What We Cover in This Article:
- What is a Panel Schedule
- Why are Panel Schedules Useful to Us Electricians?
What is a Panel Schedule
As an electrician, a panel schedule is pretty much our guide on what equipment needs power.
Not to be confused with an equipment schedule – that tells us what type of power and wires a certain piece of equipment needs! (Voltage, Phase, and Ampacity.)
On a typical commercial job site we have many panels, which means there will be many panel schedules to pay attention to!
It tells us the equipment name, circuit number, circuit breaker size, and the amount of poles (phases), and sometimes a phase letter designation (A, B, or C) of each device.
Here’s a panel schedule I quickly drew up:
I will cover each column individually:
- Description – Simply the name of the equipment/device.
- Breaker – This is the breaker size which lets us know the minimum size wire to be used.
- Poles – You can have single-pole, double-pole, or three-pole breakers. (As mentioned in the equipment schedule article, these are the number of phases required for the piece of equipment; either single-phase or three phase.)
- Circuit – This tells us the exact circuit numbers for the equipment/device. (It’s important to know how circuit numbers work in an electrical panel.)
Some panel schedules will have some more information like a symbol beside the description, which we saw in our equipment schedule article, or even include the load/demand of the equipment, too.
Why are Panel Schedules Useful to Us Electricians?
This is simply what we follow as an electrician.
Once our rough-in stage of boxing, piping, and pulling branch circuits is done, we then start pulling the home runs back to the panel which give our branch circuits power.
As we continue to pull these home runs, we can keep following the panel schedule to make sure we are not missing anything!
Long-story short, panel schedules guide us on what to do next when we are in our wire-pulling stage.
A wise electrician will try to figure out all the devices they can pick-up in the least amount of pulls.