The Panel Box or Load Center is area where the electricity from the utility company enters your house. Inside this Box you will find all of the breakers that will control the “flow” of electricity to all of the individual electric circuits in your home.
The average American home will have either a 100 Amp or 200 Amp electric service supplying all of the home electric circuits. In older homes there may still be a 60 Amp service supplying power, but this is rare as most have been converted to 100 or 200 Amp services to keep up with today’s modern electric power demand. If you still have a 60 Amp service now is the time to have a certified registered electrician come and upgrade your service to a 100 or 200 Amp box. Changing your box to a larger electric service is NOT a job for the homeowner (you)!!!!!
Wiring your new finished basement for outlets, switches, light fixtures is an easy task that any homeowner can accomplish. You would wire the entire project before entering the Panel Box (Load Center). I tell my students to go ahead with the “rough” wiring for all of the outlets, switches and lights, but then have a registered licensed electrician come and check your “rough wiring” and have them make the connection in the panel box for you if you are unsure of your ability to do so!
The only real danger for shock starts once you enter the panel box and begin making breaker connections. It is in the panel box that the actual live electric current resides. So if this part of the basement electric project makes you nervous PLEASE DON’T ATTEMPT THIS PANEL BOX/ BREAKER INSTALLATION PART YOURSELF, CALL A PROFESSIONAL TO DO IT FOR YOU! Better safe than sorry…for real!
Now I’m not telling you this to scare you! I don’t want you to be afraid of electricity, you never want to fear it while you working with it, that’s when you can get hurt. Instead, you just need to respect what it is and what it can do…that’s all I’m saying here. I have trained many homeowners how to wire their own basements safely and efficiently while saving them thousands of dollars in the process:-)