Choosing Electrical Panels


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Learn about the different types of electrical panels and how each affects your home. Then, brush up on the parts of an electrical panel.

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Choosing Electrical Panels

  1. 1. By B.K. Electric Services
  2. 2. • Before circuit breakers, we had fuses. • Fuses are single-use devices that interrupt a current • If a current grows too large, the metal in the fuse melts and the circuit is left unharmed. • Fuses consist of thin wire encased in heatresistant glass. • Fuses are like bridges that let electricity flow through it. • Fuses burn out if too much electricity flows through.
  3. 3. Pictured: A fuse at work with an electricity shark
  4. 4. • But fuses need to be replaced every time one burns out. • Since fuses are cheap, they continue to be used in the systems of cars and other vehicles on both land and sea. • However, electrical panels use more advance components, such as switches, relays, and circuit breakers.
  5. 5. • Circuit breakers are like the reusable versions of fuses and work in much the same way. • Circuit breakers are part of a larger structure called the electrical panel and prevent fires by creating gaps in the circuit. • But how do electrical fires begin anyway?
  6. 6. • Well, each circuit is composed of a hot wire and a neutral, or ground, wire. • The hot wire is connected to the power source. Leave this wire alone or you’ll find yourself in the hospital or morgue. • The ground is connected to the, you guessed it, ground underneath a home. • These two wires never touch so the current passes through a load, or resistor. • In the US, power is delivered at 120-240 volts, but current resistance varies from home to home. • Occasionally, something random and unfortunate happens which causes the hot wire to touch the neutral. • This causes a tsunami surge of electricity, leading to a fire.
  7. 7. • Single Pole – 120 volts with a rating of 15-20 amps. The most common. • Double Pole – 240 volts with a rating of 15-50 amps. Often serve large appliances, ovens, etc. • Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) – protects circuits and multiple outlets. Used in rooms with high risks of electricution. • Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter – designed to turn off power when electricity arcs are detected.
  8. 8. • All circuit breakers feed into a central circuit breaker panel, otherwise known as the electrical panel. • Electrical panels are found in basements or side closets. When a circuit breaker does its job, it can be reset here. • Circuit breakers are stacked and controlled by little levers marked “On” or “Off”. • Most breaker panels feature a neutral bus and grounding bar and is sealed off by a metallic panel giving access to the circuit breakers without letting loose any wires.
  9. 9. Source: Source: Source:
  10. 10. • Main breaker – usually a large double-pole circuit breaker limiting outside electricity. • Circuit breakers – stacked like building blocks in rows of 2 • Bus bars – feeds home circuits with power from electrical meter. • Neutral bus – connects to main circuit’s neutral wire. • Grounding bus bar – unites all ground wires and is connected to grounding connector.
  11. 11. • Main breaker panel – installed meter and feeder cable are within range of the panel • Main lug panel – runs wires to lugs and can be used as a sub-panel. • Sub-panel – separate breaker panel for new circuits separate from pre-installed circuits.
  12. 12. • For more information, – Visit us at – Call us at 310-430-2300