As a homeowner, you should have a say on where appliances and devices are installed in your house. Even if you hire electricians to do the job, your final words will always matter. The same applies when it comes to the installation of the electrical panel. You should have a say on where it should be installed.
So, which is the right spot to install an electrical panel? In this guide, we are going to help you choose the best location for your electrical panel.
Why does the location of the electrical panel matter?
First things first, should I care about where to install your electrical panel? You may ask.
Yes. It is important to pay full attention to where you install the electrical panel. Here are the top reasons why the location of the installation is important:
It will make sure that your electrical panel is safe
An electrical panel is a delicate and expensive device. It should be installed in a place where it is safe. The electrical panel should be placed in an area that is inaccessible to children and pets. It should be away from any water or moisture. You should also make sure that the area is fireproof and does not pose any risk to the electrical panel.
The location of the electrical panel can determine the safety of your family
The location of your electrical panel can also determine the safety of your family members, friends, and pets. If you install it in the wrong place, you may end up putting everyone’s lives at stake. So, choose a proper location for your electrical panel to ensure that no one will get hurt or killed due to it.
It will help you to avoid any complications
The location of the electrical panel can also determine the amount of work that you have to do. If it is installed in a place that is hard to reach, then you may have to face some difficulties in repairing or replacing it. So, think about where you want to put your electrical panel and then install it there.
The location of the electrical panel can save your money
The location of the electrical panel can also determine how much money you are going to spend on electricity bills. If it is installed near your house, then you don’t have to spend a lot on electricity bills. But if it is placed far away from your home, then you will end up spending more on your electricity bills. So, choose a proper location for your electrical panel to save money.
It can save your time
If you are installing the electrical panel in a place that is hard to reach, then it will take you more time to get there. So, choose a proper location for your electrical panel and then install it there.
From these reasons alone, you can tell that the location of the installation is an important topic that deserves your full attention.
Factors to consider when choosing the location of the electrical panel
So, how do I choose a perfect location for my electrical panel? You don’t have to be an expert to choose the best location. Here are the main factors that will guide you when it comes to choosing the right location.
Safety of the electrical panel
This is the very first thing that should come to your mind when it comes to selecting the location of the panel. Will the electrical panel be safe at a particular location? Is the electrical panel safe at the place where it is going to be placed?
If your answer is yes, then you are good to go. However, if you have any doubt about it, then you shouldn’t place the electrical panel at that particular location.
By safety, we consider if the panel will be protected from vandals and theft. This is critical especially when you live in an area that is prone to cases of insecurities.
Another aspect of safety is if the panel will be safe from various factors of nature that can damage it. They include water, hail, dust, etc. If the electrical panel will be exposed to these natural elements, then you shouldn’t place it at that particular location.
Accessibility of the electrical panel
This is another important factor that you should consider when it comes to choosing the location of an electrical panel. It should be at an accessible location.
This means that you should have easy access to the panel especially when you or the electrician would want to work on it, maybe solve a problem or install something extra to the panel.
The panel should be not too high and not too low. It should be at a height that most people can access. This is important because it will make the work easy and easy for everyone, especially the electrician, to work on it.
Safety of the users
The electrical panel should be safe for the users who will be using it. If you are installing a new electrical panel, then you need to consider the safety of all the people who will be using that particular area.
For example, if you install an electrical panel in a high-rise building, then you need to make sure that the electrical panel is not too high and it is not too low because it will make it difficult for someone to use or work on it. You also need to consider if there is a safe way for those people to use or work on the electrical panel.
The number of circuits
It is also important that you consider how many circuits your electrical panel has. This means how many circuits can this particular electrical panel have. For example, the electrical panel can have only one circuit or it can have 2 or 3 circuits. For example, you need to consider if your electrical panel has one circuit or 2 or 3 circuits.
The size of the electrical panel
The size of the electrical panel is also very important because it will affect how much space it will take up. The size of the electrical panel will also determine how much power that particular electrical panel can give to a certain area.
