Circuit Panel and Circuit Breaker Tips

We wanted to share some information today on circuit panels and breakers from Electrician Charlotte NC.

A circuit breaker is a switch that automatically interrupts electrical flow in a circuit in case of an overload or brief. Homes constructed or rewired since the mid-1960s use circuit breakers to keep track of the electrical power coming into the house. By noticing and replying to conditions where the typical load current is exceeded, called overcurrent, circuit breakers help protect your house and household from electric shock and fire. While installment or replacement of circuit breakers is most effectively left to certified professionals due to electrical code requirements and the threats of electric shock, comprehending the various kinds of circuit breakers can help you make the right option when you require brand-new circuit breakers for your house.

It is good to bear in mind that when constructing a brand-new house and setting up the electrical wiring, you can never have enough circuit breakers.

As our houses today become significantly fulled of home movie theater systems, multiple computer systems, fancier lighting systems, and various other new age kitchen home appliances, residential electrical power demand remains to rise. Gone are the days when 100 Amp circuit panel suffices.

This said, when conference with your electrical service provider request a minimum of a 200 Amp circuit panel with 40 locations for circuit breakers. You might not initially require all of the circuit breaker areas, however gradually you most likely will. For instance if you set up a pool or construct a home addition later you will need additional circuit breakers.

If you are unfamiliar with a circuit panel, it is where every one of the wires in your house get tied into and connected to circuit breakers. These circuit breakers are fed by one huge circuit breaker that connects your house to the neighborhood electric grid. Usually each circuit breaker is targeted towards a certain space within the house. Sometimes there might be multiple circuit breakers for a space.

Here are some tips from The Home Depot:

Load capacity — When adding a new circuit and new circuit breaker, determine the amp size of the circuit breaker you need to install, based on the total circuit load. Keep in mind that the safety rating for circuit breakers is 80% of the maximum load. So you can only safely operate appliances rated at a total of 12 amps on a 15-amp breaker or 16 amps on a 20-amp breaker. Most appliances have the amp rating listed on them. Permanently installed large appliances, such as A/C units, washing machines and ovens, require their own dedicated circuit. Consult an electrician if you are unsure of your total circuit load.

Compatibility — Always install the correct brand of breakers in your breaker panel. While some breakers are interchangeable, many are not, even if they look the same. Replacing one brand of breaker with another can be dangerous, may void your breaker or panel warranty and may cause you to fail an electrical inspection. Look on your breaker panel door for information about which breakers are compatible with your panel. Breakers continue to be manufactured for most panels, including older models.
Limitations – Circuit breakers are designed to protect home and building wiring, not appliances. They generally will not trip if a short or fire occurs in an appliance, or if an appliance or fixture overheats.
Standard breakers do not protect against surges, such as from lightning, which can damage electronics.  (read more…)

There are nationwide, state and local residential electrical wiring codes that specify the optimal lot of outlets, switches and devices that can be on a circuit breaker. Also, circuit breakers can be found in different forms and sizes with various present score abilities. The electrical codes additionally point out the current capacity of the circuit breaker for specific spaces. They also specify the types of spaces that need ground fault interrupt circuit breakers. For instance, usually kitchens and bathrooms will need 20amp ground fault circuit breakers due to the number of appliances that are used in these rooms and the greater danger of electrical shock. Ground fault interrupt circuit breakers are created to journey in case an electrical appliance comes in contact with water, hence potentially conserving your life.

Electrician Charlotte NC hopes this information will be useful during any remodel or new construction you may be thinking of performing!  Check out our residential electrical safety tips too.

Electrician Charlotte NC