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April 08,2022

Split Buss Electrical Panels vs. Main Breakers

Do you live in a home that was constructed between 1950 and 1980? Then there’s a chance your electrical panel has no main breaker. Instead, many homes built during this time frame have a split buss electrical panel. At Mr. Electric of Fort Worth, we provide quality residential and commercial electrical services in Fort Worth and surrounding North Texas area communities. Are you unsure what the difference is between a split buss panel and main breaker panel? If you’re in need of more information before investing in an electrical panel repair or replacement, then this article is for you. Here, we explain what a split buss panel is, and why you might want to consider an update. 

What is a Split Buss Electrical Panel?

A split buss electrical panel is missing a main disconnect breaker that most modern homeowners are familiar with. In the past, the NEC, or National Electric Code, allowed up to six switch throws for disconnecting power to a home. In these type of panel boxes, you’ll find a top grouping of up to six breaker switches which provide higher voltage to different areas of the home. Another set of switches are located at the bottom, with less voltage available. These bottom switches are most often used specifically for lighting. These can be difficult to use, because turning the power of your house off requires switching these breakers off, rather than just the main breaker. 

Should You Upgrade to a Main Breaker Electrical Panel?

Split buss electrical panels aren’t overtly dangerous, especially if they’ve been well maintained. However, there are common issues related to the use of split buss panels. Because of their age, they are often mislabeled, which can cause trouble for homeowners. In addition, the maximum longevity for electrical panels is 40 years, so there’s a good chance your split buss is well past it’s prime. For safety reasons, it’s best to go ahead and replace it with a main breaker, especially if you plan on selling or renting your home in the future. If you’re not quite ready to part with your split bus panel, then consider replacing any original breakers that are still in place. Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters or AFCIs are required by safety regulations, and are vital if you want to protect your property against fires. If your electrical system hasn’t been updated since the 1950’s or 1970’s, then it’s likely that your entire home is due for an update. Avoiding wiring issues and electrical panel mishaps can lead to dangerous consequences, including electrocution, fires and property damage. To ensure that your home is hazard free for loved ones, it’s important to schedule a professional inspection as soon as possible. 

Ready to Upgrade Your Split Buss Electrical Panel? Call Mr. Electric of Fort Worth

At Mr. Electric of Fort Worth, we are excited to offer residential and commercial electrical panel repair, replacement and installation in Fort Worth, Arlington, Burleson, Lake Worth, White Settlement, Aledo, Weatherford and other DFW area cities. Contact our office today for more information about our services or schedule a convenient appointment with a certified, licensed and insured electrician in your neighborhood.