Electrical Panel is the breaker box in a house that distributes electricity to outlets and appliances throughout the home. It contains a main circuit breaker switch that monitors your home’s overall power flow, and each of the individual breakers have a specific limit (or “rating”) they can safely carry, or else the system will shut off as a safety measure.
The thick black service wires that connect to the breaker box from the electric meter deliver 120-volts to two “hot” bus bars inside, and each of these is attached to one or more circuit breakers that snap into place. A single-pole breaker provides only 120 volts and attaches to one of the hot bus bars, while double-pole breakers provide up to 240 volts and can power multiple devices in the same location.
If the main breaker switch trips, it shuts off all the branch circuits (and therefore, the appliances and lights), but not the utility service lines. These remain live (carrying deadly electrical current) until the utility company shuts off the power to your home.
If you frequently have to flip the breaker switch back and forth or replace fuses, it’s a good idea to check out your service panel with an electrician. It may be time to upgrade to a more capable system. Also, if you’re adding an in-law suite or other expansion, you will likely need to add additional circuits. In these cases, it’s a good idea to call an electrician to install a sub-panel and move older circuits to it to free up space.