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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.

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