Types of Electrical Panels

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Electrical panels divide large amounts of electricity between individual circuits.
Electrical panels divide large amounts of electricity between individual circuits. (Image: electric panel image by DXfoto.com from Fotolia.com)

Existing as fuse boxes or circuit breaker panels, electrical panels provide large amounts of electricity to a building. Responsible for dividing up that electricity, the panel directs the flow of electricity through each circuit.

Fuse Boxes

Designed to prevent a circuit overload, fuse boxes use small fuses that screw into an electrical panel. When the flow of electricity becomes too high, the fuse shorts out to prevent fire. Usually found in pre-1970s homes, fuse boxes occasionally need upgrading if the electrical panel doesn’t provide sufficient electricity for your appliances.

Circuit Breaker Panels

Consisting of breakers that you flip on and off, circuit breaker panels exist in most modern panels. When a circuit becomes overloaded with electricity, the breaker “trips” and flips to the off position for safety. Circuit breaker panels have a main breaker that can cut power to all the electricity in the building.

Working with Electrical Panels

Always exercise great care when working with electrical panels. With fuse boxes, ensure that you use the appropriately rated fuses. Using a fuse with too high a rating can present a fire hazard. As with all electrical panels, don’t get them wet. They supply a large amount of electricity and an accidental shock can cause serious injury or death.

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