Some Electrical System Basics
Even if one doesn’t plan on pursuing a career in electricity, they should know some basics about their home’s electrical grid. Knowing some basics allows homeowners to avoid problems and better understand their home’s operations.
Here, homeowners can learn everything they need about their electrical system’s parts and problem signs. They can also learn about how to stay safe and avoid electrocutions.
The Many Parts of the Electrical System
The home’s electrical system is more than light switches and outlets. It is comprised of parts like:
- Outlets: These are probably the most recognizable components of the electrical system. Outlets allow homeowners to plug in their phones, TVs, video game consoles––anything that requires power.
- The electrical meter: Electrical meters measure how much electricity the home uses. It usually measures electricity in kilowatt-hours.
- The disconnect switch: The disconnect switch limits the flow of electricity to one part of the house. It can also turn off electricity to the home when an electrician does repairs.
- The breaker panel: This device directs power to the home’s electrical components, such as its outlets, appliances, and the air conditioning unit (if it runs on electricity).
- Circuits: At the end of the day, most electrical systems are circuits. This means that electricity comes from a centralized power source, then travels through the home using wires and cords. Some circuits are more complicated than others, depending on a home’s energy needs.
Signs of Electrical System Problems
Electrical system problems are not to be trifled with by homeowners. Homeowners don’t have the necessary training and tools to work on electrical issues safely. The moment someone notices any of the following signs, they should consult a professional immediately:
- Burning smells from outlets: This could point to anything from damaged wiring to a circuit board overload. A burning smell could quickly be followed by a fire if left unaddressed.
- Flickering lights: On a good day, flickering lights could just point to a failing lightbulb, an easy fix. In a more serious situation, the flickering could stem from exposed wires, a circuit board overload, and other related issues.
- Sparking outlets: It’s not unusual to plug something in and see a tiny spark. However, if one notices big or frequent sparks, that points to a more serious issue.
Electrical problems like these require the immediate attention of a qualified professional. An electrician can assess the problem’s cause and render appropriate repairs. They can also catch smaller issues before they threaten the electrical system.
Electrical Safety Tips
The best electrical safety tip is to refrain from DIY repairs because unskilled DIY repairs can do more than just damage the home. They can affect one’s health and well-being. Per Healthline, electrical shocks can lead to seizures, headaches, breathing problems, and unconsciousness.
Some additional electrical safety tips include:
- Avoid overloading circuits: This means refraining from the excessive use of extension cords and plugging high-voltage items into the same outlet.
- Avoid running wires under rugs and mats: If a cord gets too hot, this could start an electrical fire.
- Always keep a fire extinguisher on hand: Homeowners never know when an electrical fire could start – and if it does, they cannot pour water on it. Keeping a fire extinguisher on hand is insurance if an electrical fire breaks out.
About Trustworthy Electric
Trustworthy Electric has over 25 years of experience serving its neighbors in Montgomery, AL, and the surrounding areas. They provide upfront pricing, financing, customer education, and military discounts. Call them today for electrical services in Montgomery, AL.