Electrical Panels 101

Here at Hiller Electric, we do all that we can to make sure our customers have a better understanding of how electricity works. We aim to take the guesswork out of it, ensuring a safe and comfortable environment for them to be in. One thing that most homeowners seem to avoid is the mysterious electrical panel, which rarely gets touched unless the blow dryer knocks out the lights.

That is why today, we are going to go over some of the basics on electrical panels. Take a look below:

What is an electrical panel?

In a nutshell, the electrical panel is the brain of your home and acts as the access point for all your electricity and controls the flow of power throughout your house.

What does an electrical panel consist of?

Here is the most common breakdown of an electrical panel:

  • The main breaker: The main breaker is typically a double pole circuit breaker that can be used to shut off all power to your home and also identifies your breaker panel’s amperage capacity.
  • Circuit breakers: When we talk about electrical panels, we often think about the circuit breakers. However, the circuit breakers are only a small part of the electrical panel itself. Individual circuit breakers are installed in order to protect the wiring throughout your home and are usually tripped when an electric current exceeds the capacity of the breaker. That is why when you plug in a blow dryer, or run the dishwasher and toaster oven at the same time, the electricity goes out only in that room and not the whole house.
  • Neutral and hot wires: The wires of your electrical panel are typically divided between neutral and hot. These wires, or bus bars, work together to bring electricity into your home with the bus bar bringing electricity into your home and the neutral bus bar returning the energy back to the main source.
  • Ground wires: Ground wires are installed in order to protect you and your loved ones from injury that can be caused by a conductor carrying a current it is not mean to carry, like a metal appliance.

How do I get more power in my electrical panel?

For most homeowners, their current electrical panel can provide enough power to their home. However, if you are moving into an older home that cannot take the electricity needed for modern appliances, or if you are looking to install a hot tub or some other larger electrical appliance, then you may want to consider getting a sub panel, which can allow you to readjust the energy distribution of your home.


If you have any questions about your current electrical panel, feel free to contact us today by calling (402) 339-0524. Hiller Electric can also help you with your installation needs—no job is too big or too small, we guarantee quality service every time!

photo credit: Electrical panel finished via photopin (license)