical service change or upgrade can increase the amperage capacity from, for example, a 100 amp service to a 250 amp service.

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This kind of upgrade is usually required whenever the homeowner adds a room or remodels a kitchen. The reason that this upgrade is required is because the additional room or remodeled kitchen requires more electricity to operate properly and there usually isn’t sufficient room in the distribution box for the additional circuit breakers. There are special circuit breakers known as tandem circuit breakers that allow two circuit breakers in one location, but there are some severe limitations on the neutral bars, grounding, and the panel itself that can make this dangerous.