Category: Electrical Panel

Is Your Home Up to National Electrical Code?

Unless you’re a professional electrician, you probably don’t have the time and energy to keep up with annual changes and updates to the National Electrical Code. But as anyone in the electrical profession knows all too well, this book is critically important when it comes to buying and selling property or building new construction projects.

Even if you aren’t planning to put your house on the market any time soon, there are a few electrical code updates you shouldn’t ignore. As the technology we use every day develops so quickly year after year, our electrical systems need updates to keep them functioning correctly.

In honor of National Electrical Safety Month this May, our team at The Happy Outlet wants to share a few useful National Electrical Code requirements. Below are a few common upgrades your older home might need.

Do you have dedicated circuits for specific rooms or appliances?

Since our appliances have developed to serve us more effectively in the last few decades, they have also started to consume more and more electricity to work. Old school circuitry doesn’t always cut it anymore for washing machines, HVAC units, refrigerators, and other large appliances.

According to the National Electrical Code, your kitchen alone will need at least seven dedicated circuits for specific appliances (your fridge, dishwasher, and microwave are all examples). Even your garage must have its own dedicated circuit for receptables that power outdoor tools.

Most modern homes will already comply with dedicated circuit requirements. But many older homes will need new circuits added to the electric panel.

Do you have GFCI outlets outdoors and in every kitchen and bathroom?

The National Electrical Code now requires Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets in any space where there is a source of water. GFCI outlets are designed to detect any disruptions in the flow of electricity. If they notice a surge of power, they will disconnect from the circuit completely. This feature is designed to protect homeowners from electrocution (which happens most frequently when electronics come into contact with water).

Your kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, garage, basement, and all outdoor spaces should have GFCI outlets since there is always a chance that water could interfere with your electrical appliances. This is a relatively inexpensive upgrade that is critically important for your safety.

Do you have smoke alarms outside sleeping areas and on every level of your home?

Most people already know that smoke alarms are required in every bedroom. But in recent years, the National Electrical Code has updated its policy on smoke alarms.

You should have smoke alarms in each bedroom, outside every sleeping area, and on every level of your home (including the basement). This ensures that even if one smoke alarm fails, there is a safety net of other alarms to alert you to a fire immediately.

Is your home up to National Electrical Code?

In answer to the greater consumption of electricity and greater number of electronics in our homes, the National Electrical Code has created some new rules to keep homeowners safe.

If you have any questions about how to upgrade your home to meet electrical code requirements during a remodeling process, give us a call at The Happy Outlet! One of our expert electricians will be happy to help you.

For more information on electrical safety at home, check out our list of tips.

If you need any electrical repairs, replacements, or upgrades in your Carson City home, contact The Happy Outlet! Give us a call at 833-2B-HAPPY to schedule an appointment and get started.

Do I Need an Electrical Panel Upgrade?


An electrical panel holds the circuits and distributes power to your electrical system, and maintaining its functionality is a must. But you don’t want to spend money on an improvement that doesn’t really offer anything, essentially wasting your money. On the flip side, you can’t disregard a necessary upgrade, as going without one might exacerbate a recurring electrical problem. Fortunately, there are common signs that point out your electrical panel might need an upgrade. Identifying these issues will give you peace of mind as you consider the best option for your Carson City home.

The experts at The Happy Outlet have compiled a list of signs to be aware of:

Noticeable Panel Damage

  • Cracks, corrosion, and loose connections are a sure sign your panel requires an upgrade.
  • Check for any burn marks, or if the panel feels warm to the touch.
  • Damage to a panel can be caused by faulty wiring, short circuits, and deterioration from age.
  • Damaged panels require immediate attention, as letting them persist can cause serious damage to your electrical system.

Constant Tripping

  • Electrical panels are designed to distribute power to your home via circuit breakers, but if this power reaches a dangerous level, your panel trips to avoid damage or an electrical fire.
  • Constant tripping means your panel either cannot handle the current voltage, or there is a problem with the electrical system itself.
  • Regardless of the reason, having your panel trip regularly means an upgrade is needed.

Flickering Lights

  • Flickering lights can mean your panel is not working properly, especially if it happens when you turn on another appliance.
  • If you turn on an appliance and your lights begin to flicker, this means power is fluctuating rapidly, and your panel is not properly handling the levels of voltage.
  • Damaged or older panels are often ill-equipped to handle the power in your home, and an upgrade is needed to restore your electrical system back to normal.

Older than 20 Years Old

  • Panels tend to have a lifespan of about 20-35 years, and often during this time it begins to deteriorate, along with an inability to handle the voltage of modern homes.
  • When your panel is outdated, appliances may not work at full power, and overloads tend to be common.
  • If you are unsure about your panel’s age, contact an electrical professional to perform a quick inspection.

Adding A New Renovation/Appliance

  • When you upgrade any part of your home that involves electricity, your electrical panel must be able to handle the electrical load.
  • New appliances, builds, and renovations all require more electricity, and upgrading your panel will ensure your electrical system adapts to the required usage.

Your electrical panel is a crucial part of your home, and using this information will help determine if an upgrade is needed. If you are ready to schedule your panel upgrade with professionals you can depend on, contact The Happy Outlet today! We are Carson City’s number-one electrical company, and our electrical panel services guarantee you receive both affordability and quality for your home. Give us a call at 775-841-9473 to schedule an appointment and meet your trusted electricians.