To solve the mystery behind these mini-outages, you need to take a look at the main electrical service panel in your house —the distribution center for all the electricity you consume.
A little knowledge about this essential piece of electrical equipment can go a long way in terms of the safety and functionality of your home. In the old days, it was called a fuse box, because it contained all the main fuses for different electrical circuits throughout the house.
The main service panel is typically located in the basement, or in a house without a basement in a utility room. Some homes will also have a sub-panel, which is a smaller version of the main panel, to control electrical circuits in a garage, a workshop, or other outbuilding.
This switch is sometimes referred to as the service disconnect. An average-size house is likely to have at least several lighting circuits, several receptacle aka outlet circuits, plus circuits that control major appliances like the furnace, clothes dryer, water heater, etc.
Circuit breakers are described by their amperage rating and by their type. For starters, a circuit breaker is an electronic switch that enables you to manually deactivate shut off a circuit at the service panel.
This can happen when too many devices are running on one circuit, like if you were using a heavy duty vacuum in the garage while someone else was also using a circular saw. By shutting down in response to high amperage draw, the breaker avoids overheated wiring that can cause an electrical fire and damage electrical equipment. Circuit breakers that feed receptacles will be rated at 15 or 20amps; this means they will automatically trip if current exceeds these ratings.
Lighting circuits are controlled by 15amp breakers. There are two special types of circuit breakers that provide extra measures of safety. This is a safety hazard that can occur when electric wires get wet, so GFCI protection is required in kitchens, bathrooms, garages, basements, and other potentially wet areas.
Circuit breakers do more than protect a home and its inhabitants from electrical hazards. They can also provide valuable diagnostic information. If a standard circuit breaker is tripping, this indicates that one or more devices is drawing too much power from the circuit.There might be room for increased capacity in your breaker panel, but how can you be sure?
However, take a look at the diagram inside the door. It indicates how many circuits a breaker box can handle. A tandem breaker takes up the same space as a single on the panel board, but it allows for the installation of two circuits in one slot.
He takes care of special tandem requirements in older panels with industry-proven installation techniques. Very few homeowners understand proper breaker placement in a bus bar or the danger of two circuits sharing the same neutral. Improper breaker installation creates a fire hazard, and DIY work can void equipment warranties. While tandem breakers are more expensive than their single cousins, they do a great job of safely increasing the load capacity in your fuse box.
Electrical panel upgrades cost far less than replacements, and our master electricians are always happy to help you decide on the best options for your home. Can I make a v circuit by adding two tandem breakers in place of two 1 pole, v breakers?
How Do I Know When My Breaker Box Is Full?
My panel is full and all the circuits are in use. I would send pictures if possible. Your email address will not be published. Double Down With Tandems A tandem breaker takes up the same space as a single on the panel board, but it allows for the installation of two circuits in one slot. Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Search for:.There are homes of many different ages in Northern New Jersey, ranging from the newest in residential construction to vintage homes more than a hundred years old.
One of the major jobs we handle as electricians in Nutley, NJ is helping to upgrade antiquated electrical systems like knob-and-tube wiring to modern standards, as well as putting in the newest in safe outlets GFCI and AFCI.
Circuit Breaker vs Fuse, Which One is Safer and Reliable?
The fuse box. Or the breaker panel. We see both in homes and we want to go into more detail about the differences—and why we recommend upgrading to a breaker panel if you have a fuse box.
The fuse box and breaker panel do the same job: to divide the incoming electricity into the different circuits of house, and to cut off electricity in case of excess voltage. In a fuse box, each circuit runs through a metal filament—the fuse itself. The filament melts if it overheats, which cuts off electrical flow. Although an effective way to prevent electric fires, fuse boxes have some major drawbacks that have caused them to be replaced with breaker panels.
Third, in order to handle the higher electrical demands of modern homes, larger and larger fuses are necessary—and this can lead to creating its own fire hazard. A breaker panel has a different way of cutting off electricity in case of overheating.
It uses either a bimetal strip or solenoid to trip a switch and cut off the circuit. All it takes to restore electricity is to flip the switch back. Breaker panels are much more convenient—no need to buy new fuses and keep replacing them.
This feature is especially useful if a circuit trips at night since it means no fumbling with fuses in the dark. Aside from being generally safer, breaker panels allow for a home to fully upgrade to modern electrical demands.
