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Electrical 101: The Basics of Electrical Systems

Learn the Basics of Electrical Systems

Modern homes would not be the same without the luxury of modern electrical systems! The home electrical system powers the lights, appliances, electronics, and more. Homeowners should know the basics of electrical systems to help keep their systems running safely and efficiently.

During this back-to-school season, homeowners can educate themselves on the basics of electrical systems with this quick guide from electrical experts. Knowing the warning signs of electrical problems helps keep homeowners safe from electrical fires. Taking proper care of the electrical system helps keep energy bills low.

Important Electrical System Components

electric meterHere are some of the most important parts of a home electrical system:

  • Electric Meter - The electric meter measures how much energy the home’s electrical system uses from the power grid. Utility companies install electric meters to bill the homeowner for the energy used by their electrical system.
  • Disconnect Switch - A disconnect switch is an important part of the electrical system because it is used to shut off power completely during maintenance and repairs. The disconnect switch turns off the power for all of the circuits in the house at once.
  • Breaker Panel - Breaker panels, also called electrical panels, are a panel of switches used to control energy flow to the home’s circuits. The breaker panel will turn off the circuits if it detects an overload of energy. A functional breaker panel is important for preventing electrical fires.
  • Circuits - Electrical circuits are how energy is distributed throughout the home. Circuits are simply paths for electrical currents. There are different types of electrical circuits, such as closed, open, short, series, and parallel circuits.
  • Electrical Outlets - Outlets are sockets used to connect appliances and fixtures to a power supply. Electrical devices plug into outlets with wires to create a pathway for electricity to flow. There are many electrical outlets, the most common household electrical outlet being a standard 15-amp wall outlet.

Warning Signs of Electrical Problems

burning smellThe following are signs of issues with the electrical system:

Homeowners should be on the lookout for warning signs of electrical problems. An electrical system in disrepair can drive up energy bills and result in an electrical fire. Skipping maintenance appointments, thunderstorms, and outdated parts are a few reasons an electrical system might malfunction.

Electrical Safety Tips

The most important thing that homeowners can do to protect the safety of their home is to leave all electrical installation, maintenance, and repairs up to a qualified professional. Homeowners may be tempted to DIY electrical projects to save money, but one of the most common causes of electrical fires is improper installation or repair.

Electrical systems are complicated and dangerous to work on. Professional electricians undergo years of training to work on home electrical systems safely. Hiring an experienced electrical company is a smart move for homeowners because professionals are required to be licensed and covered by insurance.

Another safety tip for homeowners is not to overload the circuits. Homeowners should be aware of the electrical capacity for their home’s outlets and be mindful of plugging in too many appliances. It’s also important to protect the home’s electrical system from energy surges by using the right voltage lightbulbs and investing in surge protectors.

About Gillece Services

Gillece Services is proud to be a trusted local provider of expert home services in Pittsburgh, PA, and the surrounding areas. Homeowners can depend on their team of experienced technicians to provide top-of-the-line service at affordable prices. Their service trucks are fully-loaded with the latest tools and technology for repairs, installation, and maintenance. Call them today for electrical services in Pittsburgh, PA.