Your electrical panel, or circuit breaker, is the hub of your electric system in your home or property. It controls the flow and distribution of electricity to each room or major appliance in your home. Your circuit breaker is also the link between your home and your electric provider. Get to know your electric service panel so you can be a well-informed homeowner.
Circuit Breaker 101
In many homes, the electrical panel box is located in the basement. Sometimes they can also be found in utility closets, in the garage, near the washing machine, or hallways. It’s important to know exactly where your circuit breaker is in case you need to find it in an emergency such as a flood or other disaster.
Next, inspect your circuit breaker and read each of the labels—if there are any labels at all! There should be a main switch, which is basically an on and off switch for the entire power to your house. Then, you should see smaller sub switches arranged by room, area, and appliance. For example, some switches are solely for an appliance like your oven/stove or your washing machine and dryer. If you don’t have labels on your electrical panel box, you can use some simple deduction to find what they control. If you’re unsure, consult with your electrician for more information on your electrical panel.
Let’s say you had a circuit flip and you need to reset. Find the switch—whether it’s the main switch or a sub-switch—and turn it completely off, then turn it back on again. Wait a few moments to see if the switch stays on. If the power goes off or the switch turns off, you need to call in an electrician.
Electrical Panel Maintenance
While we do not recommend doing any electrical repairs to your circuit box on your own, we do recommend that you periodically take a look at your unit. There could be a potential hazard looming. There are some signs to look out for when it comes to your electrical panel.
Common electrical panel issues include:
- Flickering lights throughout your home
- Appliances not working properly due to low power
- Crackling noises coming from the unit
- Humming noises at the panel
- Frequent circuit breaks
Most residential electrical panels are 100 or 200 amps. If you’re in an older home with an outdated or an inadequately-powered circuit breaker, it’s time for an upgrade.
Circuit Breaker Repair, Installation, and Replacement
Are you more familiar with your circuit breaker than you’d like to be? It’s important to know your way around your electric panel but if you find yourself constantly resetting circuits, it’s time to call in a professional. Contact Mister Sparky electricians for prompt service in South Jersey.