If you have a fuse box for your house, we recommend calling our electricians to have it replaced.Looking Inside a Breaker Box: what's right and what's wrong
This may also require making other changes such as some rewiring to the house. We advise replacing two-pronged outlets as well—we can ground your house with the new circuit breaker panel—and have GFCI and AFCI outlets installed in specific rooms where they increase safety. Anderson Electric Corp. Call today for a free estimate. Twitter Link. All rights reserved. Serving Northern Jersey. Our Blog. The Difference Between a Fuse Box and a Breaker Panel There are homes of many different ages in Northern New Jersey, ranging from the newest in residential construction to vintage homes more than a hundred years old.
The Fuse Box The fuse box and breaker panel do the same job: to divide the incoming electricity into the different circuits of house, and to cut off electricity in case of excess voltage. The Breaker Panel A breaker panel has a different way of cutting off electricity in case of overheating.
Upgrading Your Home Electrical System If you have a fuse box for your house, we recommend calling our electricians to have it replaced.Time Required to Break the Circuit: A Fuse or a circuit breaker, both have the same purpo se which is to break the circuit as quickly as possible to avoid possible burning of equipment and wiring. Circuit breakers are made using mechanical parts which physically move to break the circuit.
This movement is usually achieved by using the magnetic field or thermal changes. Fault response time of a circuit breaker is usually more than 10 milliseconds. It is good enough to prevent fires but when it comes to sensitive equipment, this time interval is too long and can easily cause them severe damage. On the other hand, fuses which we normally use in our houses are built to thermally burn in order to break the circuit. The burning time decreases as the current flow increases which is very beneficial.
In case of short circuit where a large flow of current is involved, the fuse will burn far quicker than the tripping ability of a circuit breaker. An average fuse will only take 1 or 2 milliseconds to burn. This gives fuses an edge over circuit breakers. However, fuses do not instantly blow at slight overloads, for example a 15A fuse will not quickly blow at On slight overloads it may take several seconds to blow. Usually a non-delaying fuse will need double amps than its rating to blow instantly.
Winner: I think a good fast fuse can easily outperform any circuit breaker so Fuse wins in this department. Re-usability: A fuse can only be used once and will need to be replaced after every fault. Circuit breakers can be reset using a button after every overload or short circuit event. It is also much quicker to reset a circuit breaker using a button while it will take a few minutes or more to replace a fuse.
Winner: Circuit Breaker wins here. Cost: Circuit breakers are significantly costlier than fuses. However please keep in mind if you are expecting a lot of overload or short circuit events then the combined cost of fuse replacement can catch up with that of circuit breaker. Winner: Fuse. Handing Safety: Fuses are usually placed close to mains therefore changing a fuse is a bit risky task as it involves manual placement of fuse inside fuse box using hands.
On the other hand, Circuit breaker can be easily reset using a button which is certainly less risky.
Winner: I think Circuit Breaker easily wins. Reliability: Fuses do not have moving parts therefore they do not fail while the most fearsome issue with a circuit breaker is the possibility of failures. Although it is very rare but still sometimes circuit breakers fail to break circuit due to jamming of internal mechanical parts. It can result in burning of entire house or building. Winner: To me I think the main difference between a circuit breaker and fuse is reliability therefore low chance of failure makes Fuse a winner.
After going through all above differences between fuse and circuit breaker, I think it is safer to conclude that fuse is more reliable while circuit breaker is more convenient and easier to use; therefore, I recommend you to use a bit higher rated fuse along with a circuit breaker to have a perfect pair. This will give you all the benefits of circuit breakers along with the reliability of fuses. In case you are using fuse and circuit breaker together, you should make sure that your fuse has higher amp rating than your circuit breaker.
In order to take full benefit of a circuit breaker, you will need to calculate its ampere rating using the following guide lines. Your fuse Amp rating should be in the middle of your calculated circuit breaker Amp rating and your wiring's Amp rating. That way it acts as a failsafe in case your circuit breaker fails and will prevent your wiring from catching fire.
Never install an over rated fuse in your fuse box.Join us to get great money-saving tips, cool ideas, and valuable advice from home improvement expert Don Vandervort!
The National Electrical Code, although sometimes a little fussy, is the reference book for all sorts of electrical specifications in a typical house. Among its many data points are circuit-wiring capacities— the number and type of outlets allowed on a circuit protected by a specific-amperage circuit breaker. With a never-ending supply of new electrical appliances and devices, most houses have fully loaded service panels with no room for any new circuits.
Making room for more circuits in a full electric service panel. Following is a description of what tandem circuit breakers are and how to add a new circuit using them. An extra large breaker is typically at the top of the panel; this is the main service breaker it shuts off all of the power.
