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Does Your Home Need a Subpanel?

Residential Electricity | 16 November 2022

Electrical panels are vital components of every home regardless of their size, age, or layout. While most homes can function properly with a single electrical panel, some homeowners may choose to have a subpanel installed to ensure optimal safety and reliable performance. As an experienced team of residential electrical contractors, the team at BNR Electric knows how beneficial subpanels can be in certain circumstances. That is why we have put together some information to help you determine if your home needs a subpanel.

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What is a Subpanel?

A subpanel is a smaller service panel that is used to distribute power to a specific area of you’re your home or other buildings on the property. Subpanels do not add amps to your home’s electrical system, but they help take the load off your home’s main circuit breaker. It is crucial to note that installing a subpanel is a complex and potentially hazardous job that should only be completed by a licensed electrician.

Why do You Need a Subpanel?

Subpanels are typically installed due to a need for enhanced safety or additional electrical capacity. The following reasons are among the most common for installing a subpanel:

Renovations and Additions to Your Home

Whether you are building a powered backyard shed or finishing your basement, most renovations and additions will place additional strain on the main panel. The best way to keep the load off the main panel is to install a subpanel. In addition to reducing strain on your main panel, subpanels can be installed near the new addition, making it easy to manage applicable wires and monitor their condition. This is especially useful if you decide to build a basement suite or in-law suite, as the tenants will have easy access to the panel if needed. A new subpanel can also make it easier to add new wiring for future additions, saving you the headache. For example, if you want to install a baseboard heater, air conditioner, or other device that requires an independent circuit in your new space, this task will be much easier if you have a subpanel installed.

Overcrowded and Unsafe Main Panels

Main panels can become overcrowded with connections over time, making it difficult for homeowners to understand their layout and maintain various components should the need arise. Since these panels are typically not maintained, they can become extremely dangerous. In addition to household electrical safety, an overcrowded panel can be very difficult for an electrician to navigate should any repairs be required, increasing the cost of the job. If an electrician experiences substantial difficulties with your main panel, they may recommend installing a subpanel for the sake of safety and convenience.

To learn more about our residential electrical services or to discuss the details of your project, get in touch with the team at BNR Electric. We can be reached through our online contact form or by phone at 778-704-0312 and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our services.

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