CIRCUIT BREAKERS AND ELECTRICAL PANELS in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
In Phase Electric & Air, it doesn’t matter if you’re using a modern circuit breaker or a more traditional fuse-box system for the electrical panel in your home. We know our way around both and are well-equipped to handle any issues you may be having. At the same time, we’ll gladly inspect or upgrade your existing system to a more modern setup at your discretion.
For most of us, the circuit breaker is merely a fail-safe. It’s the box that protects from overloaded circuits and is the first stop on restoring power when the microwave trips the power. But your electrical panel does more than just act as a safety circuit for the appliances in your home.
Electrical panels separate power in your home to help balance out the wiring systems inside. Without an electrical panel, everything would be on the same wire, subject to the same power draw current level. Not everything can handle the same amount of current flowing through it. By splitting up these circuits at the electrical panel, you can split high-load devices from the low power phone charges and lamps, protecting them from damage.
Dedicated and Appliance Circuits
Most of the circuits on your electrical panel are probably labeled by room (e.g. Living Room, Bedroom, Media Room) but there should be one or two circuits that are listed by devices, specifically your air conditioner, furnace, or clothes dryer. These high-load devices require a greater current limit than most of your home does.
These devices draw a great deal of current, which means your wiring needs to be capable of handling that current. Unfortunately, this requires expensive cables. While you could run high-current wiring throughout your home, that would be expensive (and unnecessary). Instead, dedicated appliance circuits are installed that use the minimum amount of wiring to power high power-load devices.
If you’re expanding your home, or adding in a new device that you haven’t had before, you might need to consider adding an additional circuit for just that room or for just that device. You can always consult with the experts here at In Phase Electric & Air if you think you may need an entirely new circuit.
How to Identify a Bad Circuit Breaker
Circuit breakers become less effective as they age. The metal used in them can grow brittle, and wire connections to the breaker itself can become damaged over time. Eventually, the circuit breaker will no longer work. A few signs that it’s time to replace your existing circuit breaker are:
- Continually trips, even when nothing is turned on
- The circuit breaker is warmer than it should be
- The breaker switch is extremely loose
Warning against certain models of circuit panels
For close to 30 years (roughly the 1950s-80s) two companies built and installed electrical panels in homes across America. Federal Pacific Electric panels from that era are, unfortunately, defective and should be replaced if you still have them in your home. In Phase Electric & Air will gladly perform a safety inspection of your home to help identify similar panels and ensure that your current electrical panel is safe and secure.