How To Install A New Breaker Box
B&K Electric: Your Trusted Electrician for All Your Electrical Needs
B&K Electric, located in Warwick, RI, is a family-owned and operated electrical business that has been proudly serving the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island for over seventeen years. With a strong commitment to community and customer service, we have become the go-to electrician for both residential and commercial clients in the Warwick area and the greater Providence Area. Our team of experienced electricians specializes in electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to installing a new breaker box, from the initial planning stages to the final installation process, tailored specifically for homeowners in East Providence, RI.
Planning and Preparation
Before beginning any electrical work, it is essential to have a thorough plan in place. This will help ensure the safety and efficiency of the installation process. First, determine the location of the new breaker box. It should be easily accessible, well-ventilated, and away from any water sources. Then, assess the electrical needs of your home. Calculate the total amperage of your electrical system to determine the size and type of breaker box you will need. It is also crucial to check the local building codes and obtain any necessary permits before beginning the installation.
Once the planning stage is complete, it’s time to gather all the necessary supplies. The following items are essential for installing a new breaker box:
1. New breaker box – ensure it is the appropriate size and type for your electrical needs.
2. Circuit breakers – purchase enough to accommodate all your electrical circuits.
3. Wire – make sure it is the appropriate gauge and length for your electrical system.
4. Wire strippers and cutters.
5. Drill and drill bits.
6. Pliers and screwdrivers.
7. Sharpie or marker.
8. Safety glasses and gloves.
Turn off Power
Before beginning any installation work, it is essential to turn off the power to your home. Make sure all appliances and electrical devices are unplugged, and then turn off the main breaker in your current breaker box. Test the power to ensure it is off before proceeding.
Remove Old Box
Carefully remove the cover and front panel of your old breaker box to expose the inner workings. Start by removing all the breakers and labeling the wires with a sharpie or marker. Then, unscrew any wires connected to the box and remove it from the wall.
Mount New Box
After the old box is removed, it’s time to mount the new one. Use a drill and the appropriate drill bit to create holes for the mounting screws. Then, secure the box to the wall with the screws provided. Make sure the box is level and secure.
Install Breakers and Wires
Next, it’s time to install the breakers and wires in the new box. Begin by connecting the main ground wire to the grounding bar at the top of the box. Then, install the main breaker and connect it to the main power wire. From there, install the remaining breakers according to their designated spots, using the labeled wires as a guide.
Label and Connect Wires
Once all the breakers are installed, label them accordingly to indicate which circuits they control. Then, connect each wire to its designated breaker, using wire strippers and cutters as necessary. Make sure all connections are tight and secure.
Test and Turn on Power
After all the wires are connected and secured, it’s time to test the system and turn on the power. Begin by turning on the main breaker, followed by each individual breaker. Test each electrical circuit in your home to ensure they are functioning properly. If there are any issues, double-check all connections and tighten them as necessary.
Final Steps and Safety Precautions
To complete the installation process, replace the cover and front panel of the breaker box. Ensure all screws are tightened, and the panel is securely in place. It is also essential to label the new breaker box with a new box label to indicate the date of installation. Lastly, it is crucial to remember to always turn off the power before working on any electrical systems and follow all safety precautions.
Installing a new breaker box may seem like a daunting task, but with the right planning, preparation, and supplies, it can be completed efficiently and safely. However, if you are not comfortable with performing this task on your own, it is always best to hire a professional electrician. B&K Electric is a licensed and experienced electrical company that specializes in panel maintenance and installation. Trust us to handle all your electrical needs with the utmost care and expertise.