The electrical panel of the house is the most important part of the electrical installation of any home. It is commonly known as ” the spreads ” or even, older the term ” the leads.” These two expressions make references to elements that they contain.

Actually, the correct name would be General Command and Protection Table. Today we are going to explain everything you need to know about the wiring of the house and the electrical panel.

It is a protection element of the first order in addition to ensuring the supply of electrical current to all areas of the house, the electrical panel is the input of current to the home.

You should also know that the installation of the electrical panel is not something that we can do freely where it suits us best.

The location and technical specifications that this installation must have is regulated by law. It is included in the Low Voltage Electronic Regulation (REBT), which we will explain later. In addition, its installation and subsequent modifications must be carried out by an authorized electrician.

Failure to comply with any of these rules could lead to financial penalties or even shut down the electricity supply and the installation itself.

Electrical panel and its components

The electrical panel is made up of wiring and switches of different types. Each of them has a function and controls the electrical supply to one of the areas of the house. We go on to list and explain them.

  • General box or box. The container box or general box must comply with minimum measures according to regulations for that purpose in terms of construction. It is also recommended that you have enough space to operate inside it.
  • In the first place, because more elements such as more wiring or switches could be needed in the future. And secondly because in case of breakdown it is convenient that the elements in the box are well spaced to be able to operate with ease.
  • The ICP (Power Control Switch). Through this first switch we control the supply of electrical energy to the entire installation. It is the first entry access to the circuit and therefore it is at the beginning of the circuit. The general supply wiring reaches it and the cables that go to the rest of the switches come out.
  • It will jump and turn off the supply if there is a demand for power greater than allowed, which happens when we have too many appliances running. It is a fundamental element so we will never operate on it in our house. It is mandatory by law that its installation or modification be done by a licensed electrician.
  • IGA (Automatic General Switch). This switch is used to protect the installation from short circuits and voltage surges. Currently it is mandatory that one be installed in each electrical panel.
  • Network switches. Each switch will control a series of elements of the installation. By separating and differentiating them, if there is a breakdown or a repair, we do not have to cut off the supply of the entire installation, only the one that affects that area.
  • ID (Differential Switch). It is an element that exists in all electrical panels, even in the oldest ones, hence many know it by “the differentials”. Nowadays 40A differentials must be installed in homes. Your mission is to activate and cut off the power supply if there is a ground leak or any other problem. This protects the appliance and the people who may be in contact with it.
  • PCS (Surge Protector Switch). Protects electrical appliances connected to the network from surges.
  • Magneto thermic (PIAS or small Automatic Switches). These are the switches that control the supply to each of the elements of the home. Each one will have a different amperage depending on the use that is given to each one, also the wiring that comes out of them into the circuit will be different (the thickness and resistance vary). The normal thing is to find 4 or 5 PIAS or circuit breakers. They are as follows:

10A: for home lighting. The wiring to be used is 1.5mm.

16A: for plugs. 2.5mm cables are used.

20A: for washing machines or water heaters. They are attached to a 4mm wiring.

25A: ceramic hob and ovens. 6mm 25A wiring

: air conditioning and heating. 6mm wiring like the previous one.

If it is true that in old installations there are usually four switches with which the last two circuits are joined to the same switch.

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