What Is A Sub Panel?

Are you curious to know what is a sub panel? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about a sub panel in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is a sub panel?

In residential and commercial electrical systems, a sub panel is an essential component that provides additional electrical distribution points from the main electrical panel. Also known as a “sub distribution board” or “sub circuit breaker panel,” the sub panel serves as a secondary electrical distribution point, enabling the safe and efficient supply of electricity to specific areas or equipment. In this blog, we will explore the concept of a sub panel, its purpose, installation process, and why it is a valuable addition to electrical systems.

What Is A Sub Panel?

A sub panel is a supplementary electrical panel connected to the main electrical service panel through a feeder cable. It contains its own set of circuit breakers or fuses, which are responsible for protecting and controlling the flow of electricity to various circuits or appliances. The sub panel is usually installed in locations that require a significant amount of electrical power or in areas far from the main panel, where it may be impractical to run individual circuits.

Purpose Of A Sub Panel:

  1. Increased Capacity: The primary purpose of a sub panel is to increase the capacity of the electrical system. When the main panel reaches its maximum capacity due to additional circuits or increased power demands, a sub panel allows for the addition of more circuits without overloading the main panel.
  2. Improved Organization: A sub panel helps to better organize electrical circuits by grouping them based on their usage or location. This arrangement allows for easier maintenance and troubleshooting.
  3. Convenient Power Distribution: Sub panels are commonly used to supply power to specific areas, such as a garage, workshop, or a new addition to a building, without the need for long wire runs from the main panel.

Installation Process:

Installing a sub panel requires careful planning and adherence to electrical codes and safety regulations. It is recommended to hire a licensed electrician for this task. The installation process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Determine the Location: Select an appropriate location for the sub panel, ensuring it is easily accessible and meets the required clearance and ventilation guidelines.
  2. Size the Sub Panel: Assess the power requirements of the circuits to be connected to the sub panel and choose an appropriate panel size with enough circuit breaker slots.
  3. Run Feeder Cable: Connect the sub panel to the main panel using a feeder cable, which consists of three or four conductors (hot, neutral, and ground) depending on the electrical system’s configuration.
  4. Install Circuit Breakers: Mount the circuit breakers or fuses in the sub panel and wire them to the circuits that will receive power from the sub panel.
  5. Test and Verify: After installation, test the circuits to ensure they are functioning correctly, and verify that the sub panel is properly grounded and bonded to the main panel.


A sub panel is a valuable addition to electrical systems, providing increased capacity and convenient power distribution for various areas and equipment. It allows for the safe and efficient supply of electricity to specific locations without overloading the main electrical panel. When installed correctly by a licensed electrician, a sub panel enhances the overall functionality and organization of the electrical system, ensuring a reliable power supply for the diverse electrical needs of residential and commercial spaces.

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What Is The Difference Between Main Panel And Sub Panel?

The key difference is that the main panel is the breaker box where the electrical power from the electrical company flows through and controls the power supply to the entire building, while a sub-panel installation is a secondary breaker box that distributes power to specific areas or circuits within the building, and …

What Is A Sub Panel Called?

An electrical sub-panel, also known as a service sub-panel or circuit breaker sub-panel, acts as a waypoint between the main service panel and branch circuits further down the electrical line. In essence, an electrical sub-panel can be thought of as a mini service panel.

Where Is The Sub Panel?

A subpanels is often located in a different part of the house. You might, for example, find one near your home’s air conditioner. The circuits that deliver electricity to the various areas of a home are referred to as branch circuits.

Is It Necessary To Have A Subpanel?

Subpanels certainly can add convenience and plenty of room for installing new circuits, but your current system must have enough capacity to support a subpanel. Alternatively, if you need just one or two additional circuits, you may be able to get by with a tandem breaker or two.

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