In addition, you will probably see a couple of other extra-thick or double breakers that serve big appliances like the water heater and electric range. The remaining average-sized breakers typically serve lighting, receptacle, and small appliance circuits in the house, and usually are either or amp breakers.
If you need more or amp breakers, a simple solution is to install a tandem breaker. The overall size of a tandem circuit breaker is the same as that of a standard breaker, but instead of a single breaker, it has two narrow side-by-side breakers. You can buy tandem circuit breakers where both sides are amp breakers, both are amp breakers, or one side is 15 amps and the other side is 20 amps.
By removing a standard amp breaker and replacing it with a tandem unit that has two amp breakers, you immediately gain an extra circuit in the electrical panel.
The wires from the original breaker are attached to one of the new breakers in the tandem, and the wires feeding your new circuit are attached to the second breaker.
Installing a tandem breaker is a simple job that takes about 10 minutes. Installing a new circuit with boxes, cables, receptacles, switches, and light fixtures, however, takes a lot more time.
Following is a step-by-step overview that shows what it takes to add a new circuit and connect it to the new breaker. Step 1: First, figure out what lights, switches, and receptacles you want, then determine their approximate locations. If you are just adding a new lighting circuit to an unfinished space such as a basement, choosing a location will be much easier.
Step 2: Make a shopping list of what you will need. Go to a home center, and run it by the clerks in the electrical department.
These people are usually well informed and can easily explain options you might not have considered. Step 3: Mount the electrical boxes in the desired location and install the proper gauge electrical cable between these boxes. Step 4: Install the new receptacles, light fixtures, switches, and cover plates. Step 5: Turn off the main breaker at the top of the box, and then remove the panel cover by unscrewing a few large screws.
Use a voltage tester to be sure the power to the panel is off—touching electrically charged wires or bus bars inside the panel can be deadly.
Then, as long as all your work occurs below the main breaker, you will not be exposed to any charged power in the panel box. By turning off the main power, you cannot be shocked by any fixture in the house but you may need a flashlight since your electricity will be totally off. Remove the panel cover screws to gain access to the box.
Step 6: Select a standard breaker for replacement, preferably one at the bottom of the box, where removing the existing breaker and installing the new one will be easier. Step 7: Remove the black wire from the existing breaker and pull the breaker out of the box by gripping it on the side where the wire was attached.
The breaker is held in the box by a lip on the bus bar. The bus bar runs down the middle of the back of the box and holds both columns of breakers. The breaker will pivot out of its spot until it clears the lip on the bus and then it can be removed. Circuit breakers are held by friction to the main bus bar inside the panel.
Black circuit wires are attached to one side of each breaker, while the white and ground wires are held by screws to a vertical grounding bus. Here, the grounding bus is a silver-colored bar running alongside the wire end of the breakers. Step 8: Attach the black wire from the old breaker to the top breaker in the new tandem unit. Then, do the same with the black wire from the new circuit cable. Step 9: Hook the end opposite the black wires onto the bus bar and push the breaker into the opening until it is flush with the surrounding units.The Premier League season reaches Week 16 this weekend with some huge games including Liverpool v Everton and Manchester United v Manchester City.
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Inside Your Home’s Electrical Service Panel
With a bit of preparation before you set off, there's no reason why your holiday shouldn't be hassle-free. Work out exactly which foods you can and can't eat. Make sure that you have packed some essential gluten-free foods for the first few days of your holiday.
Then you don't have to worry about finding a shop straight away. Bread, biscuits and other snacks are great for when you're travelling. Note: To avoid any risk of contamination, you should only pack bread that does not need to be pre-baked.
Before you set off, get in touch with the coeliac association in the country where you're travelling. If you're flying or going on a cruise, make sure you enquire about gluten-free meal options when booking.
Some travel companies are already offering a gluten-free alternative. Learn from the experiences of others. Before you travel, check out the ratings and comments for local eating establishments, so that you can be relatively confident about your restaurant choices. Always call the restaurant before you set out to make sure that they are serving gluten-free meals that day.
If possible, try and speak to the chef yourself, so that you can explain the situation in person. You can use the card provided to help you explain your requirements and help the chef help you.
This is how you order your gluten-free meal in various languagesAre holidays just around the corner and are you going to a far away place. Then the anticipation must be building. But how do you explain to the cook or the waiter in the hotel or restaurant in Turkish that your meal must be gluten-free.
It's a tough one. But the German Coeliac Society (DGZ) has a good tip for you that they have very kindly shared with us: To get the best from the cook - an explanation of coeliac condition printed out in various languages. This is what dining should be like.