Your home has breakers that serve as safety switches. They turn the power off to your home if there is an electrical circuit overload. Most, if not all, of your circuit breakers are in the electrical panel. The electrical panel is the center of your home’s electrical network.
When you open up the electrical panel, feeling overwhelmed is easy. This post is designed to help demystify the electrical panel and help you know what things you may need to check and when you should call Arc Angel Electric for professional help.
What Is an Electrical Panel?
Your electrical panel is a metal box. It is usually built into the wall of a less-frequented area of your home. It might be in a closet, your basement or your laundry room. When you open the metal box door, you will see all the breaker switches for your home.
If you flip the breaker switches off, they will turn the power off to specific sections of your home. If there is an excessive amount of electrical current traveling through them, your breaker switches turn off automatically. That is their primary job.
When you open up the electrical panel, you will likely see a circuit breaker that is a little bit larger than the rest. This main circuit breaker will turn off all the power in your home or apartment. The smaller breakers are responsible for certain sections of your home and should be labeled clearly.
If your home is older, you might have a fuse box. You won’t see electrical panels, but you will see fuses screwed in. If you have a fuse box, you may want to speak to our technicians at Arc Angel Electric to discuss updating your system.
If you look outside your home, you will see an electrical meter. From the electrical meter, power goes to your electrical panel.
Where Is the Electrical Panel in Your Home?
Your electrical panel is easy to forget when you don’t need it. However, when a circuit is blown, you may find yourself stumbling around in the dark trying to find it. It’s good to know where it is located. Better yet, keep a flashlight near the panel or the route to the panel.
Most electrical panels are gray or tan metal boxes. They are installed in a wall. They should have a door with a latch.
The most common places for them to be installed are storage rooms, basements, and laundry rooms. The electrical panel may be in the garage or outside the house in some cases. If you live in an apartment, the panel is usually near the entrance to your unit or by the door of a bedroom.
Depending on the size of your home and the electrical setup, you may have one panel or have multiple panels. It’s good to familiarize yourself with the locations of all of them so that you can access them easily when the need arises.
What Does My Electrical Panel Do?
A circuit breaker that becomes overloaded will shut off. This prevents your home and electrical devices from getting damaged by unexpected excess loads of electricity. If your breaker does not work, the circuit could get overloaded. This can be a fire hazard or can lead to a person getting electrocuted.
Each breaker handles one circuit. A circuit controls the electricity in a particular room or section of your home. Some devices, like air conditioners, electric stoves, and electric water heaters, suck so much energy that they require their own breaker.
Each breaker is only built to carry a particular load. Once that load is exceeded, the breaker turns off. This could happen if you plug many devices into one circuit.
If a breaker trips, you need to flip the switch and reset it. If you have an older home with a fuse box, you will need to replace the blown a fuse. This is expensive and time-consuming. This is yet another reason you should contact Arc Angel Electric and have us help you by updating your antiquated system with a modern electrical panel.
What Should You Check on an Electrical Panel?
You want to make sure your breakers have sufficient capacity for how you use electricity in your home. If you have one breaker that is constantly tripping, then you are probably connecting too many things to the circuit. You may need our electricians to come out and rewire a section of your home so that you can put different electrical devices on separate circuits.
An option could be adding a subpanel or a tandem circuit to spread the power usage evenly. However, if you are having constant issues with breakers tripping, it could indicate that you need to upgrade your entire electrical system. This is a more extensive job, but it is essential for you to enjoy your home comfortably and safely.
Most electrical panels have a lifespan of around 30 years. With regular maintenance, they may last up to 50 years. However, if you are adding high-energy appliances, like an air conditioner, a swimming pool, or a hot tub, you will need to upgrade your system.
The electrical panel looks deceptively simple. It can be tempting to watch an online tutorial and make changes to the panel yourself. However, do-it-yourself tinkering will lower the panel’s lifespan and could potentially put you and your home at risk.
If you see corrosion in your electrical panel, this could indicate the presence of moisture. Moisture and electricity are not a good combination. Corroded circuit breakers indicate moisture seeping into the electrical system from your outdoor meter. Corroded electrical wires are a potential hazard. You should contact an electrician immediately to have them repaired.
Signs That a Circuit Breaker Is Bad
If you smell burning around your electrical panel or have breakers that won’t stay set, that is an urgent problem. Shut off the power to your home if you smell burning and keep the breaker off that continues to trip if the problem is isolated to a single breaker. Call an electrician immediately.
Breakers that trip often are probably overloaded. If the breaker is not overloaded, the switch could be an issue. You want an electrician to evaluate and repair it. Remember, working with your electrical panel is not a DIY project. It should be left up to the professionals.
Providing the Best Electrical Service in South Carolina and Atlanta
Arc Angel Electric prides itself on providing the best electrical services in Georgia and South Carolina. We work on both residential and commercial buildings. We have a five-star Google rating and an A+ Better Business Bureau rating.
Whether it is minor installations, maintenance, new construction, or remodels, no job is too big or too small for us. Our services include electric car charger, hot tub circuit, security lighting and dimmer installation. We can upgrade your electrical subpanel home wiring and create a maintenance plan for you. Whatever your electrical needs are, look no further than Arc Angel Electric. Contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you.