Circuits and Fuses: Understanding Your Breaker Panel
Electricity is a powerful thing and can be dangerous when not properly directed throughout your home or office. The power to your building is directed to the outlets and appliances of your homes through a distribution box – commonly referred to as a breaker or fuse box. This box takes the electricity and distributes it throughout your home. It also acts as a critical safety mechanism that will interrupt the flow of electricity if too much current overloads the system or outlet. The electrical service panel is an important device that has many different elements – read on to understand more about how your fuse box is serving you!
Why Call Raynor?
Raynor has been handling breakers and fuses for over 20 years. We pride ourselves on delivering expert repairs and installation with professional service. We understand the value of customer service while we help get your lights and power back on quickly. We have been serving Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester counties with electrical services for many years and can help you identify, repair, or offer replacement with any issue you are experiencing. At Raynor, we pride ourselves on educating our customers on exactly what is necessary for the job and why. Fuse boxes are one of the most critical pieces of your home to ensure your safety and comfort. Read on to learn more about how you can better understand your distribution box.
Form & Function
Electricity has three major components: voltage, current, and resistance. You don’t have to have intimate knowledge of these in order to understand that they all influence the other as it comes to regulating your power. The breaker box works as a middle-man the entire route between your power plant and your lightbulbs.
Your box makes sure that there isn’t too much power going into the box for the outlets, and that the outlets and appliances aren’t asking for more power than can be safely distributed. If and when this happens, your breaker box “pops” or “blows” a circuit.
Popping a breaker switch is not cause for immediate concern. Sometimes running a hairdryer in the bathroom when other appliances are also being used can be the culprit. These isolated instances may not be cause for immediate concern – your breaker did all the work for you. Popping the breaker back on and resetting your outlets will usually bring your power back with no delays.
However, tripping the circuit and blowing a fuse are different. The fuse is a single, one-time-use wire behind the breaker that burns up if the current becomes too high. These are replaceable, but repeatedly blowing fuses or tripping your breakers is an indicator that you may need to address a bigger problem.
Older homes may not have the power you need or the proper distribution to handle your needs. Older homes were usually installed with a standard 50amp breaker box. However, the minimum standard is now 100, and many homes are more comfortable with a 150amp panel. If you spread out your appliances on different outlets and are still experiencing frequent circuit tripping, it’s time to call a licensed electrician to have a look.
Signs of Damage
A breaker panel’s importance in your building cannot be understated. This is why any signs of wear or damage need to be addressed immediately. Because there are such large amounts of power being controlled behind the fuse box, damage could be indicative of mis-routed electricity, component failure, degradation, or environmental factors.
If you identify any of the following evidence of breaker box damage, you may need to make a call to Raynor:
• Water Damage
• Blown Fuses
• Evidence of Power Surges
• Loose fuses
• Burned fuses or terminals
If you can visibly detect any of the included signs of damage, call a licensed electrician immediately to evaluate your system.
Is it time to Upgrade?
Your safety is paramount to us at Raynor. Your electrical service panel may be unable to serve your needs, particularly if you have upgraded your appliances and devices in an older home without addressing your electrical system. Your home – particularly older homes – may be handling your current needs, just not as optimally as they should. A home’s circuit breaker should be installed to operate at 80% of the building’s demand as a safety feature. As you reach this threshold, you may be at risk for blowing fuses and popping circuits more often.
At Raynor, we will always evaluate your system for its optimal – and safe – function. Electricity is powerful and can be very dangerous with the risk of system failure, fire, or electrocution if not handled properly. Upgrading your electrical panel may be the best way to ensure your safety and consistent electricity.
If you’re ever in question of what to do in an emergency, it is important that you and your family are aware of where your emergency electrical shut off is. This is usually a large lever on the side or surrounding your breaker box, and throwing it to the OFF position (usually down) will cut the power to all of the elements connected to that box.
Call Raynor today for an electrical system or breaker panel inspection!