Electrical Panel vs. Fuse Box: The Difference

What is an electrical panel?

electrical-panel-installation-electrician-marlborough-ctYour electrical panel, sometimes known as a circuit breaker or breaker box, is usually found in the basement of your Connecticut home. Electricity is carried through the poles outside dotting your neighborhood. A wire leads from one of those poles to your home to what’s called the outside service. The power is then directed inside your home to your electrical panel. When you open the panel cover, you’ll see a bunch of numbered switches. Each of those switches is connected to a circuit in your home. One circuit may have your living room lights and hallway outlets. If you see two connected switches in the electrical panel, that’s called a double breaker and controls the power on larger appliances such as a dryer or stove. It’s helpful to have a label on the inside cover of your electrical panel called a panel legend. It should describe what each numbered switch controls. If you have a power failure, it can help you troubleshoot the issue faster. A panel legend is also required by most town building departments.

What is a fuse box?

If you don’t see a series of switches when you open your electrical panel, you mayfuse-box-old-electrical-wiring-panel-ellington-ct have a fuse box. The terms are often interchanged. If you have a fuse box, you will see a series of circular knobs. Fuse boxes are found in old Eastern CT homes. These circular knobs
can “blow” and cause power outages. Fuse boxes aren’t necessarily dangerous IF they are properly maintained and the correct fuses are used for the electrical demands of the home. Today, we have so many more electronics that require even more electricity. To ensure electrical safety, we recommend upgrading your fuse box to an electrical panel.

What you SHOULDN’T see

Whether you see switches or knobs when you open the door, you should NOT see rust water-in-electrical-panel-should-replaceanywhere inside the box. Rust means that water is getting into the electrical system somewhere and could cause a fire. A professional, licensed electrician should be contacted to troubleshoot where the water is coming from.

Panel upgrades require an extensive knowledge of electrical systems, wiring and function. It is why we recommend that you have one of our Connecticut licensed electricians perform your electrical upgrade.  We guarantee excellent craftsmanship. We make sure that all of the required electrical standards are completely met every time. Please call 860-228-1036 to schedule a service call.