How to up the electrical amps in your home from the outside in, by upgrading your electrical service meter.
Upgrading your home’s electrical service meter is a complicated feat, best done by a certified and knowledgeable electrician. This important electrical update to your home is crucial in securing your family’s safety, protecting your investment and allowing for the addition of any new electrical elements you may install or simply plug in. Houses are roomier than ever before and contain all of the modern conveniences that we all have come to depend upon. So, let’s take a look at the steps involved in upgrading your home’s electrical service meter, reasons why you may need this update and how we, at iTrust Home Services can help you get it done.
What is an Electrical Service Meter Upgrade?
Not to be confused with a service panel upgrade, which is updating your interior circuit breaker panel or adding a subpanel for more circuits, an electrical service meter upgrade is the first step in adding more electrical amps to your home. For instance, if your home currently has a 100-amp electric service, you can increase the electricity flowing into your home to 200 amps or more. This is done by disconnecting the electricity flowing into your home and removing the electrical service meter and meter socket. Then, the wiring between the utility and the meter socket as well as the wiring leading to the electrical panel inside your home is replaced with upgraded wiring capable of handling the higher flow of electrical amps. Obviously, this is a huge undertaking and not something an average DIY’er should attempt. Therefore, it’s important to find a licensed electrician who can take care of all of the details including permits, contacting your utility provider and replacing all of the parts necessary to upgrade your electrical service meter.
Think Before Your Plug; The Strain On Your Electrical Service Meter
How often do you stop and think how many watts of electricity you are using before you plug in your blow dryer, vacuum cleaner or a new kitchen gadget? We assume there will be enough electricity to power that device. However, sooner or later, we run the risk of overloading our home’s electrical capacity and making an electrical service meter upgrade a necessity.
Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Electrical Service Meter
#1 You Own an Older Home
If you own an older home you may be in need of updated wiring and electrical services. Older homes are a preferred choice for many homeowners for various reasons; like those tall ceilings, the solid foundations and the unique and beautiful style that only an older home can provide. However, with an older home comes potential problems that can include antiquated wiring (that can pose a fire hazard and needs to brought up to current code) and low amp electrical service. Older homes were wired to handle a furnace and a couple of basic appliances whereas we now want the conveniences of central air, dishwashers, microwaves, double ovens, computers and so much more. If you own an older home, check your electrical panel to see how many amps of electricity you currently have. Most likely, you have a 100-amp service, if it has not been updated. And, depending on the size of your home and your electrical needs, you should consider upgrading to 200-400 amps. Contact our Alpharetta Georgia electrician now to see how we can help you upgrade your electrical service meter.
#2 You’re Experiencing Electrical Problems
Your lights dim as you sit in your favorite chair, reading a book. Your heart leaps into your throat and you question your choice of reading materials; suspense novels aren’t good for the nerves. Dimming lights can be only one symptom that your electrical system displays when it’s teetering on the verge of needing a check-up and possible overhaul. Additional signs to look for are having to reset your circuit breakers, flickering lights, a burning wire odor coming from an electrical outlet, and needing to use power strips and extension cords. These are all signs that you need to have a licensed electrician take a look at your home’s electrical system and electrical service meter to determine what, if any, upgrades you need. Indeed, your home may be in need of an electrical service meter upgrade or you may have some wiring problems that need to be addressed right away. All of iTrust’s residential electrical services are here to make sure your home is functioning at it’s best, safe for you and your family and is up to date on all codes and regulations.
#3 You’re Planning a Major Renovation
You have been waiting patiently for the day you can renovate your outdated kitchen. You imagine new, energy-efficient appliances, a double oven, beautiful refaced cabinets, an expansive pantry and new lighting. However, underneath your dream kitchen lies the most important aspect of the renovation; brand new, up-to-code, electrical wiring, switches and outlets. Further, if you are doing any major home renovation like redoing your bathroom, adding on a new family room or basement remodel, your electrical service meter may need an upgrade as well. The reasons are simple; more appliances, new lighting and more space creates more drain on your current electrical service. Additionally, codes and regulations are constantly being changed and updated in order to make homes safer. Each room you are adding or renovating must be up to those new standards. One great example is that some rooms are now required to have an electrical outlet every 24 inches. Yes, it is for safety, but imagine the convenience it will provide you! So, before you begin that dream renovation, or add that family room you have always wanted, make sure you speak to a licensed electrician to see if you need an electrical service meter upgrade. They will be able to determine the electrical load your home currently has and how much it will need to support your renovation or home addition. From there, your electrician will offer solutions that will lay the groundwork for that perfect home upgrade.
