All things electric seem very mysterious, and you might not be too bothered with how things work until something goes wrong. Then comes the trouble of finding a reliable electrician to solve the issues you’re facing. Yet, if you knew the basics and their nitty-gritty, you might work out some of the simple problems that occur. That’s because, for the most part, things aren’t as complicated as they seem.
So, let’s learn about essential electrical components. Also, how to seek out Australian electrical wholesalers, and much more.
Understanding your home’s electrical system
You might wonder how the local electric utility company gets power into your home. Well, they distribute power throughout the country through high voltage. The higher it is, the lower the amperes that will flow through the lines.
So, they use very high voltage and distribute it through the lines from the generator stations into your neighbourhood. The high voltage lines may come in underground and go into transformers.
You might see transformers in front yards or backyards. Also, if your neighbourhood is serviced from overhead wires, the transformers may even be on a pole.
The main panel
Power “transforms” in the big transformers outside your home from that high voltage down to what you can use (120/240 volts). The power then travels through the ductwork into your house.
First, it goes through the meter because that’s how the utility can charge you. So the power travels in and out of the meter socket and into the panel. The panel is a weatherproof load centre with a main breaker.
When you turn on the main breaker, it feeds all the bus bars that each of the other breakers picks up. That, in turn, feeds the power into your home by the use of branch circuits.
Electrical basics every homeowner should know
1. The location of the main breaker for the whole house. The main breaker can either be in your main breaker panel or the meter box.
2. How to reset a tripped breaker. A tripped breaker should be turned off first, then turned back on.
3. Choosing the right colour of light. When buying a light fixture or a light bulb, you should know how to choose the right colour of the light (kelvin rating).
Usually, there’s a light appearance graph on the packaging. The graph goes from 2700 K, which is more on the yellow side, to 5000 K, on the blue side. The 3000k is best recommended indoors as it’s comfortable to look at and puts out a good amount of light.
4. How to fix a chirping smoke detector. If your smoke detector is making noise every minute or so, it’s an indicator of a bad battery. So, open up the cover, replace the battery and close the cover.
5. The plug is not working. If your outlet isn’t working, that means a few things need to be checked. First, look at the breaker because it might have tripped.
If not, then the second thing to check is if the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) is tripped. Because then, it would need to be reset so that you get power back to your plug.
Lastly, some outlets can be directly near or on a switch. So you can turn on all the switches and plug in whatever you’re trying to the plugin. If that does not work, you may have an electrical issue.
It’s good to know the big picture. Hopefully, with the information given, you understand more about the heart of your home’s electrical system. Knowing the rest about cables and wiring and so on can come later.
Of course, whenever in doubt, consult a reliable and professional electrician.
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