Understanding Your Home’s Electrical Grid
When you understand your home’s electrical grid, you gain the ability to manage your home better. You will have more clarity when something goes wrong. And you will feel better when talking to technical staff. In the very least, you’ll be able to join in the conversation.
You don’t have to know every single detail of how the system works. What’s important is that you know what each main component does. You should also have a grasp on how each part fits together.
The Electric Meter
The electric meter has a simple job. It’s designed to tally the amount of electricity you use each month. This is reported as kilowatt hours, with the symbol kWH.
Typically, your meter is found outside your home. This allows the billing company to read it without having to access your property. The meter is connected directly to your main electricity pole or underground source.
The Main Breaker Panel
The main breaker is found as the next component connected to the meter. The size of the main breaker dictates how much electricity a home can use. Its purpose is to cut off your supply in case of an overload. This will help prevent the risk of electrocution or a fire. Keep in mind that in older homes you may find fuses instead.
Each room has a circuit running from the main breaker. The same goes for hard-wired electrical appliances such as water heaters and furnaces. You will usually find labels indicating where each circuit supplies the electricity.
Just like the main breaker, the circuits have smaller breakers. These breakers will flip off if the circuit is overloaded. If the home uses fuses, the fuse will burn out, and you’ll have to replace it.
Your Home’s Circuits
What you’ll find next is wires running from the circuit breakers to the rest of your home. These wires carry the electricity supply to your appliances and back to the electrical source. You may notice that each wire contains additional ones within.
The red and/or black wire carries electricity to your rooms and appliances. The white one brings it back to the panel. The bare wire is known as the ground wire, designed as a safety measure to work with the circuit breaker in case of a short circuit.
When it comes to dealing with electricity, your safety is of paramount importance. Now that you know what the various components are, you should be better at avoiding danger. At the same time, you can use this information when discussing repairs or installing a new circuit.
Nevertheless, it’s still to have someone ready to assist you in case of an emergency. If you’re looking for a reliable company, that’s available 24/7, you’re in the right place. Piper Electric have been serving homes and families for over 35 years. If you need some work done on your circuit, get in touch now for a free estimate.