The only true way to determine the size panel your Arizona home needs is to have a professional calculate your home’s electrical load.
You see, every home has different appliances with different electrical needs so it’s impossible to give you a true answer without first inspecting your home and the appliances you have/don’t have.
But here’s what we can tell you: If your home’s electrical panel has less than 100 amps, you at least need to upgrade to a 100-amp panel since the National Electric Code requires every home to have an electrical panel with a minimum of 100 amps.
Note: The size of your current panel should be either stamped or on a rating sheet on the inside of the panel door (the side facing the breakers).
Now, with that said, a 100-amp panel isn’t your only option-and it might not even be large enough for your home’s electrical needs.
In this article, we’ll cover some general guidelines that will help give you a better idea of the panel size your home needs (but remember-these tips should never replace a professional electrical load calculation!).
Need a professional to calculate the size electrical panel your home needs? Just contact us.
How do I know if I need larger than a 100-amp panel?
Residential electrical panels come in various sizes, including:
- 100 amps
- 150 amps
- 200 amps
- 400 amps
You should consider a 150 to 200-amp panel if…
- You have an all electric home. If your home has no gas hookup and only uses electrical appliances, you’ll most likely need a panel that’s larger than 100 amps. This guideline applies even if you have a smaller home (2500/3000) sq/ft.
- You only have 1-3 “expansion” slots left in your 100-amp panel. An expansion slot is basically any slot in your electrical panel that doesn’t already have a breaker installed in them.
If you currently have a 100-amp panel but don’t have many free breaker slots left, you should consider upgrading. Upgrading your panel will allow you to add more circuits/appliances to your home in the future.
- You plan to add onto your home in the future. If you’re planning to eventually expand your home, you’ll want to make sure that you have the electrical capacity to handle the extra outlets and appliances you’ll add to the space.
- You frequently run more than one of the following 220-volt appliances at the same time:
Electric heater (i.e. electric furnace)
Electric hot water tank
Our suggestion? If you’re considering a 150-amp panel, go ahead and opt for the 200-amp panel instead.
Why? Well, the cost of a 150-amp panel vs a 200-amp panel is minimal. Plus, installing a 200-amp panel ensures that you’ll have more room to grow in the future if you ever plan on adding new outlets or appliances to your home.
You should consider a panel larger than 200 amps if…
…your home exceeds 3,500-4,000 square feet.
Most of the time, larger-than-average houses will have more appliances and circuits-which means a much higher electrical load. However, most of the time, it’s more effective to have a 200-amp panel with an additional 100 or 200-amp “subpanel” (a panel that feeds off your main electrical panel and provides more breaker slots for circuits far from the main panel).
Need help determining the panel size you need? Ask a Phoenix electrician
If you need an experienced electrician to inspect your home and calculate your electrical load, just contact us.
If you need help installing a home electrical panel, we can help too.
We can install your electrical panel in as fast as 1-2 days. In fact, we handle everything when it comes to panel installations, including permits, coordination between your utility company, building inspectors, etc.