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Service Panels & Distribution

Learn what makes an electrical system tick. An in-depth look at electrical services, panels, breakers, fuses, grounding, safety, disconnects, wiring, supplies, boxes, fasteners, wire, and conduit.

Underground or Overhead Service Feeders…Which is Better?
Overhead or underground? The question is often asked and now I'm answering it for you. Find out which is best for you when installing your electrical service feed.

Reasons To Install A Subpanel In Your Home
There are many reasons to add a subpanel to your home. when you main panel is short of adaquate space or many things are powered from another location in your home or garage, a subpanel may be for you. learn how to size the subpanel before you install it.

Why Do My Fuses Blow Or My Circuit Breakers Trip?
Fuses and circuit breakers are used to protect electrical circuits. But when fuses blow or circuit breakers trip, do you know why? Do you know what to do to get the circuit working again? One you can reset while the other needs replacing. Find out why and how to make the circuit work again.

Marking Electrical Service Panel Circuit Breakers
In order to keep your electrical panel in order, marking the circuits makes shutting off a circuit breaker a snap.

Electricity - How Does Electricity Work?
Household electricity and its current flow can be easy to understand if you compare it to the plumbing in your home. If you think about it, electricity and water both enter your home and exit it after being distributed throughout home.

Service Entrance Drops
Service entrance drops are used to supply power to your home. They can be fed overhead or underground from the utility company’s power pole. In either case, a hot primary feed and a neutral feed are run from the utility company’s line to their transformer. From there, the transformer feeds two hot wires and a neutral to the service drop,...

Subpanels For Additional Space
We all are aware that our home is powered via an electrical service panel, the electrical distribution point. This panel could be located in the basement, garage or an interior utility room in your home. Sometimes homes are large and strung out and require addition electrical panels to supply power to different areas of the home. This is where a subpanel comes in handy. Subpanels are smaller in amperage size than the main electrical service panel.

What Is A Switching Device?
The National Electrical code deines a switching device as, "A device designed to close, open, or both, one or more electrical circuits." The devices that fal under this classifcation are circuit breakers, cutouts, disconnecting means, disconnecting (or isolating) switch (disconnector; isolator), interrupter switch, oil cutout (oil-filled...

What Are Single-pole Circuit Breakers?
Single-pole breakers are an important part of electrical distribution as a safe way to manage branch circuits from a circuit breaker panel.

Calculating Subpanel Loads
Learn how to calculate subpanel loads.

What Are Branch Circuits?
A home's electrical system has feeder wires that supply power to the panel and branch circuits that leave the panel to power devices. Find out what these branch circuits are used for.

How Electrical Service Panels Changed in The 1900's
Have you ever wondered how much the electrical system in your home has changed in the last 100 years or so. The electrical service panels have certainly changed and here's how.

How Do I Find The Electrical Service Size Of My Home?
If you're thinking about updating your electrical service size but don't know what size you have now, this article will help you locate the answer.

Line And Load Connections
Learn what line and load connections are and what connects to each.

Calculating Safe Circuit Loads
Learn how to calculate safe circuit loads on home wiring circuits.

Service Panel Checklist
Service panels should be inspected periodically for signs of wear, defects, and trouble spots. This service panel checklist will aid your examination.

How Does An Electric Meter Read Power
Have you ever wondered how the utility company knows how much power you used each month? This basic article explains how it all works with an electric meter.

Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection In Dwelling Units
Arc-fault circuit-interrupters provide protection from the effects of arc faults, which includes arcing of switches and the like. The device then shuts the circuit down when arcing is detected.

What's Hiding Behind An Electric Meter?
Have you ever wondered what is behind an electric meter and how it is wired?

What Are Double-pole Circuit Breakers?
Double-pole breakers use two spaces in your electric panel versus one space by a single-pole breaker.

Why Do Fuses Blow?
You've heard the term blown fuses, but what is this exactly?

Plug Fuses and Cartridge Fuses
Plug and cartridge fuses come in many shapes and sizes. There are the older screw in fuses that were a menace, simply because you could screw a 20 or 30-amp fuse into a 15-amp socket. The newer style is an Edison-based socket that only allows you to screw the appropriate sized fuse in the socket in order to make the connection. The man fuses and fuses rated over 30 amps will require cartridge …

What is a Cartridge Fuse?
If you have a fuse panel, it's likely that sooner or later you'll be needing a cartridge fuse.

Circuit Breaker Panel Breakdown
Take a look at what can be installed in a circuit breaker panel and how each of these things has a specific role to play. Your electrical panel controls the distribution of electricity throughout your home. There are specific devices that must be used in order for your circuitry to work safely and properly. Knowing what sized breaker to use, what type, and how to control them will get you on …

How To Turn On a Circuit Breaker
Learn how simple it is to turn on a circuit breaker.