#4 You Need Additional Power for a New HVAC Unit, Car Charger or Other Major Appliance
Another reason you may need to upgrade your electrical service meter is if you are planning to add a major, dedicated appliance. A dedicated appliance is a big component of your home that needs its own dedicated circuit. Some examples of those components include: electric car chargers, new furnace or HVAC unit or new appliances like a washer and dryer set. These new components don’t just add to your home’s overall electrical draw, they create the need for their own circuit breaker within your electrical panel. These single circuits, often referred to as dedicated circuits, allow for the electricity flow to be cut to that major appliance in case of a malfunction, electrical short or manually, when that component may be work. Accordingly, when you are adding a major electrical component, you will need to be sure that first, your home has enough electrical amps to sustain the new item. Secondly, you must be sure that your electrical panel has enough space for a new, dedicated circuit. And finally, you need to be sure the outlet you will be using is up to code and can handle the wattage required. As a result, it’s important to think before you plug or install and call a licensed electrician near you to check the health and efficiency of your electrical system. Whether you are adding any of the previously mentioned items, new smart home additions or a security system, it’s important to consult the experts to ensure you’re protecting your biggest investment as well as your family.
#5 You Are Adding a Pool, Workshop or Outdoor Lighting
Your yard is an outdoor extension of your home. Because of that, many people are adding elements such as swimming pools, hot tubs, outdoor kitchens and landscape and security lighting. Even homeowners who aren’t transforming their yards into an oasis, are in need of outdoor electricity signaling the potential need for an electrical service meter upgrade. For example, do you have an outbuilding, such as a workshop that needs an electrical connection? Or are you in need of outdoor electrical outlets to accommodate electric lawn equipment, power tools or even a projector for a backyard movie night? All of these additional electrical elements draw on your main electrical service, meaning, you may need to upgrade your electrical service meter. Thus, before you upgrade your backyard to a paradise of family fun or relaxation or even simply want outdoor outlets, it’s crucial that you consult with a licensed electrician. Not only will your electrician help you determine your needs, but they can safely and professionally install the electrical elements you require.
Planning for Future Electrical Needs
The above reasons why you may need to upgrade your electrical service meter cover all of the bases for immediate need. However, if you are planning for future home renovations, additions or adding a pool or security system, the time to plan for the future is now. In essence, you will be laying the electrical groundwork for any future additions you may make. As a result, your electrical service meter will carry enough electricity into your home to support the upgrades you will be making. Then, your circuit breaker panel will have plenty of room for adding those new circuits as well as possible dedicated circuits. Finally, making an electrical upgrade now will save you from future headaches while streamlining your renovations and saving you money in the long run.
After Upgrading Your Electrical Service Meter, What’s Next?
Once your exterior electrical service meter upgrade is taken care of and you have more amps of electricity flowing into your home, it’s time to take a look at your electrical panel and see if it’s time to make an update there. Is there room for more circuits? If so, you may be fine with simply adding on to your existing panel or adding a sub-panel. In most cases, you will need a new 200 (or higher) amp panel to go with your higher service, especially if you are updating an older home. We have gathered all of the information you will need to know about electrical panel upgrades as well as adding a subpanel and included it in our collection of basic home knowledge articles. There, we answer all of your fundamental questions while giving you the important information you need to make smart choices in regard to your home. Click here to read about the next step in upgrading your electrical service.
iTrust Is Here to Help
iTrust’s electrical business is led by a GA Licensed (Class 2) Master Electrician ensuring safety, code compliance, and client satisfaction. You can count on iTrust for quality work at reasonable rates! We provide licensed electricians in Alpharetta and surrounding areas including Johns Creek, Roswell, Milton, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Duluth, Norcross and Peachtree Corners. We can provide you with a professional electrical service meter upgrade and more. We offer services including (but not limited to):
- Electric Vehicle Car Charger Installations
- Back-Up Generator Sales, Installation, and Services
- Light Fixture Installation
- Outdoor Lighting Installation
- Circuit Trouble Shooting/Repair
- Panel Upgrades/Repair
- Switch/Outlet Repair & Installation
- Landscape Lighting
- Whole Home Surge Protection
Contact Us Today
Contact your Atlanta area home remodeling and electrical services friends at iTrust by calling 470-369-0000 or click here to contact us through the website. We look forward to meeting with you and helping you with all of your home improvement needs.