What Does a Home Electrical Panel Do?
A home electrical panel, which may be referred to as service panels, fuse boxes, fuse panels, or circuit breakers, are the source of all of our homes’ power. They connect the wires on the street to our homes’ electrical system. The electrical panel can provide 200 or more amps of power, and it splits that power into separate circuits throughout the house, making it one of the most important features of our homes!
What’s Inside an Electrical Panel?
It is important to be able to recognize all of the components of our electrical panels
- Outer panel door
- Protective cover
- Circuit breakers
- Open spaces for circuit breakers
- Wires that run from the circuit breakers to the house
Keep in mind that when the circuit breaker is closed, or when the outer door alone is open, it is generally safe to touch. However, when the protective cover is removed, it can be dangerous to work on yourself.
When you open your panel door, you gain access to the circuit breaker switches, but that’s all. To get inside the panel to install or replace a circuit breaker, you need to remove the protective cover around the main circuit breaker switches—the dead front cover. The dead front cover is typically held in place with a screw in each corner. Removing the cover provides access to all components of the panel. Some panels have a separate door and cover; others have a door and cover as parts of the same unit.
If you think there may be a problem with your panel, it is important to call an Electrical professional from Dean’s Home Services to avoid any accidents such as electrocution.
Where Can You Find Your Electrical Panel?
To keep your home safe, panels are generally located away from the main living areas. The most common places to find homes’ electric panels:
- the garage
- the pantry in the kitchen
- a closet
However, in some older Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN area homes, the electrical panel may be located on an outside wall of the home.
Do your home inspection, and hire a qualified electrician.
You’ve been reading a lot about home electrical panels. Now it’s time to learn how to do them! But first, you should hire an electrician to do the work for you.
You need to make sure that the electrician is licensed and gets a permit if required by your local municipality. Make sure that the home inspection report is complete and has not been tampered with before purchasing a home. It’s also important to make sure that all of the wirings in your home meet code requirements.
Can a Homeowner Replace Electrical Panel?
Generally, the answer to this question is no. Reading online tutorials and watching instructional videos will never replace the training a qualified electrician receives. Not only could working on an electrical panel ourselves result in severe injury, but you could also severely damage the electrical system of our homes, and end up with expensive and time-consuming repairs.
If you ever suspect an issue with our electrical panels, or you need electrical repairs, be sure to contact Dean’s Home Services Electrical professionals to have it done safely and correctly, the first time!