Whether your home is equipped with a fuse panel or a circuit breaker panel, the function of the electrical panel is essentially the same. As power is fed into your home via the utility power lines it is intercepted and evenly distributed throughout your home via your breaker or fuse panel. This ensures there will be no dangerous electrical overloads at any point in the house. Should there be an overload on one or more of the circuits, the breaker switch will trip, or the fuse will ‘blow’ or become severed, meaning power will no longer run through that circuit until the fuse is replaced or the breaker switch is reset. In cases where circuits are being interrupted on a frequent basis, it may be time to supplement your original circuit panel with an additional sub-panel.
Reasons for Installing a Sub Panel
1. Making Space
There are several reasons to add a sub panel, and most have to do with the safety and efficiency of your home electrical system. One reason for adding a sub-panel can be as simple as the fact that you are running out of space on your main panel. As households expand with new renovations and additions, the need for additional electrical power is extremely likely. If you were to install a new garage, workshop or addition on your house, you may find there isn’t enough space on your main panel to add more circuits that will meet the new power requirements. Some electricians will attempt to reconfigure or replace some circuit breakers on the main panel with lower profile switches that create more space. If these options aren’t enough however, the next step will be to add a new sub-panel.
2. Common Sub Panel Functions
If you think you may need a sub-panel, make sure to consider your reasoning. There are plenty of ways a sub-panel can improve your home’s electrical system, but the installation of a subpanel can be an expensive process. To help you be sure you are making the right choice, take a look at some of the common reasons why people choose to install a subpanel at home.
3. New Electrical Circuits
For the most part, if you were to install a new power outlet in an existing room in your home, you probably won’t need an entirely new sub-panel. If on the other hand you are adding a major electrical appliance to your homes such as an electric vehicle car charger, a hot tub or a large A/C unit, the amount of power you will require may lead to a sub-panel installation. This can be extremely beneficial when it comes to avoiding regular circuit overloads. If you happen to live in an older home, the size of your main breaker panel may only allow for 12-16 circuits, meaning you will certainly have to add a sub-panel to maintain constant, uninterrupted power flow to your new appliances.
4. Residential Additions
As we mentioned above, it can make a lot of sense to install a sub panel if you are making any major renovations or additions at home. Beyond the efficiency and peace of mind, your sub-panel will offer, if you plan on renting your new addition, adding a sub-panel which can be easily accessed by your tenant can save a lot of hassle and inconvenience. In fact, electrical codes state clearly that residents must have access to their own circuit panel. If you want to avoid code violations, as well as issues with tenants needing access to your space to reset any tripped breakers, a sub-panel is your best option.
Keeping your home’s electrical system running smoothly and efficiently at all times is easy with the right equipment and experts to handle installation and maintenance. At BPM Electric we are ready to help with any and all of your residential and commercial electrical needs. Give us a call today to get started!