Information On Electrical Panels

Every home and business has one.  A mysterious gray box inset in a wall, usually in a basement, garage or laundry room, that controls the electricity flow.  The electrical panel that is contained within the puzzling gray box is a major electrical component that many of us will have to learn to operate to ensure the electricity in our homes and business’s stays operational.

The insides of the box are important to even those whom are unfamiliar with the world of electrical components.  When the panel is opened what you initially see is a single circuit breaker that is displayed as two columns.  Above these columns a large switch called the main switch can be seen.  The main switch controls the electrical current for the entire home while the smaller switches within the two columns are responsible for electricity in certain locations in the home or business.

Individual breakers control the electrical current to the outlets in your home.  Each one allows only a set amount of current to flow through that unparticular current at any one given time.  When a current that is larger than what the circuit can handle is pushed through the breaker will surge cutting off all power to the outlet.

A perfect example of this that is witnessed on a daily basis is within a teenage girl’s bathroom.  Picture an outlet loaded with a blow dryer, electric tooth brush, hair straighter and magnified mirror.  When all of these appliances try to pull power at the same time the circuit will become overloaded.  At this point the breaker will surge and power will no longer be received through the outlet.

To remedy the situation the electrical current needed will have to be downsized by unplugging the overloaded outlet.  Within a bathroom space the current is often exceeded.  In most residential settings outlets with built in circuit breakers will be installed.  This allows homeowners the convenience of resetting the breaker right there and then after the overload is stopped.  If a circuit in a bedroom or living room surges the homeowner will most likely need to locate the panel and switch the circuit breaker in question back on.  This process is fairly simple and a blown circuit is easily identifiable as the switch will be a different color than the switches that have not surged.

Circuit breakers are designed to surge as a safety feature against overloaded electrical outlets.  They protect your home and business against damage that can be caused when a flow of current is present that is not able to be handled by the circuit.  Without the protection of a circuit breaker problems that arise from an overabundance in electrical current, such as fires, could occur.  When the current level exceeds the breaker the breaker fails and the system is working as it needs to.

The main switch within the panel is to control the electrical current throughout the entire home.  Homeowners may find themselves tripping the switch in cases of flooding or other emergency weather situations.  Flipping the main switch cuts power to the entire house protecting appliances and heating and cooling systems from surges caused by lighting.  Large surges, all at one time, as seen in lighting strikes can cause damage beyond repair to large appliances and systems within the space.  It is better to cease all electrical current in these situations to avoid that possibility within your home or business by switching the main circuit breaker into the off position.

J&P Electrical is a full service electrical equipment company.  At J&P, we supply contractors, end users and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned and obsolete electrical equipment. Contact us today at https://jpelectricalcompany.com for all of your bus plug, circuit breaker, switchboard, fuses, disconnects and more.