Breaker Boxes/Electrical Panels
Breaker Boxes / Electrical Panels
The main circuit breaker panel is a switch that safely distributes the power to your house. The utility company’s electrical lines drop in and connect to the line side of your Electrical meter; which measures the electrical load your home is using in kilowatt hours. Many homes have a Meter Main and a subpanel; both usually containing breakers that control outlets throughout the home. In your typical residential home, there will be a nominal voltage of 240/120 volts. 240-volt appliances require a double pole breaker and 120 -Volt appliances require a single pole breaker. 240-volt breakers are designed for large home appliances such as air conditioners, stoves, ovens, water heaters, Car chargers, and will range in amperage. 120-volt single pole breakers are generally 15 or 20 amps, and are usually used for lighting and plug in appliances.
There are three types of breakers used in your breaker box. Standard breakers; which are breakers that protect against current overload by tripping to ensure your wires don’t overheat, Ground Fault Interrupter breakers; which are breakers used in wet locations that protect against electrical shock, and Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter Breakers, these breakers are designed to prevent electrical home fires by detecting arcing in your system. All these breakers latch on to what is called a bus bar, which is a metallic strip or bar, used to collect electric power from incoming feeders and distribute them to branch circuits through the breakers.
There are many reasons why a panel may need to be replaced or upgraded. One reasons would be because the panel is outdated and is a potential fire hazard. The famous Zinsco panel recall is an example of this. If you have one of these panels, please call us now. Another example of a dangerous panel are the stab lock breakers, which are located in Federal Pacific panels; these panels are banned by the National Electrical Code and the National Fire Protection Association. One of the more common reasons a panel needs to be replaced is because its amperage rating does not meet the amperage demand of your home, this usually occurs when a homeowner has a 100-amp service panel and needs a 200-amp service panel to complete a home remodel.
Other warning signs of a bad breaker box include but are not limited to: Tripping breakers, breakers that constantly need to be replaced, over heating electrical supplies, burning smells, physical damage to the electrical supplies and materials.