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GE electrical panels: pros, cons and costs

If you need a panel upgrade, you need to be aware of your available options. Among those options are GE electrical panels.

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GE electrical panels. Photo by deejayres on Flickr.If you need a panel upgrade, you need to be aware of your available options. Among those options are GE electrical panels.

Electrical panels are sometimes referred to by a variety of different names, such as load centers, breaker boxes or a fuse box. Regardless of how you may refer to it, this box holds the circuit breakers that are wired to the various circuits in your home responsible for distributing power.

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Due to the importance of this box, it is critical that you take care in choosing the right product for your needs.

In the event you need additional electrical power, it should be noted that simply installing a new panel would not provide you with the extra power you desire. A new panel may be part of the process utilized by a professional electrician, but that process will also typically include the installation of a new electrical meter as well as new cables.

There are many different types of electrical panel products available, including:

    • Main breaker panels.
    • Main lug panels.
    • Sub-panels.
    • Transfer switches.

In determining which type of panel is right for your needs, it is important to understand the total new application loads and any code requirements. Consult with a professional electrician to make certain you choose the right GE electrical panels for your situation.

A main breaker panel limits the amount of electricity entering your home. A main breaker box isn't required with a main lug panel. When planning any electrical installation or modification work, you will need a separate disconnect with this type of panel. The electrical wiring is run to lugs.

A sub-panel may be a good option when your current electrical panel does not have a sufficient amount of slots to accommodate the addition of new circuits. Electrical sub-panels include transfer switches, which are devices that allow generator power to be transferred into electrical power.

You should also be aware that circuit panels can be categorized according to their current ratings. GE circuit panels can also be identified based on the number of circuits that can be accommodated. When you replace your existing panel, it is vitally important that your new panel has the same current rating.

The National Electrical Code requires fuse boxes to be rated for a minimum of 100 amps. Larger current usage is becoming common, so you should make sure that the new panel exceeds this level.

In obtaining an electrical estimate for your new electric panel, you will find that the cost of electric panels can vary based on type and size. A single-phase circuit panel can cost less than $60 while 225-amp, three-phase GE electrical panels can cost more than $500.

In deciding which GE electrical panels may be most suitable for your needs, it is important to understand the available options. Consulting a professional contractor can help you with this. If you need help in finding a contractor to assist you with the installation of your GE circuit panel, use Reply!'s qualified and licensed contractors.

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Photo credit: deejayres via Compfight CC.