With the new code updates coming into effect on the 1st of January this year we have more to think about when upgrading your electrical panel. New code now adopted outlines Arc-Fault circuit breakers to be used on more circuit than just the bedroom power outlets.
The code is not going to be enforced when upgrading an electrical panel when the wiring is not altered. Standard 15 amp breakers will still be used on all current circuits assuming they have been installed to code.
However more room will need to be allowed for future circuits that will need to be protected by arc-fault circuit breaker. Arc-fault circuit breaker take up twice the room of a tandem or slimline circuit breaker.
Another issue customers may face is adding new circuits to an older panel which arc-fault circuit breaker are not made. There are ways around this by using a deadfront arc-fault circuit outlet (Like a GFCI plug in you bathroom but without the slots). If you are going this route it may well be time to upgrade your electrical panel. This way you know you will have the highest level of protection.
Now not every outlet needs to be protected by a arc-fault circuit breaker, but it is the majority. If you would like to know more about the new codes about the arc-fault circuit breakers feel free to give us a call