Are you a Crofton, Maryland, homeowner? If so, this information can help. While it’s always best to trust a professional electrician when in doubt, simply understanding your electrical panel can help you gain a better understanding of how your home electrical system works. You can then know what not to do, and how to protect your home and family from electrical outages or errors. Additionally, you are better able to understand when you need to call a professional. If you want to learn more about your home electrical panel, read on.
What is an Electrical Panel?
An electrical panel or electric service panel is the connection between external wires coming from the street and internal wires of the home’s electrical system. An electric service panel is the central distribution hub that connects the service wire to the exit wires. Check out our recent blog outlining the best locations for your home electrical panel.
Five Types of Electrical Panels
Understanding the electrical panel means that you know the different types (and how they function), which include the following:
- Main breaker: Controls the electricity that reaches the different rooms in your Crofton home. You can use the main breaker panel to cut off the power in your house, including the circuit breaker.
- Fuse boxes: Fuse boxes prevent a circuit overload, consisting of tiny fuses that can fit in an electrical panel. The fuse will have a short when there is an excess current flow.
- Main lug: Main lug panels don’t have a main breaker. Instead, the line wires run into an electrical connector called a lug. You can connect a main lug panel to the breaker to a central board where the lug panels operate as a sub-panel.
- Sub-Panel: Does your Crofton home have multiple circuits in the same area? If so, the sub-panel gets power from the main electrical board through a circuit. There aren’t any dedicated disconnects, and you can adjust the current distribution throughout the home.
- Transfer Switches: These are best for backup power generator circuits. Transfer switches transfer the generator power to the electrical power through the panel through manual or automatic transfer switches. In other words, some generators power automatically, or you’ll have to turn on/off their power manually.
How Do I Stay Safe While Using My Electric Service Panel?
When the panel’s outer door is closed, you can touch your panel under normal conditions. Refrain from working on an open electrical service panel when the door or protective front cover isn’t there. A shock from a service lug could be fatal. Therefore, you should avoid touching the wires that join the panel from the top of the box.
Another way to stay safe is to understand that you shouldn’t shut off the main panel’s circuit switch and remove the protective cover. The main breaker cuts the power off to the home branch’s circuits. However, it won’t turn off the power flowing into the utility service line panel.
Besides being cautious about what service panel areas you touch, you should also be careful about handling tools. Tools can touch the service wires and transmit a shock to you.
How Often Should I Inspect the Service Panel?
An annual inspection should happen, ensuring that the breakers keep you safe. It’s also best to have loose connections, heating within the panel, and signs of a panel aging inspected. Checking panels for fire hazards is essential as well.
If this information about understanding the electrical panel seems complicated or dangerous, it’s best to hire a professional electrician to examine or upgrade your electrical panel. You never have to compromise electrical safety by calling Professional Electric Inc. today.
Need a Reliable and Experienced Electrician in Crofton? Call Professional Electric Inc.
Our family-owned and operated business has earned the trust of the Crofton community since 1990. Our team of friendly and expert electricians is licensed, bonded, and insured. From electric panel upgrades to lighting installations, and all other electrical services and repairs in between, you can count on Professional Electric to get it done safely and skillfully. Further, our dedicated electricians are standing by 24/7 for your emergency electrical situations. We proudly serve customers in Annapolis, Severna Park, Crofton, Gambrills, Odenton, Bowie, Stevensville, Mitchellville, Millersville, Cape St Claire, the surrounding Southern Maryland area, and beyond. To find out more information on our wide range of electrical services, or to get a free estimate from our master electricians, contact us at our website or call 410‐451‐8085, 301‐390‐7620, or 443‐871‐1492. For more ways to stay connected, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.