When you proceed with the construction, renovation or maintenance of a building, whether it is for residential or commercial use, it is always essential to take care of the electrical installation. Among the things to pay particular attention to are the circuit breaker.
What is a circuit breaker?
A circuit breaker is a device whose purpose is to ensure the protection of electrical circuits in a building, a house or a commercial premises.
It can be an electromechanical or even electronic device that automatically cuts off the current in the event of a short circuit or overload. The circuit breaker therefore plays a major protective role for goods in a building by preventing the occurrence of a fire and preventing high voltage from reaching your electrical devices and destroying them.
The different types of circuit breakers
This device can also protect against the risk of electrocution following direct or indirect contact with the electrical circuit, thanks to the addition of a differential. In this case, it is called a “differential circuit breaker”. It is highly sensitive (30 mA) to protect your electrical installations from short circuits and overloads.
The general circuit breaker immediately shuts off the power supply in a building in the event of an overload or short circuit. Also called “connection circuit breaker”, it is placed in the electrical panel, inside the house. To ensure the safety of property and people, it is imperative to use equipment marked NF-USE.
However, the general circuit breaker is not enough to obtain maximum safety against fires and overvoltages in a building. You can also install “divisional circuit breakers” which, as their name suggests, will provide protection for each electrical circuit in your home. You must therefore place one at the source of each circuit and it will automatically cut the latter in the event of an anomaly.
In this case, it is easier to find out which circuit is at fault in order to proceed with repairs. Once the problem is solved, it is enough to wind the lever so that the current flows again in the circuit. The main advantage of the branch circuit breaker is that the current always passes through the other electrical circuits of the house, preventing you from being left in the dark before finding the origin of the electrical fault.
What are the main characteristics of a circuit breaker?
To choose the circuit breaker that will provide maximum protection to your installations, there are a number of criteria that you must consider. The first of these is the maximum operating voltage also referred to as the “rated operational voltage” (Ue). You must also take a close look at the “caliber” or rated current In which represents the maximum value of the current that the device is able to withstand at all times.
Similarly, the nominal breaking capacity Icn or ultimate breaking capacity Icu must be taken into account. This is the maximum theoretical short-circuit current intensity that your device can interrupt without causing its destruction. Finally, it is important to base your selection of circuit breaker on the limiting capacity, the ability to isolate and the number of poles protected and poles cut with the device.
How much does it cost to have an electrical panel installed by an electrician?
The installation of an electrical panel is a particularly complex operation which requires a certain know-how and skills in the field, but also patience and organization. Calling on an electrician is therefore the best way to be sure of having a switchboard in good standing, respecting standards and functioning properly.
The price of an electrical panel
An electrical panel is made up of three essential elements: the electricity meter, the general circuit breaker and a distribution panel.
You should know that an electrical panel can be sold empty or equipped with the three aforementioned elements. The price will therefore depend on whether it is empty or equipped.
- For an electrical panel alone, allow 100 to 400 euros depending on its level of equipment.
- For an electrical panel equipped with several specific elements, plan rather 500 to 900 euros.
To help you better assess your budget according to your needs, here is the detail of the cost of the different elements that you can choose to install in your electrical panel:
- The picture: 25 to 60 euros for the supply, 30 to 70 euros installation included.
- The electrical box: 30 to 300 euros for the supply, 50 to 400 euros installation included.
- Non-differential circuit breakers: 60 to 150 euros for the supply, 70 to 150 euros installation included.
- Instantaneous differential circuit breakers: 30 to 150 euros for supply, 40 to 170 euros installation included.
- Selective differential circuit breakers: 90 to 250 euros for supply, 100 to 250 euros installation included.
- Divisional circuit breakers: 10 to 100 euros for supply, 15 to 150 euros installation included.
- The differential blocks: 120 to 230 euros for the supply, 140 to 250 euros installation included.
- The domestic circuit breaker: 14 to 20 euros for the supply, 16 to 25 euros installation included.
The cost of installing an electrical panel by an electrician
As an indication, be aware that the average hourly cost charged by an electrician is around 50 to 70 euros.
If you have an electrical panel that is too old, the electrician will have to remove it before installing the new model. Several services are possible in this case:
- For the removal of an obsolete painting alone, count 20 to 30 euros.
- For the upgrading of an existing table, allow 400 to 1,200 euros.
- For the replacement of an old painting (removal + installation), the cost varies between 800 and 2,000 euros.
If you decide to opt for a pre-equipped board, the installation time will be reduced and the service will cost you less, since the elements are already connected. On the other hand, for this, you must have pre-established your electrical needs and the switchboard model must correspond to them, because it cannot be modulated at will.
- For the installation of a pre-equipped table for individuals, count 120 to 450 euros on average.
- For the installation of a pre-equipped board for an area of 35 to 100 m², plan a budget of 130 to 430 euros.
- For the installation of a pre-equipped table for a surface greater than 100 m², the budget will vary between 300 and 900 euros.