Electrical Main Panel That You Really Need To Know

Posted on: August 29, 2016
By: Alan O'Neill
Posted in: Electrician

Why Houston Homeowners Need A Main Panel ?

An electrical system needs a main panel to break up the power supply of 100 amps or larger down to branch circuits. Branch circuit requirements start at 15 amps and can go as large as required by the specific item and voltage.

This Video shows more info about main breakers.

What is a Main Breaker?

Your electrical panel is full of circuit breakers, running from top to bottom of the service panel. The odd numbered breakers are located on the left and the even numbered circuit breakers are on the right. Atop the many circuit breakers is a larger circuit breaker that is used to turn the entire circuit breaker panel on or off. It is known as the main breaker. It plays probably the most important function in the whole circuit breaker panel. It is a means of disconnect for the entire panel. But you may ask what makes it different from the rest of the circuit breakers within the panel.

Once electricity is carried beyond your meter, it is distributed to lights, receptacles, and appliances throughout the house by several different electrical circuits. Here we look at the load centers—the distribution center or main panel and smaller subpanels used to hook up and control the various electrical circuits.

Main panels come in scores of sizes and configurations. A panel might be mounted on the outside of the house, either separate from or combined with the meter, or on an inside wall, behind the meter. The main panel receives three incoming electrical service wires and routes smaller cables and wires to subpanels and circuits throughout the house. Power lines connect to the two top lugs of the meter mount. The main circuit breakers pull electricity from the two bottom lugs when the meter is in place to complete the circuit. The main breakers deliver electricity to the two bus bars, which in turn pass it along to the secondary circuit breakers.

A circuit breaker is a switch that may be shut off manually or be tripped automatically by a failure in the electrical system—usually an overload that could cause the wires to heat up or even catch fire. Other types of disconnects utilize levers and fuses—you pull down on a lever or pull out a fuse block to shut off the power to the house’s circuits.

For Safety, All Circuits Should Be Grounded

A continuous conductor (often solid copper) should run from the neutral connector inside the panel to a ground such as a water pipe or metal rod driven into the ground. The maximum amperage that a service panel may deliver at one time is marked on the main breaker. For most homes, a 100-amp main is sufficient to handle all electrical needs; however, many new-home builders now install 150-amp or 200-amp services to ensure plenty of capacity. Electrical service panels rated at 60 amps or lower are undersized for contemporary needs. Call (713) 812-7070 us for your home service and repair needs.

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