HOW TO CHOOSE A NEW ELECTRICAL BREAKER PANEL FOR YOUR HOME
The electrical breaker panel is a large metal box attached to the outside of your home near your electric utility meter. It acts as the main component for the flow of electricity supplied to your home from the utility company, and every home with utility-supplied electricity has some form of one.
HOW IT WORKS:
As the electricity is fed to your house from the utility company, it passes through the meter, through the supply system, then through your breaker box. As the electric lines enter the box, they are then broken into subsidiary circuits that are connected to fuses. The fuses help to protect your home from overloads.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT BREAKER PANEL:
Not all breaker panels are created equal. Depending on the size of your home, the amount of electricity you need per room, the number of large appliances you will be running, and any additions you may add on in the future, picking the right replacement is important.
Amperage – Determine the amperage capacity of your home. Consider this: A home with 200-amp (ampere) capacity can run multiple large appliances at the same time with no problem; whereas 100 amps or less would just barely enable you to run a hot water heater, a stove, and a hair dryer at once. Most homes these days are built with a 125-amp minimum, depending on square footage and other factors.
Breakers – You will need to know how many circuit breakers you will require in your new panel. Base it simply on your needs. Keep in mind that a circuit breaker is designed to bear only 80% of its rated capacity (ex. A 20-amp breaker is rated to bear a 16-amp load before kicking); this is a standard safety feature to prevent potential overloads. Locate the loads for each device/appliance (usually somewhere on the device itself or in the manual), and if amps are not stated,
When Should I Upgrade My Electrical Panel?
Do your circuit breakers trip frequently? Do you often find that your lamps or overhead lights are flickering? If you notice your electrical system doesn’t seem to be functioning as you would expect, the problem may lie in your electrical panel.
Calgary houses over 30 years old tend to be equipped with an electrical service of 60 to 100 amps. That is simply not enough for the demands of a modern home. By comparison, recently-built residences will usually provide a 200 amp service.
How Long Does An Electrical Panel Last?
The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) estimates an electrical panel’s life expectancy at 60 years. However, if your service panel has been exposed to harsh conditions such as extreme humidity, its useful life could be shortened considerably.
Fixing Flickering Or Dimming Lights
Those flickering, dimming lights that make you feel you’re living in a 70s-style disco are trying to tell you something – namely, your breaker panel (or fuse box, if you have a really old electrical system) is overloaded.
Appliances With High Electrical Demands
Now about those energy hogs: You’ll be surprised to discover they are not your electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, or even LED TVs… which actually draw a very modest amount of electricity.
How to Choose a Breaker Panel
If you’re building a home or the time has come to replace your current breaker panel, you have some important decisions to make. The new breaker panel should be more than capable of handling your current electrical needs, with some room to grow. You never know what inventions will come into our lives or if you’ll someday change from a gas-powered appliance to electric.
The first two we need to answer when choosing a breaker panel:
How much power? A panel is sized by the amperage it can handle.
How many circuits? The size, layout, and types of major appliances determine how many different circuits are required (plus some empty circuit slots left for future use).
Then we need to ask ourselves what type of breaker panel is needed:
A standard main breaker panel, with a main breaker for disconnect
A sub-panel which is in addition to a main breaker elsewhere on the property
A lug panel which is essentially a main breaker panel without a disconnect; the disconnect is at the meter instead
A transfer switch to go back and forth between the utility service and a standby generator
Electrical Service Amperage: 100, 125, 150, or 200 Amps?
Amperage simply indicates the maximum capacity of your electrical service. If you want to increase the amperage, the local utility needs to upgrade the service. Replacing the breaker panel alone will not increase the available power.
How Many Circuits on the Breaker Panel?
Most circuits provide power to one room’s outlets, switches, and overhead lights. Large rooms or rooms with lots of electronic devices may need two circuits. Major appliances run on 220/240-volt circuits so they need their own lines.
