Load balancing a main panel?


Old 02-22-21, 04:54 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 178
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
Load balancing a main panel?

I'm seeking guidance here. Thank you in advance!

I am wanting to check the load balance on my main panel. What meter would you recommend? And is there a way to check the load balance over a set period of time, say 24/48 hours? I can check the load balance as a "snapshot" of whatever is turned on at the moment, but with things being turned on/off throughout the day ..... I wonder how accurate that "snapshot" would really be?

Thanks again!
Old 02-22-21, 05:15 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 7,808
Received 308 Votes on 264 Posts
Load balancing is a useless effort in a residential setting.
CasualJoe voted this post useful.
Old 02-22-21, 05:29 PM
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,600
Received 103 Votes on 90 Posts
Best way to monitor would be using IoT energy meter of some kind. There are several out there.

Like joed said, there really is no reason to load balance in residential setup as loads will change through out the day and most high current devices are on 240V.
Old 02-22-21, 05:47 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 2,007
Received 149 Votes on 130 Posts
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news BUT- you don't get "free" electricity by "balancing" the load.
In most cases, "load balancing" means something quite different, it refers to re-wiring heavily branched circuits that are over loaded, so that the "branches" are wired into adjacent lightly used circuits. This is mainly to avoid the "old house wiring" problem where plugging in a hair dryer in the bathroom trips the original 1930's 'whole house" circuit and all the ceiling lights throughout the house go dark.
(Backstory- early wiring was mostly for ceiling lights. MANY pre-WWII homes retain that initial circuit, which usually supplies 1 ceiling light in each room, and then have other circuits which were wired in later.

There's already a "why this won't work" thread pinned somewhere.
home electrical balancing - DoItYourself.com Community Forums

Last edited by Hal_S; 02-22-21 at 06:03 PM.
Old 02-22-21, 06:19 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 13,932
Received 289 Votes on 252 Posts
What meter would you recommend?
All you need is a clamp-on amp meter to measure the current on each wire.
Old 02-22-21, 07:59 PM
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,776
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
You should load balance a bit, not by measuring but by estimating average load.
ignore all the two pole breakers since they are balanced on each leg but mostly just balance out the 15A breakers.
In practice, if you have say 10 15a breakers you can put 5 on one side 5 on the other leg.
A better estimate takes into account what you're using on each of the circuits.
Old 02-23-21, 05:29 AM
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Ct.,USA
Posts: 1,976
Received 106 Votes on 93 Posts
Lambition, is an IoT a 24 hour recording device? It is what the poster wants versus a meter than only yields an instantaneous reading. Does an IoT require some temporary rewiring of the circuit to be measured? I am not familiar with them.
Old 02-23-21, 10:59 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 5,673
Received 178 Votes on 159 Posts
Here's an example of a power monitoring/recording device:

It uses clamp-on ammeters, connects to your wifi, and phone apps to monitor your power usage throughout the day. You can get all sorts of reports.
There are a bunch of similar systems out there - I haven't used any enough to be able to recommend any one over the other. There are some that monitor each circuit individually, and others that estimate based on total load.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: