How Do I Know What Size Electrical Service System I Need?

March 4, 2021

When your home receives power from the electric company, it doesn’t just flow directly from the power plant to individual lights and appliances. Instead, the electrical service is distributed to different branch circuits by your main service panel. As we’ll cover later, it can be important to know how much electricity is flowing through your home.

Depending on your home’s age and size, you may have as little as 60 amps of power or as much as 200 amps. This post from your electrical contractor in Carlsbad, NM will cover how to determine the size of your electrical service.

Inspect the meter

You may be able to find the size of your electrical service by looking at the electrical meter, which is the point where service wires from the electric company enter your home.

If the meter is a glass dome on a square metal base, you probably have 100 amps of power. Homes with 150 amps have a rectangular base that extends below the glass dome. If the glass dome is mounted on a round base, you most likely have 60 amps of electrical service.

Find and read your main service panel

The other place you can find your electrical service is on the main service panel, which is the distribution center for all of the power in your home. The service panel is usually a vertical gray or black box mounted on a wall. Service panels are often found on the opposite side of the wall where the exterior electrical meter is located.

Inside the main service panel, you’ll find two rows of branch circuit breakers and a central circuit breaker at the top or bottom of the panel. The central circuit breaker will have your amperage rating next to it. The number is usually 60, 100, 150 or 200 amps. Keep in mind that flipping this breaker will turn off power to your entire home!

Why is knowing this information important?

Knowing more about your home’s main electrical service isn’t information you’ll need to use on a daily basis. However, it’s vital to understand if you’re buying something that’ll use up a lot of electricity. For example, if you’re looking to purchase a hot tub, you’ll need to confirm that your home’s current electrical system will be able to handle the extra load. If it can’t, you’ll need to have your system updated.

Similarly, this information is important to have if you’re updating your electrical HVAC system. If you don’t have enough amperage to accommodate the new unit, you’ll need to choose a smaller one or hire an electrical contractor in Carlsbad, NM to upgrade your home’s electrical system.

Still unsure? Contact JB Electric LLC!

Determining the size of your electrical service isn’t the hardest thing in the world, but if you need help with that or anything else, simply call our team at JB Electric LLC to schedule an appointment. We’d be glad to send an electrical contractor in Carlsbad, NM to your property to address your issue.

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