Does your home need a breaker panel upgrade?
Your home’s breaker panel, or also known as the fuse box, fuse panel or breaker box, is the central control of the entire electrical system for your home. It distributes the electricity delivered by your electric provider and powers everything in your home. Power to your home is turned on and off by circuit breakers to protect wiring from damage by “tripping” when an electrical short or over-current occurs.
Being the source of so much power, it is very dangerous to work on. Only licensed electrical contractors should ever work on your breaker panel. Amps & Volts Electric have licensed electrical contractors who are experienced in all areas of electrical panel repairs and electrical panel replacements.
Reasons to Replace, Repair or Service Your Current Breaker Box:
Breakers Keep Tripping
Breakers Will Not Reset
Lights are Dimming
Outdated Safety Standards
With the arrival of so many new electronic devices over the last 8-10 years, many home electrical systems do not have the capacity to support today’s high powered devices on top of the core circuits they were originally designed to support.
Now is the time to upgrade your home’s circuitry to ensure that your home has the capacity to support your electrical needs without the risk of a fire. You may consider replacing your electrical panel or adding a sub-panel. It’s important to note that a new breaker panel will not provide additional power to your home. To achieve additional power, Amps & Volts Electric Inc., has a process that includes a new breaker panel as well as other accessories, such as new cables and a new electrical meter.
Electricity comes into your home through wires that connect to your breaker panel. Understanding the components in a panel can help you make an informed decision when making your selection. A typical breaker panel consists of these primary components:
- The main breaker is a large double pole circuit breaker that limits the amount of electricity coming in from outside to protect the circuits it feeds. It also identifies your breaker panel’s amperage capacity.
- Circuit breakers are stacked in the panel and have an ON/OFF switch that controls the flow of power.
- Bus bars receive power from the two thick black wires that bring power in from the electrical meter. The bus bars in turn carry power through the circuit breakers to the circuits.
- Neutral bus bars connect to the main circuit’s neutral wire. The neutral bar provides the contact point for the white wires that return electricity back to the breaker panel after flowing through the black wires to power a device.
- Grounding bus bars unite all the grounding wires from the breaker panel’s various circuits and connect them to the ground bar.
Factors to Consider:
- Components – Main breaker, circuit breakers, bus bars, neutral bus bars, grounding bus bars
- Circuit Breakers – Single pole, double pole, GFCI, AFCI
- Types – Main breaker, main lug, sub-panel, transfer switches
- Amps – Varies by need, ranges from 100 to 200
Types of Breaker Panels
When looking at a breaker panel upgrade, there are different types to choose from, each of which meets a certain code requirement or application, depending on your area.
Main Breaker Panels
Main breaker panels have a built-in main breaker which can be used to shut off all power to your residence. A main breaker is a large double-pole circuit breaker that limits the amount of electricity coming in from outside to protect the circuits it feeds. It also identifies your breaker panel’s amperage capacity. Main breakers can be installed when the meter and feeder cable are within 10 ft. of the panel.
Main Lug Panels
Main lug panels do not have a main breaker. Instead the line wires run to lugs. This type of breaker panel requires a separate disconnect. The main breaker, which would function as the disconnect, may be located at the meter, or if the main lug panel is used as a sub-panel, it may be connected to the breaker at the main panel. In the event of a fire, the separate disconnect at a meter can be helpful to fire authorities, who don’t have to enter the building to cut power.
Sub-panels are separate breaker panels that can contain new circuits, allowing you to readjust energy distribution to better handle your typical usage patterns. Also known as service or circuit breaker sub-panels, they can be a good solution when a breaker panel doesn’t have enough slots to add new circuits. A sub-panel is also ideal for situations where multiple circuits are needed in a single separate area, like a workshop or greenhouse. Be aware, however, that sub-panels do not increase the amount of available power. If an increase in electricity is needed, contact Amps & Volts Electric for increased service.
If you are having problems with your electrical panel, or if you need a panel upgrade, contact Amps & Volts today. Our technicians have the training and experience, and your satisfaction is guaranteed.