How to Reset a Circuit Breaker
Learn how to reset a circuit breaker that has tripped.

Top Electrical Connections in Detail
Electrical connections are all around your home. Electrical wiring connects to switches, outlets, appliances, disconnects, meters, and circuit breakers. Take a look now at the many different electrical connections around the home and how to do the projects yourself.

What are Sub-panels?
Learn what sub-panels are and what role they play in the scheme of electrical systems in your home.

What is an Arc-fault Circuit Interrupter?
Learn what an arc-fault circuit interrupter is, where it is required, and what it is designed to do.

Tandem Breakers
Learn what a tandem breaker is and what the advantage of using one is.

Are Breakers Interchangable?
When you need to change a breaker, learn why brands are not interchangeable.

What are Screw-in Plug Fuses, Tamper-proof Fuses, and Fuse Adapters?
Screw-in plug fuses, tamper-proof fuses, and fuse adapters, what are they? They sound so complex, don't they. These are all different things you can find in a fuse panel in your home. But what are each of these used for? Do I have all of them in my home? Both of these are good questions and after further review of this article, hopefully you'll be able to answer these questions.

How to Calculate Circuit Load Capacity
Learn how to determine the electrical circuit load capacity for your home.

What is a Main Breaker?
Learn what the phrase main breaker means in this article.

What is a Weatherhead?
Do you know what a weatherhead is and what it is used for on your electrical service?

How to Wire An Electrical Panel
Learn how to wire an electrical panel with these simple step-by-step instructions. Knowing where to make the connections in a breaker panel is explained in detail.

Wire Electrical Disconnects
Learn which wires go where in the how-to article about wiring an electrical disconnect. With these easy steps, you'll have power flowing to your home in no time at all.

How To Wire an Electric Meter
Learn how to make the electrical connections to an electric meter.

Safely Remove and Install a Circuit Breaker
Learn how to safely remove and install a circuit breaker in an electrical panel. This article will walk you through the process in simple steps.

What is a Circuit Breaker Panel?
Have you heard the term circuit breaker panel and really never knew too much about them and what they do? In this article, I explain what a circuit breaker panel is.

How to Install a Ground Fault Circuit Breaker
Ground fault circuit breakers are used to protect humans from electrical shock hazards. These breakers are connected in the electrical panel and protect branch circuits in and around the home.

Breaker! Breaker! I’m so Con...Fused!
Learn what to do when your circuit breaker trips or fuse blows. When you lose a circuit in your home, these tips will come in handy.

How an Electrical System Works
We all use electricity in our homes every day, but how does it get there and how is it distributed throughout the home?

Lightning and Surges - Preventing Electronic Damage
Lightning and powers urges can do a lot of damage to your home's appliances and electronic equipment. Find out how to lessen the possibility of damage in this article.

The Main Electrical Panel, Circuit Breakers & Sub-panels
Electrical power is distributed from the utility company's to your home and beyond through panels, sub-panels, and breakers. Find out what each one's function is in your home.

Electrical Safety Devices
Find out how electrical safety devices protect the homeowner from electrical shock and fires.

Overhead and Buried Service Entrances
Though most of the older homes have an overhead service connection, underground services are becoming the overall favorite among homeowners. these buried lines are more appealing to the eye and the surrounding landscape area than power poles and overhead lines draped acroos someone's yard. but just like overhead service line feeders, there are rules that must be followed when installing these l…

Choosing The Best Grounding Materials
A grounding system is comprised of a ground rod, wiring to connect it to a service panel, and a ground buss. It is a very important part of your electrical system to ensure electrical safety.

What are Two-pole Breakers?
Two-pole breakers use two spaces in your electric panel versus one space by a single-pole breaker.

Balancing Electrical Loads
There are many benefits to balancing the loads of the two legs of power in your electrical panel and here's why.

Short Circuit vs. Ground Fault
When a fuse blows or a circuit breaker trips, was it a short circuit or a ground fault that caused it? Find out what the differenceis in this article.

Creating a Circuit Directory
Labeling circuit breakers and fuses is not only a good idea so tha you know the locationand devices they serve, nut also a National Electrical Code requirement.

How is Your Electricity Distributed Through Your Home?
Did you ever wonder how the power is distributed throughout your home? Here's a look at how electrical power is transmitted to and through your home to usable points like switches and outlets.

Tandem Breakers vs. Double-pole Breakers
Here's a look at the differences and similarities between tandem and double-pole circuit breakers.

Photovoltaic Panels...Can Solar Cells Really Extract Electricity From The Sun?
Collecting electricity from the sun is accomplished by using photovoltaic panels, better known as solar cells. Determining the cost effectiveness and installation cost of the system is the first step in considering purchasing a PV system.

Is Your Home in Need of a Subpanel?
If your electrical panel is full and you need more room, a subpanels is the perfect way to add space and add extra circuits in your home.

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