The electric service panel is a metal box inside your home that you may have not noticed before, especially if you’re a new homeowner. Then, one day, the power in the whole upstairs goes out because you turned on a blow dryer in your bathroom while there was a space heater running in the master bedroom of your house. Suddenly, the only way to turn the power back on is to head over to the electrical service panel box and flip a switch.
If you’re in a new home, you may only visit the electrical service panel box once a year, but if you’re in an older home, you may be making this trip more often than you’d like, especially if there are one or more space heaters involved. Whenever a homeowner is making an electrical repair, even the smallest one, such as replacing an outlet, he or she will have to go to the electrical service panel box and shut off the circuit breaker.
Connecting You to the Main Electrical Lines
What’s so special about the service panel? It connects the wires from the street to a home’s electrical system. The service wire or service drop that comes from outside a house is connected to a home’s service panel and distributed to the different parts of a home to service its electrical needs.
Service panels go by different names, including fuse box, circuit breaker panel, and fuse panel; however, they’re usually called an electrical service panel or “service panel” for short. Service panels are not the same thing as fuse boxes because they use circuit breakers as opposed to fuses, but the functions are the same.
All of the power in a home is located in its electrical service panel, which provides about 100 or 200 amps, sometimes more. The power enters a home from outside through a service drop. The power connects to the service lugs in the service panel and from there, the power is split into separate circuits and distributed throughout the home.
You can usually locate a service panel in the garage, basement, closet, hallway that leads outside or to a garage, or a pantry that is near the kitchen.