Electrical faults happen in every household, which causes disastrous incidents like home fire emergence, power tripped, and burnt wiring. But have you ever thought, why do such incidents happen without any warnings? Well, there are lots of minor hints that you need to notice to prevent these mishaps. To detect the faults at an early stage, you first need to know your home’s electrical system and its components. This guide by Aleco Electric will tell you everything you need to know about your home electrical system:
The home electrical system consists of the mainline that provides power to your house, a meter that records how much power runs through the system, wiring circuits for different rooms and sockets, circuit breaker, and light fixture boxes.
These meters are usually fixed outside the house or inside the electrical box in the house. A meter records total power in kilowatts (KW) per hour used by a household. There are two types of electrical meters: Analogue meter and digital meter. Most meters nowadays are digital that have LCD display of reading, which help meter readers to take the reading remotely. This reading is used to generate your monthly electricity bill.
CIRCUIT BREAKER PANEL:
The main breaker panel is the crucial component of your home electrical system. It divides a balanced flow of power throughout the house within every electrical outlet. It is located mostly outside the house and in rare situations inside the house within a safe, covered box. The main power line moves to the circuit breaker panel after the electrical meter and distributes even the supply of electricity to the house.
The circuit breaker panel has the ability to trip the power down whenever there is an uneven supply of electricity through the power line to prevent electrical fluctuations, fires, and burnt appliances and sockets. Before touching or operating the breaker, the main power should be shut down for safety purposes.
After running through the circuit breaker, the power is distributed into a bundle of wires buried in the walls, ceilings, and floors throughout the house. Each bundle contains two insulated wires and one bare wire. Two insulated wires are termed ”hot wires” and are blue and red. The third one is black and is bare that has a path to the ground directly. It resists the overflow of electricity by acting with the circuit breaker and sourcing it to the ground.
The two insulated wires are connected to the outlets, and when a switch is off, the wires do not meet. When a switch is turned on, the circuit gets completed and allows the flow of electricity.
GFCI AND AFCI:
Ground fault circuit interrupt (GFCI) is the second preventive interruption after the circuit breaker. It detects whenever a person is at risk of getting electrocuted and switch off the power supply within seconds. These are mostly present in the areas with the risk of electrocution like bathrooms, kitchen, basement, and outdoors, where there can be water.
Arc fault circuit interrupts (AFCI) are more advanced than GFCI as they can detect arcing, unlike GFCI. Arcing is a process when metal and or water completes a circuit outside the main circuit and creates a lesser direct fault. Arcing can occur due to loose connections and when a piece of furniture or a metal meets electric cords. It can even happen inside the walls. AFCI’s are installed abundantly around the house, like living rooms, bedrooms, corridors, closets, and dining rooms.
Home electrical repairs are risky to attempt by yourself and should not be carried out by an unprofessional. It can lead to electrical fires or severe electrocution. It is highly suggested to keep your house electrical system often checked for any potential faults and get them repaired by a professional electrical company just like Aleco electric.