What Is an Electrical Panel and Why Is It Necessary?

Your home’s electrical panel (or breaker box) is where all the electricity entering your house gets divided into individual circuits for each light and receptacle. It’s a complex and dangerous piece of equipment, so it should only be dealt with by licensed professionals.

Some panels are known to malfunction and pose a fire risk. If your house has a Sylvania panel, it’s essential to get it replaced as soon as possible.
What is an Electrical Panel?

An electrical panel is an enclosure that houses the circuit breakers or fuses that operate your home’s electricity system. It’s typically located in an area like a garage, basement or laundry room.

Electricity comes into your house through service wires that connect to the main breaker box and then to individual circuits that power outlets throughout your property. Each circuit is controlled by its own breaker. The breaker switches off and on when too much current passes through the circuit.

Your electrical panel is a vital component of your home and needs to be inspected for safety and functionality on a regular basis. A licensed electrician can help you upgrade to a higher-amperage panel or install an additional sub-panel for specific areas of your home. If you are planning on working on your own, be sure to use a non-conductive tool like screwdrivers to prevent electrocuting yourself when handling hot or energized wires. About 200 people die annually from household electrocutions.
What is a Breaker Panel?

A breaker panel is the nerve center of your home’s electrical system. Also known as an electric panel, load center, panelboard or breakerbox, it distributes power throughout your house from the main electrical line that comes in through your utility meter.

Each of the switches within a breaker panel is rated by how much electrical current it can safely handle. When one of these switches receives more electrical current than it can safely handle, the switch trips, cutting power to that circuit.

When you flip the switch on a breaker panel, you’re actually activating a current of electrons that runs along copper wires and energizes our appliances, lights and modern lives. Whether in your home, fighter jet or cargo airplane, a breaker panel protects everything that is powered by electricity. And that’s why it’s so important to have the right panel for your needs. The right electrical panel will help you avoid overheating, fire and even explosions.
How Does an Electrical Panel Work?

The electrical panel (also called a breaker box) is the central distribution point that connects external wires coming from the street with the internal cables in your home’s electric system. It’s also where the circuit breakers are located.

The breaker switches are designed to shut off automatically when too much electricity flows through them — helping prevent overloaded circuits that could lead to fires. Typically found in garages, basements, or laundry rooms, the panel is a metal box with a cover that’s easy to open for basic maintenance and repair jobs.

Inside the electrical panel, you’ll find single circuit breakers in two columns. The breakers should be labeled so that you know which parts of the house each one powers. For example, a label that says “upstairs west bedroom” will help you quickly determine which area of the house has lost power when switching a breaker off and on. You’ll also want to see if there are any available spaces in the panel for adding more circuits in case your home expands or you add appliances.
What Is a Sylvania Panel?

A Sylvania panel (also GTE-Sylvania-Zinsco and GE-Sylvania Zinsco) is an electrical breaker box that uses the Zinsco circuit breaker design. These breaker boxes are unsafe, and they should be replaced by a licensed electrician.

This type of electrical panel has a problem that causes the wires to overheat. This can cause a fire, and it is very dangerous. Insurance companies will not insure homes with these panels until they are replaced.

The best way to identify a Sylvania electrical panel is by looking at the cover and inspecting the circuit breakers. The breaker switches are made of aluminum, which is known to expand and overheat more than other metals. The fuses in the breaker boxes are also aluminum, and they can melt if too much electricity flows through them. This is another reason why these breaker boxes are unsafe and should be replaced by an electrician. The good news is that it is easy for a home inspector to open the cover of an electrical panel and examine the breaker switches.Electrical Panel Clearwater