Sub-Panels, Lug Panels, and Transfer Switches
Need to add a breaker panel for a guesthouse or other detached space? A sub-panel adds a new control panel and series of circuits without actually increasing the amount of power available (unless you also upgrade service at the meter).
ELECTRICAL PANEL: UPGRADE, INSTALLATION AND REPLACEMENT
The electrical panel or circuit breaker panel is a major important component of your home’s electrical system. It constantly distributes electricity throughout your home. The electrical panel also protects your home from power surges and other possible hazards. Therefore, it’s important to keep your electrical panel maintained regularly by a licensed, bonded and highly skilled electrician, such as Fornoff Electric Inc.
DO YOU HAVE AN OUTDATED ELECTRICAL PANEL?
If you suspect that you may have an outdated electrical panel or shorted breaker panel in your home, contact Fornoff Electric Inc. today. We will conduct a courtesy inspection of your entire electrical system – no cost, no obligation. Afterall, you owe it to yourself and your family’s safety.
ARE YOU HAVING OTHER PROBLEMS WITH YOUR ELECTRICAL PANEL?
Having problems with your electrical panel? Are your breakers tripping? Perhaps you need a dedicated circuit for a Jacuzzi or adding a solar system to your home? You’ve come the right place, because we’re experts our field. Also, we will ensure our electrical panel work will pass inspection the first time! Choose Fornoff Electric Inc. for your electrical panel upgrade, repairs or installation work.
WHY CHOOSE FORNOFF ELECTRIC INC.?
We are licensed and bonded electricians. (CA LICENSE #650958)
Fornoff Electric Inc. has been providing electrical services to the Conejo Valley and surrounding areas since 1968.
Our electricians will assist you promptly and will ensure you’re completely satisfied.
We are experienced and skilled electricians and it shows in our work.
We offer professional, dependable and courteous service.
What is an Electrical Panel?
A distribution board (also known as panelboard or breaker panel) is a component of an electricity supply system which divides an electrical power feed into subsidiary circuits, while providing a protective fuse or circuit breaker for each circuit, in a common enclosure.
Electrical Panel Upgrades
The electrical panels and fuseboxes, sometimes called a breaker box or electrical service panel, is the main hub through which electricity flows into your home or office. It’s the first stop electricity makes from the outside power distribution grid into your home or business. If you envision electricity as the nerve impulses that drive the functioning of the various electrical appliances that help your household run smoothly, then your electric service panel is your home’s brain.
Electrical panels require work that should be completed by a licensed electrical contractor. Penna Electric’s qualified electricians can do the job more efficiently and safely than anyone who is not certified and qualified to do the job. Local licensed electricians have the experience and skill to get the electrical panel or fuse box installation done correctly the first time. They also know how to coordinate with local building authorities and power company regulations. Do-it-yourself electrical projects can lead to badly designed systems and faulty wiring that cause dangerously high current loads and quite possibly extensive damage or death.
Should I Have My Electrical Service Panel Upgraded?
You should get an electrical service panel upgrade if your current one is more than 20 years old, especially if you have replaced older appliances with new appliances. Newer appliances have different electrical needs. Older panels often do not meet updated safety standards for UL-approved electrical codes, increasing the risk of electrocution and fires. Additionally, constant shortages can damage sensitive electronics like computers, HDTVs and entertainment systems in your home.
When Do I Need An Electrical Panel Upgrade?
The electrical panel or circuit breaker panel is a major important component of your home’s electrical system. It constantly distributes electricity throughout your home. The electrical panel also protects your home from power surges and other possible hazards. Therefore, it’s important to keep your electrical panel maintained regularly by a licensed, bonded and highly skilled electrician
How Much Does an Electrical Panel Upgrades Cost?
Costs for upgrading to electrical panels vary according to the type, size and installation method used to install the panel. It will typically cost more to install an electric service panel in a larger home because larger structures demand higher amp usage than smaller ones. Removal of old electrical panels can cause minor stucco work which, in most cases, would be handled in house. The amount of circuits have increased through the years due to all the high amp usage devices and appliances we use in today’s modern home.