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Electrical Panels: A How-To Guide

Electrician

It’s safe to say that most people find electrical panels intimidating, and this is understandable. The average, everyday person doesn’t know how to tinker with electrical panels because the only time people really think about them is when there is a power outage or some sort of random electrical problem. Mister Sparky recognizes this feeling of intimidation most people share towards electrical panels, which is why we’ve put together an electrical panel how-to guide on today’s blog. Two of Mister Sparky’s main priorities are educating our customers and keeping them safe! So let’s get to it.

1. HOW TO FIND ELECTRICAL PANELS IN THE HOME

If you know very little about electrical panels, you should at least know where to locate them in case you need to reset a breaker or direct a Mister Sparky electrician to them. Normally, panels are located in laundry rooms, basements, closets, utility rooms or garages, but there are always exceptions. Sometimes the electrical panel is located outdoors.

2. HOW TO LABEL ELECTRICAL PANEL SWITCHES

Make sure you label your panel switches if the previous homeowner has not already done so. Having correctly labeled panel switches is just a matter of convenience. There is nothing more frustrating than not knowing which switches control certain areas of the home. To keep this from happening, take note of the following steps.

First, turn off all the circuits, but one. Then take a stroll through your home to look for working lights, appliances or outlets. Once you get an idea of what’s working and what’s not in certain rooms, go back to the panel to label the switch. Repeat until all the switches are labeled and you’re finished!

3. HOW TO RESET A CIRCUIT BREAKER THAT’S BEEN TRIPPED

A circuit breaker trips when there is more electricity flowing through it than can be handled, but the good news is you can reset it. All you have to do is open the panel and look for the circuit sticking out of line compared to the rest of them. Then flip the breaker to the off position and then back on again. At this point, the power coming from this circuit should be back. In the event that a particular circuit consistently trips, there may be too many appliances utilizing the circuit, so either distribute those appliances more evenly or get an electrical panel upgrade.