Powering Your Home: A Complete Guide to Electrical Panels and Subpanels

In the modern world, we often take electricity for granted. It’s readily available at the flip of a switch, powering our homes and enabling our day-to-day lives. Behind this convenience lies a complex system of electrical panels and subpanels, quietly distributing power to every corner of our properties. Despite their vital role, many homeowners are unaware of the significance of these components, both in terms of daily life and property safety. Kelley Electric, serving the Allentown, PA region, is here to guide you through the intricacies of electrical panels and subpanels. We will explore their functions, the installation process, repair procedures, and emphasize why choosing a trusted electrician is paramount.

Demystifying Electrical Panels

Understanding the Electrical Panel

The heart of your home’s electrical system, the electrical panel, is a central hub where electricity is received from the utility company and distributed throughout your property. Located typically in a utility room or basement, it acts as a nerve center, ensuring your appliances, lighting, and devices receive the required power.

The Main Breaker

Within the electrical panel, the main breaker plays a pivotal role. As the master switch, it empowers you to cut off the power supply to your entire home in emergency situations, during repairs, or for maintenance purposes. Understanding the main breaker’s location and how to operate it is essential for homeowners.

Unpacking Subpanels

What Are Subpanels?

Subpanels are like branches extending from the main electrical panel. These secondary panels are installed to distribute electricity to specific areas of your property. For instance, if you have a detached garage, a workshop, or have added a new room to your home, subpanels are the solution to manage the power distribution efficiently.

When Do You Need a Subpanel?

The necessity for a subpanel arises in two primary scenarios. Firstly, when your main electrical panel reaches its capacity and cannot accommodate more circuits, subpanels provide additional room. Secondly, subpanels are needed when you want to segregate the power supply to specific areas, improving safety by reducing the load on the main panel.

The Installation Process

Electrical Panel Installation

The installation of an electrical panel involves a sequence of critical steps, expertly handled by a professional electrician:

Assessment: A qualified electrician, such as Kelley Electric, will assess your property’s electrical needs, ensuring the new panel aligns with your specific requirements.

Permits and Regulations: We handle all the necessary permits and ensure that the installation complies with local building codes and safety standards.

Wiring and Circuit Breakers: During the installation process, the electrical panel is connected to the power source, and circuit breakers are installed to regulate the electricity’s flow.

Subpanel Installation

The installation of a subpanel follows a similar procedure:

Location Determination: We identify the ideal location for the subpanel, often in proximity to the area it serves.

Wiring and Connections: The subpanel is connected to the main panel, and circuits are extended to the designated area, ensuring an appropriate load distribution.

Safety Measures: Safety is paramount, so grounding and safety features are installed to protect your home.

Signs of Electrical Panel Problems

Recognizing Issues

It’s imperative to be able to identify potential problems with your electrical panel. The signs indicating panel issues include:

Frequent Circuit Breaker Trips: Repeated trips suggest an overload, damaged wiring, or a malfunctioning breaker.

Buzzing or Humming Sounds: Unusual sounds from the panel may be indicative of loose or damaged components.

Flickering Lights: Inconsistent lighting can be an indication of a failing panel.

Burn Marks or Odors: Any burning smell or visible burn marks are a serious issue that necessitates immediate attention.

4 signs of electrical panel problems

The Importance of Timely Repairs

Timely repairs are crucial to maintain the safety and functionality of your electrical system. Neglecting issues can lead to electrical fires, equipment damage, and even personal injury.

Electrical Panel and Subpanel Repair

When Repairs Are Necessary

Electrical panel and subpanel repairs are necessary in several scenarios:

Overloaded Panels: If your electrical panel is continually overloaded, it can result in damage and safety risks.

Corrosion or Rust: External elements like moisture can harm the panel’s components.

Outdated Panels: Older panels may not meet modern safety standards and need upgrading.

Faulty Wiring: Damaged or deteriorating wiring within the panel can cause electrical issues.

4 signs electrical panel or subpanel repairs are necessary

The Repair Process

When a repair is required, the professionals at Kelley Electric follow a comprehensive procedure:

Issue Assessment: We conduct a thorough inspection of the panel to pinpoint the exact problem.

Necessary Replacements: Faulty components or wiring are replaced to ensure proper functionality.

Safety Upgrades: If required, we bring your panel up to current safety standards.

Testing and Verification: We rigorously test the panel to ensure it’s functioning correctly and safely.

Beyond the Basics

Energy Efficiency

In addition to installation and repair, we can assist with energy-efficient solutions. Modern panels and subpanels are designed to enhance energy efficiency, reducing your utility bills and environmental impact.


As technology evolves, your electrical system should keep pace. We offer services to future-proof your home by ensuring your electrical system can handle the demands of tomorrow.

Why Choose Kelley Electric

Expertise and Experience

Kelley Electric boasts a team of experienced electricians who specialize in electrical panels and subpanels. Our years of expertise guarantee that you receive top-tier service and reliable solutions for your electrical needs.

Safety and Compliance

Safety is our highest priority. We adhere to all safety regulations and local building codes, providing you with peace of mind that your electrical system is in secure hands.

Customer-Centric Approach

We prioritize our customers. Your needs and preferences are central to our work, and we strive for your complete satisfaction in every project we undertake.

Competitive Pricing

We offer a variety of panel packages tailored to accommodate our customers’ budgets, and depending on the selected package, panel installation comes with a guarantee ranging from 2 to 10 years.

Licensed Electricians

Kelley Electric takes pride in its team of licensed electricians, ensuring that our clients receive professional and reliable electrical services.


Understanding the role, installation, and repair of electrical panels and subpanels is vital for every homeowner. These components form the backbone of your electrical system, ensuring the safe and efficient distribution of power throughout your property.

At Kelley Electric in Allentown, PA, we are committed to providing expert solutions for all your electrical needs. Whether you require a new panel installation, subpanel addition, or panel repair, our experienced team is here to ensure your electrical system operates flawlessly and safely.

Make the smart choice for your electrical needs – choose Kelley Electric for unparalleled expertise, safety, and customer satisfaction. With a comprehensive understanding of electrical panels and subpanels, you’re now better equipped to make informed decisions about your property’s electrical system.