Residential electrical basics 101: Practical knowledge for home owners

2019-03-01T05:55:33+00:00February 28th, 2019|

Both home owners and long-term renters should know the electrical basics of their home. People may even understand enough of the basics to get electricity turned on again after the power goes out. This useful knowledge is extremely valuable, so follow along with today’s 101 blog.

Know your home:

electrical basicsIn 2019, many Americans work from home or work for themselves in their homes. With summer months approaching us soon, storms will be joining the hot weather. Whether you are a renter or home owner, it is important to understand who is in charge of which responsibilities.

Of course, when you live somewhere, it is all your responsibility to maintain a level of knowledge to continue a certain standard of living. We use electricity for almost every single item these days. Your utility company handles the line portion of your home’s electricity.

The line portion covers everything leading up to the attachment point to your house. The load side is everything else. As renters, a landlord may assume the responsibilities of the load side, depending on your lease agreement. As home owners, everything on the load side is your responsibility.

Where do you get all that power?:

Your home gets its power supply from a power service. The electric company connects their wires and equipment to your home’s feeder wires. These wires attach to the meter to your house. Otherwise, they attach to a power pole.

As many know, the meter measures the amount of electricity the home uses. Likewise, it shows the basis for your electricity bill charges. When installing energy efficient upgrades, your meter should eventually read a lower number.

Safety switch:

A disconnect switch is mounted on the outside of your home. It is close to the meter or on the power pole. The disconnect switch is beneficial to your and your safety.

Worst case scenario, if your home is on fire or being flooded, the electricity can be turned off without having to enter the home. If your home loses power, there is also a transfer switch close by. This presents the possibility of using a generator for backup power.

The main breaker:

Inside the service panel, there is a large main breaker. This is a switch controlling the power to the entire panel. It is appropriately sized for your homes usage needs, also called load.

Today, an up-to-date panel provides 200 amp-service. Older panels were once sized for as little as 100 amps or possibly less. A main beaker with 200 amps means it will allow 200 amps of power running through it without tripping.

If a breaker is in a tripped state, it will not allow a current to flow to the panel. The main breaker acts as an interrupt between the utility service and the branch circuits of the service panel.

Your home’s main service panel:

electrical basicsAfter your electrical service feeds through the meter, it feeds into your home’s main service panel. This is also commonly referred to as the breaker box. The feeder wires connect to the lugs, or big screw terminals.

The lugs are found inside the service panel. They provide all the power to the panel. Most common homes have single-phase service which consist of and A-phase and a B-phase. This is a neutral and a ground.

Next, there are the branch circuit breakers. We will continue the route your electricity flows through your house. We hope this week’s blog was useful to you.

Electrical basics:

Our goal is to inform you of the electrical basics of your home. It is best to be aware what controls the electricity. Especially in case of an emergency, it is so necessary to know how to quickly turn of the electricity.

This protects whoever goes inside the house after the emergency. It also protects the nearby people and houses during the emergency. Stop by next week for more information on your home’s features and placements of electrical equipment.

Thank you for reading this week’s blog. Contact Sanford Electric Company II, Inc for a more in depth understanding of your home’s electrical basics. Make an appointment for any residential repairs and upgrades!

Staff Writer