The electric panel in your home also goes by the name ‘load center’. You should already know where it is because you have probably had to reset a circuit breaker when the power goes out. Specifically, it is the metal electrical service box frequently located in the garage or utility room. Its purpose is to ‘accept’ the power that enters your home and then distribute the electric current to the various circuits.
The main breaker can power all the circuits on or off at one time. You can also see the amperage capacity of the electrical panel at the main breaker. Each individual circuit breaker protects your home’s electrical system by shutting down the power to that area of the home when it’s about to become overloaded. That prevents fires and damage to the electrical system. As homes have become more sophisticated and the need for electricity has increased, ‘sub-panels’ have been added to supply power to certain parts of the home as a supplement to the full electric panel.
This spring may be the time to upgrade your electric panel. It’s advisable to engage the services of a certified electrician to examine your current electric panel and home energy needs first. If your electric panel still uses fuses – you can be assured that an upgrade is needed.
Now, upgrading your electric panel may be part of a home makeover project. In that case, the entire electric system should be examined and assessed for changes that meet modern home electricity expectations. Things that must be taken into consideration as you review your electric needs include the line that enters the home from the street and its capacity for additional amperage. Options may include upgrading the current panel to a larger one – or adding a sub panel. However, if it appears that a new line is needed altogether then the electrician will need to your local electric company so that they can disconnect your home before replacement.
Contact J.M. Mullen Electrical Services for a professional assessment of your residential electric needs and upgrades.