Electrical Panel Clearwater – Why You Need an Electrical Panel Upgrade
Your electrical panel is the powerhouse of your home’s electricity. It distributes all of your home’s electricity to lights, appliances, and receptacles. It’s a hardwired and dangerous part of your home, so it should only be handled by a licensed electrician.
Florida homeowners should be aware that some older homes have panels manufactured by Sylvania that are prone to failure, creating a fire danger in the home.
Your electrical panel distributes all the electricity your home uses to light rooms, power appliances and keep your house at a comfortable temperature. If it becomes faulty or outdated, however, you’ll need professional help to have it replaced or upgraded.
Each of the two main wires that bring electricity into your home carry 120 volts, equaling 240 volts in total. The main breaker connects to these, and when it’s tripped, it disrupts the 240 volts before they reach the row of branch circuit breakers below it.
These individual switches disconnect the electricity if one of them fails in some way, such as if it’s overloaded with too much power from your appliances. If the breakers are tripping frequently, it may be time for an upgrade. The main breaker also acts as the kill-switch for your entire house’s electrical system, so it’s crucial to keep it in working order. It’s also the best place to install a GFCI or AFCI breaker for your safety.
If you have a fuse box, replacing it with a circuit breaker panel is an electrical upgrade that will give your home the capacity to run large appliances and devices without worrying about overloading. Older fuse boxes don’t handle as much amperage, so it is very easy for households to exceed their limit and cause an overload. Overloaded fuses overheat, and the fuse blows to shut off the power.
A blown fuse isn’t just annoying, it’s dangerous. It’s a sign that something went wrong, and a pro should be called in to find and fix the problem. An electrician can upgrade your fuse box to a modern one that uses circuit breakers. They can usually find the fuse box in closets, hallways, mudrooms, basements or attics, but it’s also common for them to be installed in garages or utility rooms. Regardless of where your fuse box is located, it should be accessible so that you can reach it quickly when it needs to be opened.
Circuit Breaker Switches
The circuit breakers in your electrical panel (also known as a load center, main service panel, breaker box, or switchboard) control electricity flow to different parts of your home. Each one is rated to hold a certain amount of current and is designed to trip (or blow) before the wires inside it heat up enough to cause a fire.
You’ll notice a row or two of these switches running across the top or bottom of your panel, with each being numbered and possibly having a label alongside it describing what part of your house it controls. Sitting atop both rows of these branch circuit breakers is the larger, main circuit breaker that controls all the other ones. It’s not intended to be used as a regular switch, since that would wear it out faster than the breakers are designed for. However, it can be turned off and on as needed to perform maintenance like testing or replacing a breaker.
Circuit Breaker Wiring
Your breaker panel is where the electricity that enters your house will be divided into the circuits that power your lights and receptacles. If your breakers are tripping frequently, it may mean that they’re not able to handle the load of all the appliances in your home and that you need an upgrade.
A breaker should have an amperage rating that matches the amperage of the wires that it will be connecting to. Electricians will make sure to match the correct breaker to each circuit. They will also check to see if the breakers are GFCI, AFCI or combination style breakers. These special breakers will have a coiled pigtail wire, while standard breakers will not.
When you are ready to install a new breaker, it is important to first turn off the power supply to the breaker box. Next, locate the Service Disconnect or main circuit breaker and make sure that it is in the “Off” position.Electrical Contractor