An Electrical Panel is the main distribution point of electricity in your home. Also known as a circuit breaker box, breaker panel or electric panel it distributes power to branch circuits that supply outlets and switches throughout your house. Electrical panels protect appliances, wiring and devices from overheating, which can cause damage or fire. They also protect you and your family from injury by preventing shocks.
Electrical panels are often located in a garage, basement or utility closet. Some are installed in dedicated rooms and equipment sheds. Others are found in commercial settings such as offices, factories and retail spaces. They are also used in a variety of other settings including hospitals, schools and hotels.
There are three primary types of electrical panels. They are distinguished by their size, shape and amperage rating. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on the application and needs of the user.
A standard residential electrical panel is capable of handling up to 100 amps and contains one or more rows of circuit breakers. Each breaker has its own amperage capacity and will be labeled with its limit. This is an important piece of information because it will tell you if your electrical panel has enough capacity to handle any additional load you want to add.
Whether you’re upgrading your home to accommodate more demanding electrical appliances or simply looking to upgrade your current breaker box, it is important that you work with an experienced electrician to ensure the project is performed correctly and safely. The wrong choice could result in injuries or even property damage.
Upgrading to a modern electrical panel will allow you to add high demand appliances like an electric dryer, electric range or hot tub without worrying about the current not being sufficient. It will also make your home more attractive to potential buyers if you’re planning to sell it in the future.
You’ll find that Siemens offers a variety of different panel sizes, shapes and amperage ratings to suit your home. Their Square D panels for example, come in capacities ranging from 100 to 200 amps. This allows you to choose the ideal breaker panel for your specific needs and budget.
If you’re installing an electrical panel in your new construction, it’s a good idea to go with the 200 amp model as it is more cost effective in the long run and can handle higher loads than their smaller counterparts. They are also designed with the safety of installers and users in mind. They feature a Qwik-Grip feature that allows cable to be easily inserted into the holes without any strain.
There are a few signs that indicate it might be time to upgrade your breaker panel. If your current breaker box is over 10 years old, it’s probably time for an upgrade. Also, if you’re constantly having to reset your breaker or if it trips frequently, it may be an indication that the breaker panel isn’t meeting your current electrical requirements.