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Everything New Homeowners Need To Know About Circuit Breaker Boxes
The circuit breaker box is where you can access all the major power lines in your home, and its purpose is to disrupt the flow of power if something is wrong with the current. This ability may save electrical appliances that are plugged into a problematic circuit and can even prevent electrocution or fires.
In your box, the main circuit breaker is the primary on-and-off switch, and single-pole and double-pole breakers can handle 120 and 240 volts of energy, respectively. Also, arc fault circuit interrupters prevent electrical accidents, sub-panels allow for additional circuits, and bus bars break up the main current to power the different areas of the home.
To figure out what size your circuit breaker needs to be, multiply the square footage of your house by three to figure out the light and receptacle watts, and then add the wattage needed to run your kitchen, laundry room, air conditioning, and heating units. Divide this total wattage by 230 to determine the total amperage needed.
Before anything else, make sure you know which switch in your box controls which outlets in your home. Your hands should be completely dry when using it, and if there are issues resetting the power or with the box itself, it’s essential that you do not repeatedly reset the power breaker to get it to work.
On average, the electrical panel within your circuit breaker box should be replaced every forty years, but if it’s causing issues with your daily electricity use, it should be replaced sooner. You should also replace it if you see rust, smell something burning, or the box is very hot to the touch.