Concretely, what is the electrical panel? What is it used for ? How to install it? Setting up and connecting this device are two crucial steps that should not be taken lightly. Each apartment is equipped with an electrical panel, which brings together in a single point, all the electrical circuits of the house. This equipment also has a protection function. However, in order for it to perform all of its functions, the board must be strictly installed by a specialist, according to the standard.
It is the central part of any electrical installation within a dwelling or building. It is also known as an electrical cabinet or protection board. This housing has several roles, including the management of the power supply, the preservation of electrical circuits, or the distribution of the current in the various rooms of the apartment. If the electrical panel brings electrical circuits to a single point, it is mainly to simplify the identification and management. It is also the starting point for power lines in a home.
As a rule, a different power line is assigned to each room in the apartment. As a result, it becomes simpler to turn off the main power supply, or the circuit current for each space in the house at any time, without disrupting the power supply in the other rooms. This system is relatively practical when it comes to repairing a power outage or performing minimal electrical work (installation of a power outlet, installation of a luminaire, etc.). During the installation of the board, it is therefore essential to pay attention to the marking step of each circuit.
The protection board also serves to receive safety devices for sectioning and protection of electrical circuits. It is also common that it is able to accommodate various automation associated with home automation. The board has the appearance of a box consisting of: a main circuit breaker, one or more 30mA differential devices each connected to a maximum of 8 circuit breakers and other modules of different sizes.
Choosing electric panels equipped and pre-wired is a very interesting solution because they have the ability to adapt to any type of home. By completing this box with modular electrical devices, you will allow it to adapt to the type of electrical network in your home (load cell, surge arrester, circuit breaker, differential switch , etc.). Modular devices are responsible for protecting the occupants of the house and the circuits. They are also used to control lighting and consumption. You can also find combs that help feed the various circuit protections. We can also mention the terminal blocks that are in neutral and earth phase, found in all electrical panels.
Today, there are a multitude of electric models each with a variety of features to perfectly match the type of electrical installation you have in your apartment. In order to properly select the cabinet protection board, it is essential to take into account a list of criteria (security standards for your building or housing, the multiplicity of circuits to be wired, the size of the board, etc.). . When it comes to changing an old switchboard or installing new equipment, it is essential to invest in equipment that meets the standards.
The connection and installation of the electrical panel will be easier if you opt for an equipped and pre-wired electrical cabinet. Depending on the brand and model selected the protection boards can be installed in different ways. You can choose from the tables to be projected, exposed paintings or flush-mounted tables for a connection perfectly suited to your home. If you want to control the overall operation of the connection at any time, you can invest in an electrical panel with a glass door.
The size of the housing should depend on the number of devices to be installed, but also their size. The more electrical parts and devices in a home, the higher the number of connections to be made. The extension of housing, the construction of a garage or the installation of attics sometimes require the creation of a new wiring at the protection board. It is therefore recommended to select a table that can meet your current needs as well as your future needs.
You can also choose from empty tables of 8 to 52 modules. Anyway, do not forget to accurately respect your electricity scheme and take into account an additional size of about 30% for the location of future connections.
It is necessary to respect a minimum number for the differential switches (30mA), for an installation conforming to the standard. This criterion varies according to the size of the apartment.
The constitution of the home electrical cabinet usually varies depending on the overall configuration of your apartment or building and the electrical circuits it houses. It is essential to know the various elements to put in place in this table, as well as the role of each element that will be placed there. Here is the list of electrical devices to put in the electrical panel:
– Breaker: It is a protection device that will cut the power if an electrical incident should occur at a circuit. There are 3 types:
the branch or general circuit breaker which is responsible for the emergency stop of the complete installation, in the event of an incident. The divisional circuit breaker is responsible for protecting the electrical circuits of the apartment by stopping the circuit responsible for a short circuit or overload. Finally there is the differential circuit breaker that protects the lines individually.
– Differential switch: Functioning almost like a differential circuit breaker but unable to detect overloads and short circuits, this switch is an economical solution that can be used on circuits except sensitive circuits.
– Fuse: The fuse tends to disappear. Even if it is no longer present on electrical cabinets respecting the standard, the fuse is still in the list of safety devices.
The process begins with the installation of the protection board (exposed or recessed installation). It is important to know how to tie the board to the electrical circuits of the house. This implies that the housing is installed in the location of the technical duct of the house. If it is a question of changing an old electrical panel, it will be necessary to trigger the differential switch and to make sure that the current no longer circulates on the electricity installation. Then make sure to properly connect the control cabinet. It is best to entrust the work to a professional, especially when it comes to changing an old equipment. It is possible to set up an additional protection board.
The protection panel of a dwelling must comply with NFC 15-100 , whether it concerns a new installation, a change of equipment or an entire electrical renovation . The standard requires that the electrical cabinet be placed in an internal location of the building, even if it is an apartment. In a new home or one that has undergone a major change in electrical installations, the board must be placed in the housing’s technical duct. The sheath will be placed near an entrance or at the location of an additional room, so that you can access it at any time and make a change in your electrical installation (connect a new circuit, cut off the power before proceeding with electrical work, etc.)