Panelboard Switches

Written by Will Baum
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Panelboard switches come in two basic formats, fusible and non-fusible. For most modern-day applications, non-fusible switches are the go-to option. The circuit breakers you probably have in your home are non-fusible switches. In older homes or in locations that have special power needs, fusible switches are often installed.

Fusible panelboard switches have removable fuses that have to be replaced once the fuse is blown. Circuit breakers, as you probably know, can be easily reset without replacing any parts. It's this ease that makes circuit breakers (aka non-fusible switches) the panelboard switches of choice in most new construction.

The Importance of Panelboard Switches

Electrical contractors know all too well that panelboard switches have to be installed with careful attention. A malfunction among the panelboard switches is unacceptable. The switches have a simple task. When incoming electricity exceeds a certain voltage, the switches cut the power off. If they do their job, everything inside a structure is protected from the surging current.

If the switches don't do their job, it means trouble. At best, appliances get fried, maybe a light bulb pops. The worst case is the one that badly needs avoiding. If things go really wrong, a spark in the wiring can light a fire and, next thing you know, the entire structure is in flames.

It's no wonder electrical contractors undergo such careful scrutiny in the licensing process. Installing panelboard switches and other electrical systems isn't something you can trust just anyone with. It's best to rely on experienced professionals who know exactly what they're doing--both the how and the why.

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