Expert Electrical

Should You Install a Subpanel in Your Home?

Jun 16, 2022 | Residential Electricity

The Importance of Installing a Subpanel in Your Home: Ensuring Optimum Safety and Protection

The electrical system is the backbone of your home, powering everything from your lights to your appliances. At the heart of this system is your main electrical panel. While a single electrical panel is sufficient for most homes, there are situations where installing a subpanel can significantly enhance safety and functionality.

As a leading provider of residential electrical services, our team at Expert Electric understands the benefits a subpanel can offer to certain homes. We’ve gathered some information to help you decide if installing a subpanel is the right choice for your home. Please note that the installation of a subpanel is a complex and potentially dangerous task. We strongly recommend hiring an experienced and licensed electrical contractor to ensure the job is done safely and correctly.

Understanding Main Panels and Subpanels

Before we delve deeper, it’s important to understand the difference between a main panel and a subpanel.

The main panel is the central hub of your home’s electrical system. It’s directly linked to the entrance point of your house, functioning as the primary receiver of power from your utility company. This panel distributes power throughout your home and is the first line of defense against electrical surges, protecting both you and your appliances from potential damage, It’s the only point where you can disconnect your home entirely from the power grid, as it directly interfaces with the electrical supply provided by your utility company.

On the other hand, a subpanel is an additional control center that distributes power to specific areas within your property. It operates off the power provided by the main panel, feeding off its connection. Just like the main panel, a subpanel is equipped with circuit breakers designed to halt the flow of electricity when they identify an excessive current passing through them. This safety feature helps prevent electrical overloads, which could lead to appliance damage or even fires.

Should You Install a Subpanel in Your Home?

The Role of a Subpanel in Ensuring Optimum Safety and Protection

A subpanel, also known as a service subpanel or circuit breaker, serves as an extension of your main electrical panel. It provides additional slots for circuit breakers, allowing for a more organized distribution of power and making it easier to isolate circuits as needed. This is particularly beneficial in homes where the main panel is overcrowded or in homes undergoing renovations or additions.

Overcrowded Main Panels: A Safety Hazard

Over time, main panels can become overcrowded with connections. This not only makes it difficult for homeowners to understand and maintain their electrical systems, but it can also pose a significant safety risk. An overcrowded panel can be challenging and dangerous for an electrician to navigate should any repairs be required, potentially increasing the cost of the job. If your main panel is overcrowded, an electrician may recommend installing a subpanel to improve safety and convenience.

Accommodating Renovations and Additions

Home renovations and additions often place additional strain on the main panel. Whether you’re building a second garage or finishing your basement, installing a subpanel can help manage this increased load. It can be installed near the new addition, making it easier to manage the wiring and monitor its condition. This is particularly useful if you’re adding a living space like a basement suite, as it allows easy access to the panel if needed.

Should You Install a Subpanel in Your Home?

The Role of an Electrical Contractor in Installing a Subpanel

The installation of a subpanel is a task that requires a high level of expertise and knowledge about electrical systems. An experienced and licensed electrical contractor is equipped with the necessary skills and tools to carry out this task safely and efficiently. They can assess your home’s electrical needs, recommend the best solutions, and ensure that the installation is done according to code. Hiring a professional for this job not only ensures the safety of your home but also saves you from potential costly repairs in the future.


Installing a subpanel in your home can enhance safety, increase electrical capacity, and provide greater convenience. However, due to the complexity and potential hazards involved, it’s a job best left to professionals. To learn more about our residential electrical services or to discuss the details of your project, get in touch with the team at Expert Electric. We’re available through our online contact form and are always happy to answer any questions you may have about our services.