Must You Protect Power Feeds at their Source?

Fuses and circuit breakers are designed to stop the flow of electricity when an overload occurs. They’re an essential part of protection against fires and shock hazards and are mandated by code for all feeder circuits in homes and businesses.

Most tripped breakers and blown fuses in service panels occur when too many devices are pulling current on a circuit or something happens to cause a short in that circuit. But what happens if the problem occurs upstream from your service entrance, beyond your control? That’s when the power company calls for the Wichita Lineman.

Electric Company Power Grids and NEC Requirements for Protection

Your home or business electrical service comes from a tap off the main power feed of the electric company’s lines. Their distribution system is basically an up-sized version of the wiring in your home or business, and it has similar protections. That’s why you occasionally experience power outages—something has caused an overload or short in the network that causes it to shut down to prevent larger problems. It could be downed lines due to weather or a car knocking down a power pole, a construction mistake, or too much demand from air conditioning on a hot summer day. And just like building codes protect your building, the National Electrical Code (NEC) requires specific sorts of protection for the electrical grid.

These protectors, be they fuses or breakers, can be located at a number of different points on the distribution lines, depending on how the line is configured, how long it is, and how it’s designed. But there will definitely be protection on the lines, including a breaker or fuse in the service panel where the power enters your building.

Code Requirements and Circumstances Call for Licensed, Insured Electrical Contractors

Ultimately, these code requirements are designed to protect structures and people from harm due to electrical faults. The fact that there are several options for achieving that protection based on specific circumstances means that anyone working on an electrical system must be highly trained and competent to understand and apply them properly. That’s why you should always trust your electrical work to a licensed and insured electrical contractor. It’s simply not worth the risk to your home, your family, or your business to do otherwise.

Allstar Electrical has served the Front Range for over 15 years and is top-rated by the BBB and Angie’s List. We offer homeowners, builders and businesses reliable, expert professional electrical workthat is safe and up to code.

When trouble strikes, or whenever you need electrical work, call Allstar Electrical at (303) 399-7420 or visit our website. Then use our handy on-line forms to request an estimate or set up an appointment. Allstar also offers 24/7 radio-dispatched emergency service throughout our Front Range service area.