Most Surrey homes and businesses don’t come with designer electrical panels.

Though they’re not a highly-visible fixture and, more often than not, are completely overlooked, electrical panels are an absolutely critical part of modern living. Which is why it’s in the best interest of every Surrey resident to know how their electrical panel works.

More often than not, the electrical panel tends to be somewhere in the close vicinity of the electricity meter. From here, all of the wiring in your Surrey home or business receives and distributes power from the electrical grid. The main job of the panel, then, is to make sure this power is harnessed and handled as safely as possible.

Inside the electrical panel is a main breaker. This breaker can be used to immediately shut down all of the electricity surging through your home or business.

The electrical panel also houses a wide array of secondary breakers, each dedicated to an individual circuit. These secondary breakers can be used as switches to cut the power flow to any room or area where you have an irregularity like an overload. These are the breakers that get “thrown” when there is overheating in your wiring from overuse or some other cause like a malfunctioning appliance.

“Circuits”— to break down the vocabulary of electricians and electrical contractors— are formed when a secondary breaker is connected to an outlet. Also known as your plugs.

Some household appliances— like your refrigerator and hot water heater— rely on “dedicated circuits” (circuits devoted solely to powering those appliances), while the majority of the smaller appliances and other electrical devices in your home can be run from any circuit.

Every circuit in your Surrey home or business is powered by wiring. Specifically, three wires: a “live” wire, a “neutral” wire (also known as the “return” wire), and the “ground” wire. As the name would imply, the power courses out from the live wire, while the neutral and the ground are protective measures to regulate how much electricity sparks from the live wire.

You don’t have to know how your electrical panel works to the same extent as an electrician or an electrical contractor, but you should make it a priority to know how it functions and, in order to keep your electrical panel functioning to capacity (or as well as it can), you should make a point to have a licensed electrical contractor or electrician perform regular electrical inspections.


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