Electrical panel are essential for controlling power to industrial equipment and machines. These electrical devices contain circuit breakers, which can be switched on and off to supply or cut off power to different parts of a building. In a residential home, an electrical panel is usually found in the garage or basement. In larger buildings, several electrical panels may be connected together in an electrical network. There are many different types of electrical panels, ranging from 18- to 24-position consumer units (also known as breaker boxes) to large distribution boards used in commercial and public buildings.
An electrical panel is a metal enclosure that houses all of the components needed to control electrical power in a building. The panel has a door to protect the equipment and circuit wiring from being exposed to water, dust and other pollutants. In addition, the door prevents the accidental operation of a circuit by someone who isn’t authorized to do so.
The enclosure is the outermost component of an electrical panel, and it needs to be substantial enough to protect the equipment from physical damage. An enclosure will also need to be able to withstand impact, vibration, heat and corrosive chemicals.
A typical electrical panel contains a main breaker box that controls the electricity in your house. The breaker box divides the electrical current into circuits that each cover an area of the house, and it is designed to prevent overloads that could cause fires in your home. The breaker box will be labeled to indicate the type of circuit it controls and its amperage rating.
For example, 15-amp breakers control lighting and standard outlets in rooms and the garage or basement. 20-amp breakers are used for appliances like laundry washers and dryers. And, 30 or 40-amp breakers are used for electric heaters, air conditioners and ovens.
In older homes, the breaker box may be completely full of breakers and have no available spaces. The solution to this problem is to install a sub-panel that will allow you to move older circuits into it and add more circuits as needed. If your service panel box does not have enough space for a new circuit, an electrician can install tandem breakers that will fit into the same-size slot as normal breakers but serve two separate circuits.
The biggest risk associated with a control panel is electricity. If you aren’t familiar with the layout and content of a panel, it is easy to injure yourself by accidentally touching live wires or breaking glass within the panel. This can lead to a variety of injuries including shock, burns and fires. To reduce the risks, it is important to use tools with care when working around an electrical panel. You should always be aware that the electrical system is still powered by a high voltage, even though you are no longer touching the live wires. Tools such as screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers and wire cutters can all transmit an electric shock if you touch them in the wrong place.