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Electrical Panel Maintenance and Troubleshooting

An electrical panel installed in a building consists of circuit breakers or fuses that safeguard the property from any problems that may arise in an electrical circuit. When any electrical repairs need to be carried out in the property, power has to be turned off at the electrical panel because this is where the electricity gets distributed to different circuits within the property. Usually a single electricity panel feeds the electric needs of an entire house but sub-panels can be installed to feed specific rooms, like a new kitchen.

Listed below are a few questions answered by electricians on issues related to electrical panels, their repairs and maintenance.

What is the distance you need to maintain from a main electrical panel box when you install a 5 ton heat pump?

As long as the correct length of wire is used, you can install it at any distance from the panel. Of course, you need to remember that the further away you install it, the more it will cost you to complete the wiring.

I need to replace a 200 AMP electrical panel. What are the steps and codes to do so?

To begin with, a building permit needs to be obtained. After you get this, you need to get in touch with your utility company and get the power shut down to your meter. Thereafter, you can replace the electrical panel safely without the risk of electrocution.

Once the new panel is up, ensure you tie all the circuits back into place. Then drive a ground rod and bond the electrical service to this by connecting a ground wire to the rod from the neutral bar. Thereafter, run the ground wire from the ground lug over to a metal water pipe. In the absence of a water pipe, drive in a second ground rod.

Once the electrical panel is replaced, all the connections are checked, and the panel has been properly grounded, get an inspection conducted before getting the utility to switch the power on. As long as you co-ordinate with everyone, you can finish this on the same day.

I have a room that was redesigned in 1998 and now has a sink and toilet. Since it also has an electrical panel, would this mean I have failed code?

You would fail code if the room was never allowed to be built when you modified it. Also, having an electrical panel would go against the electrical code. If there is any potential for water to reach a live electrical panel, or sub-panel, you could get electrocuted. This would be more so if there is a shower or bath tub located in the same room. The steam that arises could itself harm you by giving you a path of less resistance to ground. Some of these scenarios could seem far-fetched but since there is a possibility that it could occur, codes are written to help prevent that.

When you install an electrical panel in a home, typically what does the main ground wire that is connected directly from a ground rod driven into the ground connect to?

In this kind of scenario, the wire should connect to the ground bus in the main panel board.

Getting an electrical service panel installed and wired in your house isn’t easy. You would need to connect the current that comes in from the power meter and the street into the panel at home. The voltage of this power usually measures about 240 volts and 200 amps, which is what is normally required to run the circuits in a house without causing a power overload at the panel. Since the voltage is high, there is a risk of electrocution. It’s sensible to ask an electrician before initiating any electrical work.

Ask an Electrician

Mike
Mike, Master Electrician
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 1425
Experience:  Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
11762411
Type Your Electrical Question Here...
characters left:
Electricians are Online Now

How JustAnswer Works:

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    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
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    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Electricians are online & ready to help you now

Mike
Master Electrician
Satisfied Customers: 1425
Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
Jason
Service Technician
Satisfied Customers: 3278
Over 15 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
Satisfied Customers: 5318
Proven Professional 45 years Experience

Recent Panel Questions

  • Would the following issues be resolved by replacing electrical

    Would the following issues be resolved by replacing electrical panel?
    1. No main breaker in panel
    2. Breaker for A/C is 50 amps - exceeding manufacturer recommended 45 amps.
    3. Connections to some breakers at the hot bus are overheating to 135 degrees.
    4. Clamp that connects the ground wire to ground rod is incorrect and not secured to ground.
    5. No antioxidant paste on aluminum service entrance wires where they connect to main breaker and neutral bus.
    6. There are white wires used as hot conductors connected to one or more of the 240 volt breakers. When used as a hot conductor, white wires should be color coded.
    Thank you.
  • Good morning and Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays. I have a

    Good morning and Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays. I have a few questions regarding the sizing of an electrical sub-panel. I am building a small workshop in my basement and wish to provide lighting, a dust collector and receptacles to power various power tools (table saw, drill press, etc). I have a sub-panel (Square D brand) in my basement that is labeled 100 amps. It is fed from my main panel in my garage with two 100 amp breakers tied together. The subpanel currently powers an electric heat pump, water heater, and a few general lighting and power circuits. All existing slots in the panel are full leaving me no room to add more for my new needs. The sub panel currently has 12 slots fill with the following breakers:
    1. 15 amp - lighting
    2. 15 amp - lighting
    3 and 4. 2- 30 amp tied together - water heater
    5. 20 amp - power to outdoor living space (lights, two receptacles)
    6. 20 amp - power to outdoor living space (ceiling fan, lights)
    7 and 8. 2- 60 amp tied together - heat pump (air conditioning and heat)
    9. 15 amp - door bell
    10. 20 amp- power to outdoor grill station (lighting, bar fridge)
    11. 20 amp - power to outdoor water fountain and landscape lights
    12. double 20 amp (two separate breakers in one slot) - one breaker is feeding a few lights and the other is feeding a few receptacles
    So if I add up each individuall I get a total of 385 amps
    My questions are:
    1. Does the fact that this sub-panel is fed by two 100 amp breakers mean that in fact I have 200 amps of power capacity at this subpanel or does it just mean that I have 100amps max at 240 volts?
    2. How can a 100 amp panel have over 100 amps of breakers in it....is it because it is assume that not all will be operating at max capacity at the same time?
    3. Is the current set-up of the breakers in my 100amp sub-panel (385 amps) okay?
    4. Since I need to add more circuits for my new shop, is it okay for me to convert some of the single 20 amp breakers into double 20 amp breakers to provide the extra circuits?
  • One part of our house has very little electricity so that the

    One part of our house has very little electricity so that the lights are dim and the other part is fine. Our well is not able to pump water and it's fuse box is separate and outside on a separate pole. We have checked all fuses. Could the problem be the transformer?
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