Good to know

Voltage Drop


When the main electrical service panel is located at one end of the house or in the attached garage and branch circuits are run to the other end of the house, it is important to use the appropriate gauge wire as the runs may be in excess of 200 feet. The Canadian Electrical Code requires that any branch circuit has no more than 3% voltage drop. When the run is too long and the gauge of the wire is too light to carry the load, the result is a voltage drop as great as 14% on the receptacle located farthest from the service panel.


Why is voltage drop a concern?


You may ask why is voltage drop a concern. The answer is for the protection of the appliances you use every day. Motors, (e.g. your vacuum cleaner motor) draw a set amount of volts and amps to operate. When a motor is starved of voltage, it tries to make up its required power by drawing more amps. Amperage is the part of electricity that creates heat. Too many amps equates to too much heat and usually results in motor windings burning out long before the rated life of the appliance.


How to prevent voltage drop?


The remedy and the correct way to prevent this unnecessary damage is to wire the new dwelling according to the Canadian Electrical Code rules. The service panel needs to be located as central as possible. There may be even a sub panel added to carry some of the heavier loads that are located at a remote part of the house.



To discuss any concerns, don’t hesitate to call us at 705-446-3088