Everything You Should Know About Electric Panels: Types, Capacities, and Maintenance
Are you wondering which electric panel will be good for your home? Electric panels for homes provide a convenient way to manage electricity throughout your home.
A domestic electric panel is an integral part of your property’s electrical distribution system and can be installed in various configurations, depending on the size of your property.
In this blog, we will explore what you should know about domestic electric panels and how they operate. So, let’s dive in!
What is an Electric Panel?
An electric panel is the core of your home’s electrical system, which has circuit breakers or fuses that can protect your home from electrical hazards.
If you want to upgrade or replace the electrical panel of your home, you need to understand the entire electrical system of your home.
It is very important to know how your electric panel works to prevent hazards from occurring. So, let’s look at how electric panels for homes work.
How Does it Work?
An electric panel is the main distribution point for electrical circuits in your home. It receives power from your local utility grid and distributes it throughout your home.
Electric panels for homes comprise the main breaker panel that houses the main switch controlling all the circuits.
So, if there is an electrical problem, you can use the main switch to manually shut off all the power in your home and prevent further damage.
What are the Types of Electric Panels for Homes?
There are four main types of electric panels that play an integral role in the home’s power distribution system.
However, your home may not require installing all of these electric panels. Though, you may need multiple electric panels, depending on the home’s power requirements.
Let us go through the four types of electric panels for home power distribution:
#1. Main Breaker Panel
The main breaker panel is the central component of a home’s electrical system and has two primary roles.
- It distributes the electricity from the utility company to your home’s circuits.
- It protects your home’s wiring from overload by turning off the power to the circuits when too much current flows through them.
#2. Main Lug Panel
The main lug panels resemble the main breaker panels. However, the key difference is that the main lug panels do not contain main breakers.
Therefore, they can only distribute power to your home’s electrical system. If your home has the main lug panel, you can separately install a main breaker for electric safety.
You may have noticed a small panel beside your main electrical panel. This small panel is called a sub-panel. It is typically used to provide power to specific appliances.
Sub-panels depend on the main electrical panel as they distribute power from the main panel to the various circuits in the home.
#4. Fuse Box
You may have already heard of a fuse box. Most electric panels for homes in India have a fuse box that regulates the current flow. Its role is to prevent circuit overload by short-circuiting when it detects an excessive current flow.
What are the Different Capacities of Electric Panels for Homes?
Electric panels for homes can be classified according to their capacity. Based on capacity, the three main types of electric panels are —
- – 100, 125, or 150-Amps: Electric panels of these capacities are considered a better replacement for old 60 or 80-Amps. However, they are still rarely used due to their incompatibility with AFCI breakers which can detect unsafe electric arcs.
- – 200-Amps panels: 200-Amps electric panels are the standard type that is the minimum requirement for most modern homes. Therefore, most homes in India have a 200-Amps panel.
- – 400-Amps panels: 400-Amps electric panels are mostly necessary for bigger homes with high electrical requirements. Therefore, they are fairly uncommon for domestic use.
How to Choose the Correct Electric Panels for Home?
When choosing electric panels, you must consider your household’s energy requirements. To allow your electrical system to run efficiently and safely, you must select an electric panel with sufficient amperage.
Choosing electric panels with a lower amperage than the household requirement can damage the electrical system and devices.
How to Maintain Electric Panels for Home?
The average lifespan of electric panels is 25-40 years. However, checking on your electric panels periodically is important to ensure their smooth operation. Some other ways you can maintain the electric panels of your home are —
- – Check on your electric panels to see if they emit a burning smell. If your electric panels emit a smell, consider getting them replaced.
- – Check on your electric panels’ capacity before installing big appliances. If your electric panels’ capacity is insufficient, make sure to upgrade them with a higher capacity panel.
- – Electric panels may use a fuse or a circuit breaker for electrical safety. However, fuse-based electrical panels tend to be more complicated to maintain. The fuse of these electrical panels must be replaced with the correct fuse size.
On the other hand, electrical panels with a circuit breaker do not require a replacement when it trips. Therefore, consider replacing fuse-based panels with circuit breaker panels for easier maintenance.
- – If your electrical panels show signs of rusting, immediately replace them and check for water leakage.
- – Most electrical panels work silently; therefore, if your electric panels are making unusually loud noises, get them checked by a technician.
Electric panels for homes are an important part of the electrical system. They provide power to all the electrical circuits in your home. These panels need to be properly maintained for better efficiency.
Therefore, you must have a basic understanding of your home’s electrical panel. You must ensure that your electric panel is always up to the task with sufficient knowledge.
Q. What is the best way to manage electricity in my home?
Electric panels for homes are the best way to manage electricity in your home. They provide a convenient way to distribute electricity throughout your home and ensure that all of your electrical needs are met.
In addition, electrical panels can provide safety to prevent electrical hazards.
Q. What are the benefits of having an electric panel in my home?
Electric panels help to distribute electricity evenly throughout your home and can protect your electrical circuits during a power surge.
In addition, an electric panel can help you to save money on your energy bills and make your home more efficient and safer.
Q. How can I maintain the electric panel for the home?
Conducting period checks on your electric panels can help to maintain them. In case of signs like rusting, overheating, or frequent light fluctuations, contact a technician to replace faulty parts.