If you own a large building, it is imperative that you consider integrating an electrical subpanel within the structure. This will aid in the organization of the building’s electrical system. Additionally, these help in ensuring that it is easy to access the electrical system for maintenance, repairs, and/or replacements. If you are in need of these devices, you will be pleased to know that our master commercial electricians here at Hardcore Electric are capable of assisting you! Continue reading to learn more.
What are Electrical Subpanels?
In order to explain what an electrical subpanel is, we must first start with an explanation of the circuit breaker box. This is referred to as the “service panel”. It is the main point of entry for the power feed from a utility company that enters a building from the meter.
It serves as the main point where all power is then distributed to the various circuits of the building.
The subpanel is a small service panel. It is designed to ensure the distribution of electricity to a certain part of a building.
Many professionals may refer to this panel as a “satellite circuit breaker panel”.
It possesses its own electrical breakers. It may be placed in any location and must be a minimum of one foot away from the main breaker box panel. It is fed by a special 240-volt breaker. It then branches off into additional circuits. It does not increase the amperage of the building; rather, it helps reduce the load from the main circuit breaker panel.
What is the Purpose of an Electrical Subpanel?
In short, the purpose of an electrical subpanel is to reduce the electrical load that is placed on the main breaker panel within a building.
These devices are designed so that they are able to successfully break up the electrical needs throughout a building. By adding an electrical subpanel, the electrical system of a building is not overloaded. As a result, fuses, wires, and other components will not melt and the breakers of the system will not trip.
What is the Difference Between the Main Breaker Box and the Subpanel Box?
The main difference between the main breaker box and a subpanel box is that the main box takes in the power that comes from a utility company. The subpanel serves as a type of middle-ground area for other types of different circuits that are actually connected directly to your property.
What is Considered a Subpanel?
A subpanel is a secondary type of breaker box. It is designed to split the electrical-based load of the building so that many areas within the structure may be provided with an ample level of electricity. In other instances, the subpanel may also be utilized to isolate a certain section from the large building from another section of the same building.
How Do I Know if a Subpanel is Needed?
If you have a main breaker box that is servicing a large building and you need additional room to integrate new circuits, you likely need a subpanel.
Prior to installation, you will need a licensed electrician to evaluate the main breaker box to ensure that it possesses the capacity to property support a subpanel.
How Many Breakers May Be Placed Within a Subpanel?
In most instances, the number of breakers that you want placed within an electrical subpanel is up to you. You will have to work with an electrician in order to determine what your local code enforcement has in place – as far as specific requirements. Also, the electrician will be able to make an advisory on the maximum that should be placed within the unit in order to accommodate the capabilities associated with the main circuit breaker. Remember, subpanels only reduce the amount of work or the load that is placed on the main breaker unit – it does not increase the amperage capabilities.
What are the Benefits of Installing Electrical Subpanels?
There are many benefits associated with installing electrical subpanels. These include – but are not limited to – the following:
- Increased Space – If you have a large building with increased electrical demand, you may discover that you do not have room to add additional breakers within the main service box. By integrating electrical subpanels, you are increasing the amount of space that you have available within the building – as a whole.
- Wire Organization – When you utilize an electrical subpanel, you will find that it is possible to better organize the wiring of your electrical system. Not only do these help in organization, but they also aid in ensuring that you do not have to do any extra work within the structure – such as cutting into walls or having to gain access to the current wiring within the ceiling.
- Circuitry Isolation – If you are doing an upgrade or a remodel, an electrical subpanel will assist in isolating the circuitry to various locations within the building. This will help you identify what electricity runs where – which will save you time and money in the future. In other words, for a new room, you would know that the new subpanel services that room. For an old room, you would know that it is serviced directly by the main service box or another subpanel that has already been installed within the large building.
How Much Does It Cost to Place an Electrical Subpanel in the Building?
The costs of electrical subpanels will be determined by many different factors. These include your location, the amperage of the panel, and the circuits that you will have placed within the unit. In most instances, they can average anywhere from $400.00 to over $2,000.00. In order to determine pricing, you will need to enlist the assistance of an electrical company that specializes in the panels for an inspection and a quote on the project. Remember, only go with companies that have electricians that are both licensed and insured for the project. For immediate assistance, give us a call.