Home Electrical Panels

A Guide to Home Electrical Panels

Wondering about an electrical panel for your home?

Many people come to us asking about guidance for electrical panels. We thought we would compile a handy resource for our clients considering whether servicing or installing a new electrical panel is a good move for them.

What is an electrical panel?

An electrical panel (also known as a breaker panel or breaker box, or subpanel) controls the flow of electricity through your home. The electrical panel has a series of switches called “breakers”, which can be switched on or off to control the flow of electricity to various parts of your home, or to your home in its entirety. These switches will also automatically turn off in the event that too much electrical current runs through them.

Home electrical panels installation and service in Farmington Hills

How does a breaker box work?

Your electrical panel’s breakers are switches that, when turned on, allow the flow of electricity through the circuit. There are two types of breakers that you’ll find. With an electromagnetic breaker, when an unsafe level of current passes through the circuit, the electromagnet produces a force strong enough to throw the switch into the “off” position. Alternatively, your electrical panel may consist of metallic strips connected to switches. With this type of breaker, when excessive current flows through the circuit, the strip will bend, causing the switch to be moved to the “off” position.

What is the difference between a breaker box and a fuse box?

A breaker box is a set of switches which, when too much current is passing through a past of the circuits in your home, will automatically be turned off to prevent electrical fires. A fuse box serves a similar safety function, but it uses fuses instead. When excess current causes a fuse to break, the fuse must be replaced. Fuse boxes are an old technology, and it is recommended to upgrade to a breaker box if your home has a fuse box. Breaker boxes typically allow for greater electrical capacity.

Why do the breakers on my electrical panel keep tripping?

If you often find that your circuit breakers are tripping, you may first want to try removing some devices from the circuit or circuits which keep getting tripped. If this does not solve the problem, it may be time to upgrade your breaker box.

How do I know when I should upgrade or replace my breaker box?

If you are frequently tripping your breakers, or regularly experiencing lights dimming or flickering, it may be time to replace your electrical panel. Additionally, if you notice that your breaker box is getting warm, is making a buzzing sound, or producing an odor, it is vital to replace your breaker box. Replacing your breaker box in this case reduces the likelihood of an electrical fire. You should also upgrade to a breaker box if your home still uses a fuse box.

Get Peace of Mind at Home

Whether you need your home’s wiring inspected, or are ready to replace or install an electrical panel, we’re here to help — request service with AMS today!

How much does it cost to install or replace an electrical panel?

The cost to install or replace an electrical panel can typically vary depending on a variety of factors, such as the size of your home, the panel size and service amperage, and any additional electrical components or subpanels that may need servicing. Having an experienced electrician from AMS can save time, money, and worry from the process. Request service today and we can quickly get you back to feeling safe at home.