Which Electrical Panel is Right for Your Home?

Which Electrical Panel is Right for Your Home?Fuse Box Repair Houston Electrical Panel

Electrical panels, also known as breaker panels or fuse boxes, are an essential component of any home’s electrical system. They serve as the main distribution point for electricity coming into your house from the utility company and distribute it to different circuits throughout your home.

Choosing the right electrical panel for your home is crucial for ensuring the safety and functionality of your electrical system.

Understanding Electrical Panels

An electrical panel, also known as a breaker panel or fuse box, is the central control center for your home’s electrical system. It serves as the main distribution point for electricity and ensures that each circuit in your home receives the appropriate amount of power.

An electrical panel has circuit breakers or fuses. These devices protect your home’s electrical system from overloading or short circuits. Every part of your home’s electrical system is connected to a breaker or fuse. If there is a problem, the breaker will turn off or the fuse will blow, stopping the power to that area. Now, let’s take a closer look at the different types of  panels available for residential use.

Different Types of Electrical Panels

Before we dive into the different types of panels, it’s important to note that the type of panel you need for your home will depend on various factors such as the size and age of your home, as well as your power needs. Understanding these different types can help you make an informed decision when choosing an electrical panel.

Main Breaker Panel

As mentioned earlier, the main breaker panel is the most common type of  panel seen in homes. It has a single large breaker that controls the entire house’s power supply and is usually rated for 100 to 200 amps.

Main Lug Panel

A main lug panel does not have a main breaker and is typically used as a subpanel in addition to the main breaker panel. It can be installed closer to an area or appliance that requires more power, such as a garage or workshop.

Fuse Box

Fuse boxes were commonly used in older homes before circuit breaker panels became the standard. They use fuses instead of circuit breakers to protect the circuits from overloading and short circuits. However, they are now considered outdated and not as safe or efficient as modern circuit breaker panels.


Subpanels are smaller  panels that can be added to supplement the main panel. They are useful when you need additional circuits for specific areas or appliances, such as a hot tub or air conditioning unit.

Transfer Switch Panels

Transfer switch panels are used in homes with backup generators. They allow you to safely switch between the main power supply and the generator during a power outage.

 Specialty Panels

There are also specialty panels designed for specific purposes, such as solar panel systems or electric vehicle charging stations. These should be installed by a professional with expertise in that particular area.

There are various types of electrical panels available, each serving a specific purpose. By understanding the different types and their functions, you can choose the right one for your home’s electrical needs. Remember to always consult a licensed electrician for proper installation and maintenance of your electrical panel.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Electrical Panel

When it comes to choosing the right electrical panel for your home, there are a few important factors to consider. These include:

  • Amps: The amp rating of the panel should match the power requirements of your home. A main breaker panel with 100 amps is typically sufficient for a small to medium-sized house, while larger homes may require 150 or 200 amps.
  • Number of circuits: It is important to consider the number of circuits you will need for your home’s electrical needs. If you plan on adding new appliances or expanding your home in the future, it may be wise to choose a panel with more circuit spaces to accommodate these changes.
  • Brand and quality: It is essential to choose an electrical panel from a reputable brand known for its safety and reliability. Cheaper panels may not have the same level of quality and may not offer adequate protection for your home.
  • Type of panel: As discussed earlier, there are different types of electrical panels available, such as main breaker panels, main lug panels, and fuse boxes. Consider which type would be most suitable for your home’s specific needs.
  • Size and age of your home: The size and age of your home can also play a role in selecting the right electrical panel. Older homes may have different wiring and power needs compared to newer homes, so it’s important to consider this when choosing an electrical panel.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision on which type of electrical panel would be best for your home. It’s also important to consult with a licensed electrician who can provide expert advice and help you determine the most suitable panel for your specific needs.

Signs that Your Electrical Panel Needs to be Upgraded

While regular maintenance and inspections are important for ensuring the proper functioning of your electrical panel, there may come a time when it needs to be upgraded or replaced altogether. Here are some signs that indicate you may need to upgrade your electrical panel:

  • Flickering lights: If your lights flicker or dim consistently, it could be a sign that your panel is not able to handle the electrical load in your home.
  • Tripped breakers: Frequent tripping of circuit breakers can also indicate an overloaded or faulty electrical panel. This can be dangerous and should be addressed promptly.
  • Burning smells or scorch marks: If you notice any burning smells coming from your electrical panel or see scorch marks, this could be a sign of electrical issues and should be addressed immediately.
  • Old age: If your home is older and still has the original electrical panel, it may be time for an upgrade. Older panels may not meet current safety standards and can put your home at risk.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to consult with a licensed electrician for a professional assessment. They can advise you on whether an upgrade or replacement is needed and ensure it is done safely and correctly.

Final Thoughts

Installing an electrical panel should be done by a licensed electrician to ensure proper installation and avoid any safety hazards. An electrician can help you choose the right electrical panel for your home based on its size, age, and power requirements.
The electrical panel is a crucial component of your home’s electrical system, and choosing the right one is vital for ensuring safety and functionality.