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Difference between the breaker box and electrical panel 

When it comes to household electrical wiring, the terms breaker box and electrical panel are often used interchangeably. However, these two pieces of equipment are actually quite different and serve different functions in the home. It is important to understand the difference between a breaker box and an electrical panel so that you, or someone from a reputable electrical company in Calgary, can properly identify and maintain your home’s electrical system.

Find out the difference between a breaker box and an electrical panel, and what they each do for your home and what they provide. 

What is a breaker box?

A breaker box is a device used in homes and commercial buildings that houses the main electrical switch. It protects against electrical overloads, ensuring no circuit gets too much power and shuts off automatically if an overload occurs. Breakers come in various shapes and sizes, but all typically consist of an insulated metal enclosure containing breakers connected to an electrical power source.

The breaker box controls the flow of electricity from the main power source to other circuits within the home or building, protecting them from overloads. When the breaker trips, it cuts off the flow of electricity to the specific circuit. This can be due to an overload of electricity on that particular circuit, or it could indicate a wiring fault or some other problem. If you experience frequent tripping of a breaker, it’s important to call an electrical company in Calgary to assess the issue and ensure it is properly fixed.

What is an electrical panel?

An electrical panel is the main control unit responsible for distributing electricity to various parts of your home or building. It contains either circuit breakers or fuses and serves as the main power source for everything in your home, including all outlets, lights, and appliances. An electrical panel will usually have the main power switch or breaker and multiple other switches, each responsible for supplying power to different areas of your home.

The panel also contains wiring, which is connected to the various outlets and light fixtures in your home. When an electrical problem arises, it can be traced back to the electrical panel, allowing you to address the issue before further damage is caused.

Differences

A breaker box also called a circuit breaker panel, or electrical panel, is an important part of a home’s electrical system. It contains circuit breakers that control the flow of electricity in the home. It also provides the main switch that can be used to shut off all power in an emergency. On the other hand, an electrical panel is a larger piece of equipment that contains multiple breakers and serves as a central hub for wiring in your home. It also typically contains fuses and fuse boxes to protect your home from electrical surges. The primary difference is that the breaker box is designed to regulate and distribute the electrical current. In contrast, the electrical panel is designed to protect against power surges.

Flow of electricity 

A breaker box usually has fuses or circuit breakers to manage the flow of electricity. Fuses are wired in series and are made of wire surrounded by heat-resistant material, such as ceramic or glass. Circuit breakers are switches that open when too much current flows through them. They’re also more convenient because you can easily reset them when they trip. An electrical panel is typically larger than a breaker box and contains multiple breakers, fuses, and fuse boxes. It’s designed to serve as the hub of your home’s electrical system and provide protection from power surges. Electrical panels often feature built-in surge protection devices (SPDs) that detect fluctuations in voltage levels and turn off power if necessary.

Colz Electric is the master electrician that you can trust. Our team of highly trained Calgary electricians has all the hands-on skills and experience required to handle all types of residential and commercial jobs. With 24-hour service, we are ready to come out to your home, or business for Calgary electrical services, or urgent after-hours electrical needs. Our professional results, as well as trust and value, is how we can provide our customers with 100% satisfaction. Speak to one of our Calgary electricians at 403-770-3030.