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The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Your Electrical Panel

The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Your Electrical Panel

An electrical panel can be found in almost every home. The electrical panel in your home is typically built into the wall in a not-too-obvious area. Fuse boxes are used instead of electric panels in older dwellings, which has drawbacks. When moving into a new home, the quality of your electrical panel should be at the top of your checklist for security reasons. Follow along as we go through everything you need to know about your electrical panel.

Is it Important to Know How My Electrical Panel Works?

Understanding your electrical panel is vital since it may help secure your gadgets. Because an electrical panel determines the quantity of energy that travels through your home, so circuit breakers that automatically shut off when the current is too high or low help protect your equipment. Your electrical panel can also be used to turn off electricity in select locations, depending on your residence. This is especially useful if you're having problems with your house.

How Electrical Panels Work

There's no doubting that an electrical panel serves as the "brain" of your home's electrical system. The electrical panel is often a metal box with circuit breakers that regulate the voltage of current entering your home from external power sources. When the current exceeds the breaker's capacity, the breaker shuts off to protect the appliance linked to the current.

Do Electrical Panels Have Different Names?

Different names are given to electrical panels. For example, some people call them fuse boxes or breaker panels. Circuit boxes, junction boxes, circuit panels, and even service panels are other names.

Different Components of an Electrical Panel

An electrical panel is made up of different essential components such as:

  1. The main circuit breaker is a component that connects the electrical panel to external power sources.

  2. Surge arresters: Surge arresters serve to mitigate the effects of lightning strikes and low current.

  3. Terminal blocks: This component distributes power to various devices.

  4. Transformer: This part helps reduce the effects of high currents.

  5. Programmable logic controller: Similar to a computer's central processing unit, this component is similar to an electrical panel's central processing unit.

  6. Relays and contractors: These components turn on or off devices in response to the Programmable Logic Controller signals.

  7. Disconnector: This component turns off the power to allow safe repair work. It's also quite handy in an emergency.

Signs Your Electrical Panel Needs To Be Replaced

There are a lot of aspects that go into determining how long an electrical panel will endure. Corrosion, loose parts, antiquated parts, and substandard material all play a role. On the other hand, electrical panels can have a lifespan of up to 20 or 30 years. The following are some indicators that your electrical panel needs to be replaced:

  1. Burning smell: A burning smell coming from your electrical panel is a signal to take action. There is no smoke without fire, as the saying goes. A burning odor can only signify one thing: something is on fire. Take quick action by turning off the power and contacting an electrician. This could help prevent a fire from spreading and causing property damage.

  2. Constantly tripping breakers: If your electrical panel's breaker keeps tripping, it's a clear sign that it's overloaded. You'll need to repair your electrical panel to fix the problem and keep using the devices connected to it.

  3. Corrosion: If your electrical panel is corroded or rusted, it must be replaced. Continuing to utilize a rusty electrical panel could spell disaster for your appliances, as corrosion renders your electrical panel's circuit breakers insensitive to over-current. A home with an over-current will harm all electrical appliances and may even burn cable, resulting in a fire.

An electrical panel is, without a doubt, the heart of any working home. As a result, it's critical to keep your electrical panel in good working order and replace it if you observe signs of corrosion or smell burning. One of the seven electrical changes you should consider when moving into your new house is replacing your electric panel.

PowerX provides fully automated smart home monitoring solutions using the energy-efficient LoRa connectivity standard. Our system helps you monitor and optimize energy consumption and proactively avoid disasters like major leaks. Get in touch today to find out more.

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