How to Read Your Electrical Panel
The electrical board at your home is one of the key power supply components. This guide helps you locate, understand, and read the board to resolve minor power supply issues.
The electrical panel at your home is one of the most important components of your power supply. The panel is a sort of router through which power supply from the main line is directed to different parts of your home. Many homeowners tend to avoid this panel, also known as a breaker board, thinking that they might do something wrong. However, it is important to know how to read your electrical panel in diagnosing the electrical problems at your home. You also need to know if the breaker is damaged to understand when an electrical panel upgrade becomes necessary.
The good news is that reading the electrical panel is not hard at all! With the simple steps listed below, you can easily read the breaker board on your own.
STEP 1: START BY FINDING THE ELECTRICAL PANEL BOX
The first step in this regard is to locate the electrical breaker box at your home. It is usually installed in the garage, basement, utility room, or similarly secure space. You will find it mounted on the wall flush with the switches. In some rare cases, the electrical panel box may be installed outdoors. If you can’t find it indoors, try looking outside.
STEP 2: OPEN THE ELECTRIC SWITCH BOX AND TAKE A LOOK INSIDE
Once you have located the electrical panel, it is time to take a look inside. A breaker board may have a screw-on lid or a pop-up lid. Alternatively, it may have a metal cover you can swing open. When you open the panel, you will typically find two columns of switches. Each one is used to send power to a specific area at your home, such as a room or a designated electrical zone. Turning that switch on or off also turns on or off the power supply in the corresponding section.
STEP 3: CHECK FOR AND READ THE LABELS IN ELECTRICAL PANEL
Typically, a house electrical panel has labels corresponding to the switches. These labels may be visible right next to the switches. Alternatively, they may be present on the inside of the circuit breaker box cover. In either case, labels typically comprise numbers which indicate the switches to which they correspond. By studying the switches along with the labels, you will understand which switch is used to control the power supply to that particular area, room or section.
WHAT TO DO IF SWITCHES IN YOUR BREAKER BOARD AREN’T LABELED
If the switches are not labeled in your electrical switch box, don’t worry! It is rather easy to label the switches on your own so that you can easily identify them in the future so you could properly read the breakers. In order to add electric panel labels on your own, turn off all the switches except one. This will turn off the power in all area of your home except the area that corresponds to the single on switch. Label this switch to identify the section to which it corresponds.
Then turn off this switch and turn on the next one. Again, go around your house and see which section still has power. Repeat this process until you have finished electrical panel labeling.
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