Are you confused and can’t pick between a 100-amp and 200-amp breaker panel? Are you wondering “how many breakers can I put in a 200 amp panel?” How can you tell which panel is right for you?
Learn more about breakers & electrical panels below.
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How Would You Know How Many Breakers You Need in Your Panel
How many circuit breakers in a 200 amp panel? Most 200-amp breaker panels have 40 to 42 slots of single-pole breakers or 20 slots for double pole breakers.
And although a 200 amp panel has many places for circuit breakers, that does not mean you can use all of it. The number of your circuit breaker still depends on how much load you need and should not exceed the max amps for 200 amp service.
In general, a 200-amp panel should handle no more than 160 amps at once. It’s important to note that people can have 300 or even 400 amps worth of breakers in a 200A panel, as they don’t use all circuits at the same time.
Calculating how many circuit breakers you need is also dependent on your home electrical loads. Furthermore, you need to know how much current capacity each breaker must have for its circuit.
For example, you can use the standard 15-amp breaker for your light fixtures and install up to 30 bulbs at 50 watts each. However, this is an extreme example. Ideally, each breaker should only service the lights you need for a particular room.
For outlets, the standard capacity is a 20-amp breaker. It can support most appliances in your house, such as televisions, laptops, and phones. You can also use the outlets of two rooms with one 20 amp breaker, as long as those outlets carry 16A at maximum.
But if you have a high-powered appliance, like a water heater, HVAC, or electric range, each heavy-duty machine must have its own circuit with individual breakers. After subdividing the loads into each circuit, you can now count how many circuit breakers you have in your panel.
100A Panel or 200A Panel
Choosing the right panel is typically a straightforward affair. It depends on your floor area and expected load. Most buildings with 2000 square feet or less use a 100-amp panel.
If you have a floor area greater than the number above and have high-load appliances like HVACs, a 200-amp panel is more appropriate.
How Do You Calculate the Loads of a House
Even if you’re not an electrician, you can compute your estimated total power load to see if you need a 200 amp box. You must have a basic understanding of the breaker panel and the load computation of your appliances.
- The first thing you should do is count the total watts you need for each of your circuits. That means you need to find out how much wattage your general lighting and fixed appliances require.
- You also need to count the total wattage of your other high-powered devices like dryers, toasters, and other large appliances that either have a large motor or contain heating elements.
- After that, find the total watts you need for your entire circuit. Subtract 10000 from this number, then multiply it by 0.4 and add 10000. Afterwards, add the full watts of your AC unit or heater (choose the bigger number).
You can then compute the full load your house needs by dividing the total wattage by 240 volts. You divide it by 240 because even though 110 is the typical voltage you get from the outlet, most houses use single-phase service, which has a typical current rating of 240 volts.
For example, if you get a total consumption of 30000 watts, divide that by 240 volts, and you’ll get a load requirement of 125 amps.
Selecting the correctly sized panel you need for your house is simple and easy. You just need to know the appliances you expect to use in each room, plus their corresponding wattage.
Once you know that, you then learn how many breakers you will need for your entire house and the capacity of each breaker. That way, you’ll be confident of how many breakers can I put in a 200 amp panel.
Are you currently installing a new circuit for your new house? Does this article help you determine your number of breakers?