All throughout your office building and even in your home, you’ll find Electrical Panels and Receptacles. These electrical components are integral to the flow of electrical current in your building.

Electric Panels Are Known By Other Names

You may also hear Electric Panels referred to by one of these names:

  • Distribution Board
  • Panelboard
  • Breaker Panel
  • Electric Panel

Electrical Panel Purpose

The primary purpose of the electrical panel is to divide the main electrical feed from the power company into the secondary circuits for distribution throughout the rest of the building. Each one of these circuits has it’s own circuit breaker to protect the circuit from overloading.

Electrical Panels

The electrical panel is a metal box with a bunch of switches inside usually located in your garage. Electricity enters your home from the main feed from the power pole and terminates at the electrical panel.

Inside the electrical panel, attached to the wires, are circuit breakers which regulate the flow of current and can toggle to the off position if too much current is drawn by the wires. This is a safety feature to protect you and your home.

The wires carry the electrical current to each room in your home and terminate at an electrical outlet. Electrical outlets usually have two receptacles where you can plug in a toaster, blow dryer or other any device that requires electricity.

Receptacles May Be Known By Other Names

You may also hear Electric Panels referred to by one of these names:

  • AC Power Plug
  • Socket or AC Socket


There are special receptacles in the bathroom, kitchen and other areas that are near water. These receptacles are called Ground Circuit Fault Interrupter or GCFI for short. A GCFI is an electrical outlet that shuts off the power when it detects that current is flowing along an unintended path, such as through water or a person. It is used to reduce the risk of electrical shock.

You may also want to read Circuits and Wiring.

You can also read more about Electrical Panels here and receptacles here.