Whether you're a homeowner or a business owner, understanding the basics of a modern electrical panel is essential. With the introduction of new safety measures and regulations, electrical panels have become more complex and offer more features than ever before.
So, what are some of the essential features to look for in an electrical panel? Read on to learn more.
Safety Shutoff Switches
One of the most important features to look for in an electrical panel is a safety shutoff switch. This switch is designed to quickly cut off power to your entire home or building if there is an overload or short circuit.
It consists of a physical switch, usually placed in the breaker box, which allows you to shut down your entire electrical system with the flip of a switch. This switch is also programmed to sense an overload or short circuit and shut down power automatically. It can also reset itself after the short or overload has been cleared.
When installed correctly, this feature can help prevent fires and other dangerous accidents from occurring due to faulty wiring or overuse of outlets.
Surge Protection Devices
Another key feature to look for in an up-to-date electrical panel model is surge protection devices. These devices are designed to protect your home from sudden power surges that can damage appliances, electronics, and even your home's wiring system.
Good surge protectors should be able to absorb multiple surges without needing replacement. A modern panel will often come with a surge protection device installed and can be upgraded should the need arise.
However, you'll need to ensure your device is in good working order and meets the latest safety standards. Otherwise, you'll be putting your home and appliances at risk of damage from dangerous power surges. Have an electrician regularly inspect your surge protection device to make sure it's still doing its job.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) Breakers
Finally, modern electrical panels should include GFCI breakers as a standard issue. These circuit breakers work by sensing any differences in current between hot and neutral wires and then shutting off power if necessary. They connect with GFCI outlets in your home, which will immediately trip if any dangerous electrical current is detected.
GFCI outlets are especially important when dealing with water sources like kitchens or bathrooms where an accidental shock could cause serious harm. They detect any current that may be flowing outside of the intended electrical path and then shut off power to prevent shocks from occurring.
Modern electrical panels come with all kinds of bells and whistles designed to keep your home safe and running smoothly. Safety shutoff switches, surge protection devices, and GFCI breakers are just a few examples of the many features available on today's panels that make them such invaluable appliances for homeowners everywhere. So if you're looking to upgrade the panel to your home or business, make sure it has these essential features included.
For more information about service panel upgrades, contact a local electrical contractor.