Square D electrical panels: pros, cons and costs
If you are planning a panel upgrade, you need to be aware of your available options, which include Square D electrical panels.
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If you are planning a panel upgrade, you need to be aware of your available options, which include Square D electrical panels. Referred to by a variety of different names, such as a load center, a breaker box or a fuse box, these panels contain the breakers wired to the circuits in your home and act as isolators in the event of a current overload.
Due to the importance of this box, it is vital you take care in choosing the right unit for your needs.
Should you require extra electrical power, you cannot simply install a new panel without knowing what current ratings the new circuit breakers should have. A new Square D electrical panel or any electrical installation should be carried out by a professional contractor, who will be able to calculate the circuit breakers' current ratings. He may also have to modify the electrical wiring to deal with any increased load requirements.
Square D electrical panels come in two main types for two settings:
- Main breaker box (indoor).
- Main breaker box (outdoor).
- Main lug panel (indoor).
- Main lug panel (outdoor).
A main breaker panel limits the electrical current entering your home. A main breaker box isn't required if you are using a main lug panel. A subpanel may be a good option when your current panel does not have a sufficient number of slots to accommodate the addition of new circuits. Electrical subpanels are an efficient and cost-effective solution if you are only adding one or two extra circuits.
To determine which type of panel is right for your needs, you must be able to calculate current loads and conform to any specific code requirements. To make certain you choose the right Square D panels for your situation, you should hire a qualified electrician, who can also provide you with an electrical estimate for any electrical work you require.
Circuit panels can be categorized according to their current ratings. Square D control panels can also be identified based on the number of available circuit slots.
When you replace your existing panel, it is vitally important that your new panel has the same current rating. To comply with the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70), fuse boxes must be rated for a minimum of 100 amps. But larger residential current usage is becoming more common, so you should ensure the new panel meets or exceeds this level.
The cost of electric panels varies based on type and size. A 220V circuit panel with six slots will cost you about $30, while a unit with 30 slots will set you back $185. Prices for Square D panels range between these limits.
The only real downside to Square D electrical panels is that they cannot be shipped to Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
In deciding which Square D electrical panel is most suitable for your needs, you have to understand the differences in the available options. If you need help in finding a contractor to assist you with the installation of your new circuit box, Reply! can help.
Photo credit: home-proelectric.com