For example, if you install an electrical panel in a small room then it will not be able to give enough power to that particular room and therefore, you will need to install an extra circuit that can be used by other people in that particular room.
The utility company
Sometimes your utility company may determine where you should install the electrical panel. The utility company may say that you should install the electrical panel in a certain area because it is the best place for the electrical panel to be installed.
In most cases, they will advise installing in locations near the mains lines. The company may further give advice on the height, position, and alignment of the electrical panel installation.
Consider your electrical utility meter
When choosing the location, consider the location of your electrical utility meter. If you install the electrical panel in close proximity to your meter then the electrical panel will be able to give power to your meters and the appliances in your home.
The electrical panel should be installed at least a meter away from all appliances and other electrical devices.
The distance between the meter and the main power supply line can be a maximum of 1 km.
In most cases, it is better to install an electrical panel with a 20 amp circuit breaker or higher than an 8 amp circuit breaker or lower.
Consider your existing wiring
When installing an electrical panel, it is important that you consider whether or not there are any wires already connected to the wall outlet or switch where you are installing the electrical panel. If there are, it is important to disconnect them.
If you do not know whether or not there are any wires connected, it is important to remove any wires before installing the electrical panel, to prevent accidental short circuits and damage to your property or appliances.
The cost of installing an electrical panel can be a consideration when planning your budget for home improvements. Depending on the size of your property, the type of electrical panel you choose, and how much work you want to do, you may only need to pay a few hundred dollars. However, if you are installing an electrical panel in a large, expensive, or high-value home, it may take hundreds of thousands of dollars to install.
Which are the best locations to install electrical panels?
Given the factors that I have mentioned above, here are some of the most ideal locations for installing electrical panels;
In the garage
You may consider installing your electrical panel in the garage because it is a safe place to install the electrical panel.
The garage will be safe from thieves as it is difficult to steal in an area that lacks sunlight or with multiple locks and doors.
In case of a fire, the garage will be able to protect many items that are stored there.
There is also a possibility of saving money on electricity bills if you double-check your electricity meter before installing the electrical panel in your garage.
In the basement
You may consider installing your electrical panel in the basement because it is not visible to anyone and therefore, there are no chances of theft of this electrical equipment. The basement can also be used as an extra room for the storage of tools or appliances.
In the attic
You may consider installing your electrical panel in the attic because it is a safe place to install the electrical equipment.
The attic will be safe from thieves as it is difficult to steal in an area that lacks sunlight or with multiple locks and doors.
In case of a fire, the attic will be able to protect many items that are stored there.
There is also a possibility of saving money on electricity bills if you double-check your electricity meter before installing the electrical panel in your attic.
You will never go wrong with those three locations for the electrical panel.
What are electrical panel mounting requirements?
There are different requirements for mounting the electrical panel. The general requirement is that the electrical panel should be mounted on a wall or a ceiling and it should be fixed in any way.
If you do not intend to mount the electrical panel, then you can buy a kit from an electrical equipment supplier.
The most common requirements are:
– Mounting on the wall or ceiling.
– Securely fixing it to avoid extra costs for moving it.
– Planning for future expansion of your electric system.
– Anything that can affect your safety or comfort such as fire codes, legal requirements, and so on.
If you decide to mount the electrical panel, then you should make sure that it is secure and it does not fall off.
It should also have enough clearance for fitting the wires of the electrical system.
There are different types of mounting systems that can be used, but in most cases, they are made of wood or metal.
The most common mounting system is the wall-mounted system where all the wires are connected at one point and then are fixed in place with brackets or screws.
The electrical panel is a necessary part of the electrical system.
It is also important to make sure that it is securely installed in the right location. I hope that this guide has given you valuable insights regarding the location and the installation of the electrical panel.
And in case you need more information, let ICRFQ be your partner. We are a reputable sourcing agent for electrical panels in China.
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