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  • FAQs About Electricity

FAQs About Electricity

Unless you are an electrician or a home repair specialist by trade, you’ve probably never had to learn a lot about electricity. It’s often something that people take for granted without ever really questioning how it works. Every homeowner should have some basic knowledge about how the electricity in their home works. Knowing a few ins and outs can help prevent accidents or disasters. If you know how to spot a problem when it occurs, you can prevent that problem from becoming larger.

How Homes are Wired

Obviously, all of your electricity comes from the company that supplies it. You may not know how that electricity comes from the company and into your home. The power supply is hooked up to your meter, which feeds the electricity to your panel. Your panel is them responsible for powering the outlets and switches that you use every day. Think of it as an operator, making all of the necessary connections to keep things going.

The electricity comes through your panel and travels to circuits. Each individual circuit comes from your panel, where the switches are sometimes called circuit breakers. Circuits should be safely and thoroughly divided so that no single circuit is overwhelmed. Typically, each room of a home should have its own circuit.

From the circuits come hot, ground, and neutral wires that each play a different role in supplying electricity to the device or function that you’re trying to use. Rather than having one giant electrical circuit, everything functions on a smaller basis. That’s why you can lose electricity in one area of your home but find that it’s working perfectly in another.

The Differences Between AC and DC Currents

AC stands for alternating current, where DC stands for direct current. Direct current only flows in a single direction. It goes directly from the source to where it’s needed. Alternating current can change directions, where direct current cannot. Transformers change the voltage levels of this power, making it easier to transport across distances.

Most homes are wired for AC, since it’s the simplest kind of power to take from place to place. However, most electronics use DC power, which means the source has to change. Power changes form and voltage levels all the time – it’s highly responsive, and a properly equipped home shouldn’t experience any issues.

Why Wires Are Color Coded

Wires are color coded because they don’t all do the same thing. Wiring isn’t a straightforward concept.

It takes many different kinds of wires to create a fully functioning electric system. There are neutral wires, ground wires, neutral wires, single phase lines, and three phase lines. Some of these are dangerous to touch when they’re exposed, and others aren’t.

In Canada, ground wires are green and neutral wires are white. Hot wires can either be red, Black or Blue. If you’re ever unsure what an exposed wire is, don’t touch it. Call an electrician first to find out what you should do, even if it means waiting for help.

Basic Electrical Safety Tips

Most electrical safety comes from common sense practices. If you don’t know what something is, don’t touch it. Always do your best to prevent electricity from coming into contact with water. If something is smoking or malfunctioning, turn the breaker off. If you experience flooding or a burst pipe, preemptively turning off the power to that area can reduce the risk of an electrical fire. Never overload an outlet, and if you experience frequent issues surrounding the use of an outlet, don’t ignore them. They could be a sign that something is seriously wrong, and that you’ll need the help of an electrician to find the root of the problem.

About Next Level Electrical

With over 25 years of electrical experience, we know how high the competition is, and that’s why we go above and beyond to make working with us the easiest choice. We understand concerns that homeowners often have when inviting someone into their home to work on something as sensitive as their electricity, which is exactly the reason that we’ve placed our personal standards so high. We won’t damage your home. We have high employment standards. We know old homes as well as new homes. Most importantly, we won’t change up the price. What you see is what you pay, guaranteed!