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.
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
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.