How to Hook Up a Circuit Breaker Box
The circuit breaker box, also known as an electrical panel, supplies your home with power and is managed by one main breaker plus separate breakers for each room of your home. There are also specific breakers that control the electricity supplied to certain appliances such as water heaters, clothes dryers and stoves. You can wire a circuit breaker box easily with the right tools and instructions.
Push out the knock out holes with the screwdriver. These knock out holes are identified by round indentions and are easily pushed out with the flathead screwdriver. Install the wire box connectors, or grommets, into each open knockout hole. The wire connectors easily push into each of the holes and click into place.
Align the circuit breaker box with the front of the wall stud. Insert each wood screw into the pre-cut screw holes and drill into place to secure the breaker box to the wall.
Insert the supply wire through the top knockout hole. The supply is the largest available wire. Insert the remaining wires into the knockout holes. There is no specific hole for each wire. When the home was wired, the wires were pre-labeled according to which light, outlet or appliance they operate. The breakers are pre-labeled according to amp.
Strip off the outside sleeves that surround each wire, using the utility knife. This will expose the inside wires within each sleeve. Strip off a 1/2-inch of the plastic coating that covers the two black wires located within the supply wire. Use the wire strippers to remove a 1/2-inch of the plastic coating from the remaining wires.
Install the two black wires of the supply wire into the breaker labeled "Main." Tighten the screws to hold the wires in place. Connect the bare copper wire to the neutral bars located on either side of the circuit breaker box.
Install the remaining wires into each circuit breaker, based upon required amps. Each set contains a white, black and bare wire. The black and white wires will be screwed into each breaker. The bare wire will run to the neutral bar. Label each breaker. The wire per amp requirements are as follows: Lights require 15 amps, outlets require 20 amps, dryers and water heaters require 30 amps and air conditioners and stoves require 50 amps. Tighten the screws.
Remove the knockout holes in the cover plate, using the screwdriver. Align the cover plate with the circuit breaker box and tighten each pre-installed screw. The circuit breaker box is now installed. Flip the "Main" breaker to the on position and then flip the rest of the breakers on as well. Your home should now have electrical power.
Things You Will Need
- Flathead screwdriver
- Wire box connectors
- Cordless drill with Phillips head drill bit
- 4 Phillips head wood screws
- Utility knife
- Wire strippers
- Ink pen
- Make sure all breakers are in the "Off" position during the wiring process.
- Use caution whenever using power tools.