Everything You Need to Know About Electrical Panels
In order for your home to manage the load of all your electronics, you need an electrical panel that can handle it. But what exactly is an electrical panel?
Breaker panels, fuse boxes, circuit breakers… You may have heard these names before, and while there are some differences between them, they’re often used to refer to the electrical panel.
In this post, we’ll break down exactly what an electrical panel is and why you should be thinking about yours.
What Are They?
The electrical panel is a service box that receives all the main power from the electrical system and distributes it to the home. Inside the panel are various switches that control the connections to the rooms of your home.
Not only do electrical panels send electricity to the various rooms in your home, but they also come equipped with a failsafe. If any circuit receives too strong of a current, the connection is interrupted, thus protecting your components and electrical system from damage. Restoring the connection is as simple as flipping the switch back into the “on” position.
But until the 1960s, back when they were called “fuse boxes,” it wasn’t that convenient. Every interrupted connection resulted in a blown fuse, which meant having to replace it with a new one. Thanks to the modern-day electrical panel, we no longer have to deal with this inconvenience. Likewise, if your home uses a fuse box, it’s a definite sign that it’s time for an upgrade—but more on that later.
When Do They Need Service?
An electrical panel isn’t a very high-maintenance device. However, there may be times where it begins to show signs of wear or is being pushed beyond its capacity and could need replacement. For example:
More Appliances = More Demand
If you’ve added heavy-duty appliances to the home, they could be taxing your current electrical panel. An upgrade could be required to prevent malfunctions and tripping circuits. Before installing air conditioners, heaters, refrigerators, and other appliances, it can be wise to consult with an electrician in Lacey, WA.
Signs of Repair Issues
Overloading the circuit is one thing, but signs of damage or are another—especially since they can cause the electrical panel to stop operating safely. If you notice any signs of damage, don’t try to work on it yourself, as it can be dangerous. Call up a professional and have them handle it for you. We’re talking about issues like:
- The panel is hot to the touch.
- You can see frayed wires or loose connections.
- The panel makes hissing and popping noises.
- You can smell burning.
Like any appliances, age is a factor in how well it operates. However, in this case, it’s more about capacity.
A breaker box installed in a home 20 to 30 years ago most likely has a maximum capacity of 60 to 100 amps. Modern panels can handle 200 amps, and for good reason—your appliances, charging stations, computers, and other electronic appliances need it.
To find out your electrical panel’s capacity, you can find it on the inside of the panel door.
Are you concerned about your electrical panel? We can take a look at it for you. Contact Resicon LLC today to speak with an expert.