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The primary purpose of a residential service panel is to safely distribute electrical loads within the house. Manufacturers refer to residential panels as load centers. Commercial or industrial panels are called panelboards. The National Electrical Code (NEC) doesn't differentiate. In this article, I'm referring only to the residential type, which for simplicity's sake I'll call "the panel" or "the main service panel." Mobile home panels have different requirements and are not covered here. Panel Location The location of a main service panel should, if at all possible, be back-to-back with the meter. The meter base normally has a knockout in the bottom or back that is to be used for the wires exiting out the meter base and into the wall. I try to put