As a homeowner or business owner, you might not know much about your electrical panel, except that it distributes electric power. Therefore, it might be surprising to know that there are types of electrical panels. These panels vary in terms of technologies and their application. The electrical panel in your home or place of business is chosen based on the amount of electricity you use and the size of your house. Your electrician will always have a good idea of what suits you best.
Here are the different types of electrical panels.
- Main Breaker Panel
This is often regarded as the mother of all panels and is the most commonly used panel. It controls the circuit breakers and electric power to all areas of a building. The main breaker panel is designed to protect your electrical wiring and appliances by preventing overheating.
A breaker consists of three wires connected to all the outlets. These are the hot wire, neutral wire, and ground wire. Electricity passes through the hot wire. The ground and neutral wires which are connected to the breaker terminal serve as a safety feature. This breaker terminal is further connected to the panel’s grounding system.
Main breaker panels can be classified based on amperage and the number of circuits they handle. Breaker panel amperage range from 60 amps to 400 amps. Most modern homes and buildings use 200 amp panels. You would find 60 amps to 100 amps panels in old homes.
- Fuse Boxes
These types of panels were popular around the 1970s. They comprise small fuses that short out whenever there is a sudden excess flow of current. Fuse boxes were designed to prevent circuit overloads. If you have a fuse box, it is advisable to upgrade the panel.
- Main Lug Panels
Main lug panels are a unique type of panel that does not have a main breaker. In the main lug panels, the line wires run into lugs. Hence, there is a separate disconnect that can be used to cut power in the case of an emergency. The main lug panel can sometimes be connected to a breaker at the main panel when it works as a sub panel.
- Sub Panels
Sub panels are your best bet when you need multiple circuits in a specific area of the home. They are powered by a main panel through a circuit and don’t have any disconnects. Sub panels help you to increase flexibility or control of your electrical system by allowing you to adjust how electricity is distributed in the house.
You may need a new panel for your home or an upgrade for the existing panel. It is great to stay informed on the options available, but remember that you will need an electrical expert to guide you and carry out the service. Choosing the wrong panel can lead to a dangerous and problematic electrical system. Avoid this by getting an expert opinion and services at Elcon Electric.