Saturday, November 17, 2018

Electrical Repair Basics for Homeowners

April 19, 2018 by  
Filed under General Tips

Electricity is life, and when there’s a tripped circuit breaker or another electrical fault, understanding the components of an electric system will help you get things up and running again.

Electrical Service Connection

It all starts with the power service, where the utility company connects its wires to your building’s feeder wires, which connect the meter to the power pole. The meter gauges the amount of power your home uses.

Disconnect Switch

A disconnect switch is installed outdoors near the meter on the power pole. Having a disconnect switch is safe. In the event of a flood or fire, you can switch off the power from outside instead of entering a flooded basement or a burning home.

Main Service Panel

Your electrical service passes through the meter and feeds into the service panel, where feeder wires connect to lugs, providing sufficient power to the panel. Homes have a single-phase service consisting of a ground, a neutral, an “A” phase and a “B” phase.

Main Breaker

The service panel has a large breaker that controls power to the whole panel. It’s sized according to your home’s load or usage. A standard panel provides 200-Amp service. No current can flow to the panel if the breaker is tripped.

Branch Circuit Breakers

These breakers are a switch that controls the stream of current to a branch circuit. Shutting down a breaker turns off the power to every device and appliance on that circuit. Breakers automatically trip if a circuit has an issue, such as a fault or an overload.

A circuit overload is the main cause of a tripped breaker. If you’re using a high-demand appliance, for instance, a heater, toaster or vacuum, and the power suddenly goes out, chances are you’ve overloaded the circuit. Plug the appliance into another circuit and reset the breaker. Call an electrician if the breaker trips once more. Something is faulty in the circuit. Research an Electrician’s Linkedin to learn more about their electrical services first. Peace of Mind Electrical are problem solvers who provide both excellent services and informative reports.

Devices

Anything in the house that uses electricity is a device. Devices are connected to branch circuits. Notable devices include switches, appliances, receptacles and light fixtures.

A circuit serves a single receptacle or appliance or contains multiple switches, fixtures and receptacles. Critical-use appliances like refrigerators, microwaves, dishwashers and water heaters are put on a dedicated circuit to reduce the incidence of overloading.

Switches

As you know, a switch is a device that turns lights on and off. Switches come in multiple colours and styles to suit your décor needs. There are dimmer, single-pole, three-way and four-way switches.

Outlets

Electrical outlets are where portable devices are plugged in. Freezers, vacuums, computers, toasters and televisions are some of the devices that use an outlet. Outlets have a ground, a neutral and a hot feed.

Wiring

Your home’s wiring has BX cable, Romex or wires concealed in conduit. These wires carry electricity from the main panel to all devices being powered. Wiring is sized according to load demand. Check each device’s load to determine which wire size can carry that load.

A sparkie comes in handy when your electrical system peters out.

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