Power Panel

Yesterday we took another look at the Electric Meter that is on the outside of your home.  We did get a call pointing out that occasionally the Electric Meter is not always mounted on the side of the house.  There are other available locations:

  1. Out on the pole – the power company can decide they want the Meter to be located out “at-the-street” on the pole.
  2. Pedestal – there are situations where the Meter is located on a Pedestal built exclusively for the electric meter socket.  Every mobile home has this situation.

Take a look at today’s photograph, this is the Power Panel that is almost always located down in the basement.  The rating of the panel in the basement is what determines how much power the panel can handle. 

Today’s contemporary single-family home typically has a 200 amp power panel, this means it can handle up to 200 amps of electricity.  For several decades this has been the most popular size power panel.  Recently panels that rated at 300 to 350 are being increasingly used.  Anything over a 200 amp panel might be necessary if a home has a shop attached to the home where individual tools can use a lot of current. 

Older homes often have 100 amp service and occasionally it is easy to run across a home with 40 amp service.  However, virtually all new homes currently have 200 amp or greater service.

Your power panel is filled with Circuit Breakers and their job is to cut the current when the wire is overloaded and as a result gets too hot preventing a potential fire.

  1. Single Pole Circuit breaker.  These replaced fuses that haven’t been used for years.  If there’s something wrong that causes a Surge in power then the fuse would break and cut off the power.  Today we have Circuit Breakers that will “Trip Off” when that surge happens.
    1. 15  amp – typical for lights and outlets, uses 14 gauge wire
    2. 20 amp – typical for kitchen outlet where more current is needed, uses 12 gauge wire.
  2. Double Pole circuit breaker.  These are used for the kitchen range or where an appliance needs greater power.
  3. Ground Fault - (GFI)  a ground fault interrupter is typically used in wet areas such as bathrooms and kitchens.
  4. Arc Fault breaker – these circuit breakers are the same as a regular breaker but are far more sensitive, they have a “hair-trigger” that increases the safety and reduces fires.

Arc Fault Breakers are now required in new homes because of their added protection.  Protect your new home whether it is in Barnet or Bellows Falls Vermont.

What are your thoughts and experiences?  Call us or leave a comment here on Facebook  We would love to hear from you.  802.985-5855

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