Some electrical panels may not be covered by insurance. Here’s what you should know!
There are many reasons why a homeowner may want to upgrade their electrical panel. In some cases, they’re hoping to upgrade their home’s service to allow for new electrical devices or appliances. In other cases, however, upgrading an electrical panel is a matter of safety—such as when your home has one of several uninsurable electrical panels.
While it’s uncommon for homes to still have uninsurable electrical panels installed, for those that do it’s important to upgrade to a new electrical panel without delay. At TCA Electric, keeping homeowners safe is among our top priorities. Here’s why it’s important to upgrade uninsurable panels, along with some other key information about service upgrades.
What electrical panels are uninsurable?
Let’s start out by mentioning some common examples of uninsurable electrical panels. Some of the more dangerous panels that may still be in some homes include:
- Challenger electrical panels with an HGAF-15 or 20-amp circuit breaker
- Federal Pacific Electric panels, also called FPE Stab Lok panels
- GTE Sylvania panels
This is not an exhaustive list, but these electrical panels are some of the most frequent culprits when it comes to electrical panel-related safety issues. If you know your home relies on one of these panels, contact a professional electrician immediately to replace it.
Why are some electrical panels uninsurable?
Generally speaking, uninsurable electrical panels represent an elevated safety risk. While the exact nature of the risk can vary depending on the panel, common reasons for danger include known design flaws, safety issues, or common malfunctions that limit the ability of these panels to function properly in protecting your home.
Since insurance companies are concerned with liability, they will refuse to cover certain features that they deem too risky. In other words, uninsurable electrical panels such as those from Federal Pacific Electric won’t pass a safety inspection, leaving a property owner without insurance coverage in the event of an electrical issue.
What other electrical panels should be upgraded?
Other types of electrical panels also present safety risks, even if they may still be insurable. A good example of riskier electrical panels are those that rely on older round screw-in fuses. Older electrical panels in general can present an elevated safety risk as they adhered to older electrical codes that were not as safety-minded as those in place today. Older panels present more safety concerns and may break down over time. These panels can gather dust, have loose connections, develop cracks on the cables’ insulation (due to heat over time), or even cause fires.
In addition, because these panels often weren’t built with enough capacity for today’s electrical demands, they’ll likely need to be upgraded before you add new devices or appliances to your home. Overall, because of this elevated risk and limited capacity, these older panels should likely be replaced.
Related post: Why Upgrade an Electric Meter and Panel to 200-Amp Service?
Key questions to ask your electrician
If your home’s electrical panel is on the list of uninsurable panels, or if you’d simply like to learn more about the reliability of your home’s panel, a professional electrician will be able to provide more information. As you decide whether to upgrade your home’s electrical panel, ask your electrician the following questions:
- What are the safety concerns if I keep this panel?
- Are breakers still available for this panel?
- What are the benefits of upgrading my electrical panel?
- How much will it cost to upgrade my panel?
- How long does it take to complete the upgrade?
- Will I be without power? If so, for how long?
- Can I upgrade the amount of power coming into our home?
Contact TCA Electric to Upgrade Your Electrical Panel Today!
An electrical panel is your home’s first line of defense against electrical problems, fires, and other electrical safety issues. That means it’s critical that your panel is reliable, up to date, and can provide the capacity your family needs on a day-to-day basis.
If your electrical panel is among the uninsurable panels mentioned above, or if you’d simply like a safety assessment, give the friendly experts at TCA Electric a call! Our licensed and qualified electricians will be happy to answer your questions and break down your options for upgrading your home’s panel. Contact us today!