What is an Electrical Panel?
An electrical panel is essential to any home’s electrical wiring system. An electrical panel can go by many names, like a fuse box, breaker box, fuse panel, and more. It serves as the main breaker box for all the circuits in your home, controlling the flow of electricity. In addition, the panel helps to ensure safety by protecting against overload & short circuits. Knowing what an electrical panel is and how it works can help you determine if it is causing any electrical issues in your home or business. First, you need to know where your panel is located. It also helps to know when it’s time to call a qualified electrician near you in the Minneapolis Metro.
An electrical panel or breaker panel is usually a grey metal box with a door. The panel is generally concealed within a wall in a remote area of your house or business, like a basement corner, a garage, a laundry room, or a back kitchen. All your breaker switches are located inside the box.
How Does An Electrical Panel Work?
An electrical panel controls the flow of electricity throughout your home. Circuit breakers are the many switches you can see when you open the breaker box. Breaker switches can turn on and off. Their purpose is to protect the circuit by shutting off power when an electrical surge is identified. The most common type of circuit breaker is also called a single pole.
Single pole circuit breakers are used for 120-volt circuits, ranging from 15 to 20 amps. They are designed with a single hot wire and one neutral wire. For 240-volt circuits, double pole breakers are used to carry 20 to 60 amps, and they include two hot wires.
The main circuit breaker in the electrical panel regulates the electricity to your home. Then each additional breaker is in charge of supplying electricity to a different area of your house. So it’s best to label these to know which section(s) of the house each breaker controls. You can do this using tape or making labels directly on your panel.
What If I Have a Fuse Box?
In some older homes, fuses are there in place of circuit breakers. If you have a fuse box, you won’t see any switches on your electrical panel; you’ll see screw-in fuses. A fuse cannot be reused if it is blown or burnt out. If you choose to replace a fuse yourself, make sure you are confident that you can do it and that the fuse is the correct type and amperage rating.
Fuse boxes serve the same purpose as circuit breakers. That is to prevent overloads and protect the electrical circuits. While both protect your home from surges, interrupting the electricity flow, how they work is different. In general, many fuse boxes supply 60-amp service, which was standard in the 1960s. Today, in 2023, many modern homes and businesses require a 200-amp service.
It is advisable to replace the fuses regularly, as it can be dangerous if they become faulty. If you find that certain appliances cannot be run simultaneously, this may be a warning sign of an overload. If the fuse box is hissing or popping, or any area around your electrical outlets and switches feel warm, there could be a wiring or fusebox issue. A professional should check any of these issues as soon as possible. It may be time to upgrade your service and panel.
Signs That You Need To Fix Your Electrical Panel
Electrical panels are the heart of your home’s electrical system. Finding the panel issue and knowing where to start may take a lot of work. Here are some signs that your electrical panel needs repair or replacement:
- Your breakers keep tripping or fuses blowing
- Higher utility bills without a new appliance or significant change
- Your lights are flickering or dimming often
- You see corrosion or rust on your circuits
- You smell burning
- Appliances are overheating
- You hear popping or sizzling sounds coming from the panel
Call a professional electrician if you notice an issue with your electrical panel. A quick call can have someone repair the problem and ensure your family is safe from harm.
Can I Fix My Electrical Panel As A Homeowner?
You can fix your electrical panel if you are a licensed electrical professional with years of experience. Changing a circuit breaker may seem relatively easy if you look at it from a basic level and are a seasoned DIYer. But we know electrical work on a panel can be intimidating and dangerous. The main circuit breaker panel contains electrical wiring, and working on it yourself carries the risk of fatal shock. It can be trickier than a simple tripped circuit breaker or a light fixture or outlet change. We’re not telling you that you can’t do it. But we’d feel much better if you called a professional.
Hire a Professional Electrician In The Twin Cities to Troubleshoot your Electrical Panel
Electrical issues can be daunting, especially when you need help figuring out what to do. But, a professional electrician in your area can easily check for electrical problems. They can also quickly offer a solution to get the lights back on!
When you need to hire a professional electrician in Minneapolis, it is vital that they are certified and licensed. Accredited Electrical Solutions of the Twin Cities area has many qualified and experienced Minnesota electricians knowledgeable about the latest electrical codes and regulations, so you can rest assured that your repair job will be done right the first time. They have seen it all, from simple repairs to complex wiring projects. So if you’re looking for a reliable and trustworthy licensed electrician in Minneapolis, hire us today!