Electricians: Ignite a Spark and Learn About Electricy

Electricians: Ignite a Spark and Learn About Electricy

Getting To Know Your Electrical Power Board

Byron Holmes

Electricity can seem a bit mysterious and also scary, having the potential to cause electrical shocks and fires. But knowing a few basic things will help you feel more comfortable. Here are some points about the electrics in your home that will encourage you to discuss issues with your electrician.

Circuit Breakers

Electricity enters your home via transmission wires that connect to the switch box, inside which are circuit breakers and safety switches. The circuit breakers divide the wiring and electricity into separate circuits, each of which attaches to a switch. Thus, one circuit might turn on particular lights and power certain outlets, while another might connect to the air conditioning unit. How the electricity is divided will depend on your specific setup. Each circuit has a dedicated switch so that while it's in the off position, the connected lighting, power points, and appliances won't work. 

Circuit breakers are not only simple on/off switches, however. They can sense overloads and short circuits to prevent possible overheating and fires. If a particular circuit becomes overloaded with too many appliances or too much demand, then the associated switch will automatically switch off. If this happens, you can turn the breaker back on. But if it occurs regularly, an electrician can check and advise you on the setup, though the problem may also lie with a particular appliance.

Safety Switches

While circuit breakers sense when a system overloads, thus protecting property, safety switches can save human lives because they act instantly. When you use an appliance like a toaster, a current flows from the switchboard into the device via an active wire, and it flows back out via a neutral wire. The safety switch can sense when the two currents are equal, and the electricity going out and in is the same. In a dangerous situation, where someone sticks a knife into the toaster, for instance, some electricity will exit via the earth wire. The safety switch will trip, sensing that the active and neutral currents are no longer equal. Safety switches are very sensitive, so they can switch off the electricity before the flow has a chance to electrocute someone. 

Location of Meters And Switch Boards

After the electricity travels through transmission wires to your home, it passes through a meter that measures your electricity consumption. As this meter needs to be accessible for energy companies to read, it will be near the front or side of the property. Your household's switchboard and circuit breakers may be in the same box, or they may be located elsewhere, in a small cabinet inside, in a hallway or another room.


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About Me
Electricians: Ignite a Spark and Learn About Electricy

Hello and welcome to my blog. My name is Steve. After studying a lot of books on electrical codes and watching a great deal of videos online, I actually rewired my entire home. In this blog, I plan to give you tips on wiring, electrical safety and more. I also plan to write interesting facts about electricity, but don't expect this blog to be just about electricity--I love tech and other home improvements as well, so you may see posts related to that. Interested in learning? Then, take a look through these posts. I hope they ignite a spark of excitement in you.