What’s Inside Your Electric Service Panel?

Posted on: June 22, 2016

Every home has one – usually in the garage or utility room. They are usually gray metal boxes with a bunch of wires going in and coming out. To many, they can be quite daunting – and dangerous.

The electric panel (or fuse box) brings power into the home and distributes it to outlets throughout the house. These breaker boxes are critically important to the safety of your home and family. They are designed to break the circuit any time the circuit becomes overloaded. Overloaded circuits can result in overheated wires which can cause electrical fires.

So what’s the difference between fuses and circuit breakers?

Most older homes (prior to 1965) are equipped with fuses that are designed to “blow” when the circuit becomes overloaded. When a fuse blows, it must be unscrewed and discarded and replaced with a new fuse with the same amperage rating as the blown fuse.

Circuit breakers are mechanical devices that “trip” and do not need to be replaced. Rather, they simply need to be reset.

If your fuses or circuit breakers continue to blow or trip, that’s an indication of circuit overload. You can test this by turning off everything on the circuit and then turning them back on one at a time.

In today’s wired world, the demands on your home’s electrical system are greater than ever. If you suspect that your existing electrical system – including your fuse box – is not keeping up with the increased usage demands, it may be time to call the electrical specialists at Midway Services for an inspection of your entire home electrical system.

It may be time to change out your electric panel, or it may be time to rewire your whole house. In either case, it is much better and safer to address these issues before they become dangerous to your home and family.