Knowledge You Expect, Service You Deserve

Circuit Breaker Panels

WARNING: Homeowners should not attempt to wire their own homes or install and wire new circuit breakers or work in the circuit breaker panel. Troubleshooting circuit breaker panels in your home should be done by a licensed electrician.

What You Need to Know

15 Amp Service
Electricity enters your home and goes to a circuit breaker panel where it's divided into a number of circuit breakers. Each circuit breaker is protected by a breaker or fuse. Your bedrooms, hallways, living rooms and basement, where only lights and small electrical appliances are usually used, are normally on 15-amp circuits.

20 Amp Service
Other rooms in your home such as kitchens laundry rooms and bathrooms may have 20 amp circuits. These rooms draw power from toasters, toaster ovens, irons and hair dryers.

50 Amp Service
Rooms with major appliances like electric ranges clothes dryers, water heaters and air conditioners or major appliances like 5,000-watt electric water heaters and 10,000-watt electric ranges demand so much electricity that they take their own 30-to 50-amp dedicated circuit.

The circuit breaker panel system is designed so that the circuit breaker trips when you try to pull too much current through it and before a potential hazard like fire may occur. A circuit breaker "trips", or shuts off and stops the flow of electricity through an electrical circuit when it senses more current flowing through it than it's supposed to have. By tripping, the circuit breaker protects the circuit and its wiring from getting too "hot" and causing damage including fire.

If you go to the electrical panel, flip the circuit breaker back to its original on position. If the breaker clicks back to the off position, you need to stop and call a licensed electrician right away.

Circuit breakers are made to trip (shut off) and turn off power when any of the following dangerous situations occur:

  • Overloaded Circuit
  • Short Circuit
  • Ground Fault

Circuit Breaker Panel Humming
A loud buzzing or humming sound coming from a circuit breaker panel should be alarming and may be a sign of serious problems. Some causes of humming noises in the breaker box are:

  • A breaker that is carrying a major load and is not tripping or shutting off may make a humming or buzzing sound and should be repaired or replaced by a licensed electrician in order to prevent an overheated circuit.
  • Sparking or a fizzling is potentially dangerous and may be a connection problem Call Kaiser/Speedy Electric to take of this problem immediately.

When you hear a humming noise as soon as the circuit is turned on then quickly shuts off, it is typically the result of a circuit problem. Call a licensed electrician to check this out.

If you are hearing a loud noise, humming in the circuit breaker box or the panel, or the circuit breaker feels hot and possibly sparking around the circuit breaker panel call a licensed electrician immediately.

Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping
The circuit breaker might need to be changed. Circuit breakers do have a limit as to how many times they can take short circuits. Check to see if there are too many items using the circuit. Call a licensed electrician to check before a real problem occurs.

Don't Let This Happen to you

Alert Breaker Panel Safety Notice

  • Have you heard of a Federal Pacific or Zinsco electrical panel?
  • Has someone told you "Your breaker box is dangerous"?
  • Did you know that these "Stab-Lock" breakers can fail to "trip"?
  • Federal Pacific and Zinsco breaker boxes are no longer UL listed and should be replaced .*

*"Mr. Speedy Electric" is not implying that if you own "Stab Lock" designed breakers your home will burn. It is however, safe to say that if you do in fact own this type of breaker, have a short circuit, and it fails to "trip", the potential for a fire is great.


A breaker panel upgrade is just what it implies. It is an upgrade from the existing electrical panel. With all the new appliances, and technical devices we now have in our homes, we find that older homes might not have sufficient power available to handle the increased demand. Therefore, a "service change" is required. This includes not only an upgrade in your electric panel. but an upgrade in your meter socket and wire size between the meter and panel.


A panel change out is usually required to alleviate a problem with the existing panel. (1)Sometimes a breaker(s) might overheat to the point that the buss bar in a panel gets burned. (2)The conductors between the meter and panel may become loose and burn out the main lugs, especially common when aluminum conductors were used. (3)The existing panel may be a Federal Pacific or Zinsco. These panels need to be changed due to the problems that exist with the products. We address these two products under our FAQ page.

"Mr. Speedy Electric" is the leading installer of new electrical panels in Central, Southern NJ and Eastern Pennsylvania area. The reason? Great prices, fast service, and because we do so many service panel upgrades, an intimate understanding of exactly what it takes to get the job done right the first time.


Should you have questions about your particular electric panel, please feel free to call us here at "Mr. Speedy Electric" Call us Today at 609-301-4239 or 215-531-5009. We will be glad to answer any questions you might have about any electrical problem. We can schedule an appointment to come out and evaluate your electrical system.

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