Electrical Video FAQ – Electrical Panel Review Cutler Hammer - Woodbridge Electrician

Electrical Panel Review Cutler Hammer

​Transcription of FAQ Video:

 I'm Bill Root with Root Electric. And today, we're gonna be talking about electrical panels. Now, why am I talking about electrical panels? Well, electrical panels are number one, a big focus in our business. And here's why. Your electrical or your electrical system, imagine as an entire house with a foundation, a main level, a second level, and a roof. Well, the electrical panel is the foundation of your electrical system. Everything in your electrical system is built on top of that electric on top of that electrical panel. So you want to make sure that what you install in your house is both high quality and well installed. So before I get into which brands we like to install and which brands there are out there, I would like to stress that the difference between a good electrical panel and a bad electrical panel has less to do with the brand than it does with the quality of installation. A well installed electrical panel will last much, much longer than a poorly installed electrical panel.

That being said, our preferred brand is Copper Hammer. You can tell a Copper Hammer panel because they're the only brand that kind of has a tan covering on them. There are several reasons why we like this brand and what I'm going to go ahead and do to is pull the panel cover off and then I'm going to show you some of the features here. Well, so here we are. Now we have the panel cover off. This is showing us the insides of the electrical panel. As you can see, the panel cover is a separate assembly to the rest of the electrical panel. All right?

So there are several things we really like about the Copper Hammer brand electrical panel that makes us want to use it as our standard installation brand. Number one, this panel is designed so that it can either be surface mounted so it could be mounted on top of your wall or foundation. It could also be flush mounted, all right?

The difference between that is if you're installing it in an unfinished area, such as a basement or utility room, you just going to mount it to the side of the foundation, all right? So it's made for that. Many times, electrical panels are located in a rec room or a family room. That's a finished area with a drywall. So in that case, you're gonna want to flush mount it. That way, the only thing you see is just a panel cover. You don't see the rest of the electrical panel, it's all sunk into this wall.

Now, the second thing that I really like about these panels is the fact that they're really big. This is the 42 circuit Copper Hammer electrical panel. And you can't really see it with the camera and I'll try to show you with my tape here. But this panel is actually just about 39 inches long. That's over three feet from top to bottom. So what that does for us as electricians is it gives us plenty of room to go ahead and route wires through the electrical panel to put the service cables into your main breaker and then also to route electrical wires into your circuits and then into your neutral box. It makes it so that we can have a nice, neat installation.

The next thing that we really like about these panels is the bus bars. Now the bus bars are the backbone of your electrical panel. That's what distributes electricity from your main breaker here to all of your circuit breakers. Now the big plus with the bus bars and a Copper Hammer panel are that they're made of copper. Okay? Not only that but they also have silver coating. Copper bus bars are very conductive. On top of that, they're heat resistant. If you have a breaker goes, that goes bad on you and it starts to heat cycle, these bus bars are going to withstand that heat cycling much better than other materials.

The next thing that we really like about these panels is that they have large neutral bars, okay? And that's these long metal bars you see right here. Now what the neutral bars are for, that's where your ground wires and your neutral wires plug into. Some brands do not have these long neutral bars. And what starts to happen is electricians will have to start doubling up grounds. And sometimes you'll find them start to cheep. That starts hot spots, hot spots lead to sparking, and sparking leads to fires. So Copper Hammer's solution for that is to have large neutral bars. All right?

Finally, what we really like about this panel is...now this is an optional feature. It's called a whole house surge protector and it's integrated into the electrical panel. Now many brands that you see out there, the surge protector, this unit right here will actually be mounted on one of the knockouts on the side or hanging out from the bottom. Now that's okay if it's installed in a utility room but if it's installed in your family room or a basement rec room, you want it to be out of sight. So this model electrical panel allows us to install inside the electrical panel. Now I'm going to go ahead and put the cover back on and show you what it all looks like.

Okay. So we have the panel cover reinstalled. Now again, we were talking about the integrated whole house surge protector. And I also spoke about how and maybe in some cases, it would have to be installed on the exterior of the panel, hanging from the top, the side, or the bottoms. Usually not the top. When you open up the cover, the integrated whole house surge protector is incorporated into the panel. It's beneath all the circuit breakers right here. So that way, if you're in a finished area in a rec room, you don't see anything. So that's one of the advantages to this particular model and it is why we use the Copper Hammer brand panel. If you have any questions or if you have any comments, please feel free to give me a call. I look forward to hearing from you. I'm Bill Root with Root Electric. And we keep you grounded.

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About the Author

During my tenure at Root Electric, I lead the transition of Root Electric from a primarily sub-contracting based business model to a prime-contracting based business model. Accomplishments have been made by developing a team based approach to researching and implementing a service-specific client management system.My goals for the next five years are to fine tune Root Electric's brand strategy and to diversify its scope of services, while remaining true to the discipline of electrical work.