Commonly referred to as the Fuse Box, Breaker Panel, or Electric Panel, the Load Center is the heart of the electrical system in any building. It takes the large incoming electric supply from the utility company and distributes the power throughout the house as smaller protected feeds.
The main disconnect fuses or breakers act as safety barriers in the case of an electrical problem or overload. The most common sizes in residential use are 100 amps, 150 amps and 200 amps. The amperage (amps) referred to is a measurement of electricity. The higher the number of amps, the more electricity you can use in your home.
60 Amp Panel
This size service, usually a fuse box, is no longer installed in new homes because homes now use a lot more electricity than they did 40 years ago. This size service is inadequate for normal load use. If you have a home with this size service we recommend that it be upgraded to 100 amp service.
Banks or mortgage companies are no longer loaning money for homes with this size service.
100 Amp Panel
This size panel, usually equipped with fuses or circuit breakers, is ideal for an average home with normal electrical demands.
Adequate for a home up to 2500/3000 sq ft that has gas heat & water and one air conditioner.
NOTE: This size panel may not be adequate if you want to add a hot tub and there is already central air, electric clothes dryer and water heater.
150 Amp Panel
This panel is rarely used when rewiring because the cost for installing the larger 200 amp panel is not very much more and it provides a lot more service. This panel commonly found in new construction is well suited to most average sized homes.
NOTE: 150 or 200 amp service is always necessary in smaller all electric homes
(homes that have a heat pump with electric back up heat, electric furnace, baseboard or radiant ceiling heating)
200 Amp Panel
This size panel is well suited to most average to larger size homes, allowing the homeowner plenty of leeway to add a hot tub, additional outlets, etc. This panel may not be adequate for homes of 3,500 sq. feet or larger, especially if the home has electric appliances, water heater and there is dual air conditioning system, hot tub etc.
In homes exceeding 3,500 / 4,000 sq feet it is not uncommon to see two panels, a 200 amp panel and an additional 100 or 200 amp panel.
NOTE: Wires entering the load center, enter through a hole or “knockout”. Before these wires can be routed through the hole, a wire clamp must be inserted and secured in the hole. The wiring is then fed through the clamp and secured. All removed knock outs or twist outs if not used must be closed up using a blank.