JSR Electrical understands that every homeowner wants to quickly and clearly communicate their issues to an electrician and make the process as hassle-free as possible. We also know that occasionally there are words or phrases used by electricians which may be unfamiliar to our customers. Listed below are 17 different common industry terms that homeowners will find handy to know as you are planning a service call from an electrician.
Alternating Current (AC) – An electric current that reverses its direction many times a second at regular intervals, typically used in power supplies. If you plug in a piece of equipment into a wall socket, or it does not run solely on a battery (lighting, appliances, etc.) then you are using AC.
Circuit – An electrical circuit is a path in which electrons from a voltage or electrical current source flow. Circuits use two forms of electrical power, Alternating Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC)
Circuit Breaker – A circuit breaker is a device designed to shut off an electrical circuit when too much current is flowing. This usually occurs if too many devices are plugged in or if there is a short circuit. Circuit breakers are usually installed in the electrical panel.
Current – Current is the amount of electric charge that flows.
Direct Current (DC) – An electric current flowing in one direction only. Commonly used in electronic devices with a battery for a power source, like a cell phone or a laptop.
Electric Power – Electric power is the rate at which electric energy is being used, stored, or transferred.
Electrical Outlet – An electrical outlet or receptacle is a socket that connects an electrical device to an electricity supply. (Also known as an electrical receptacle, wall socket)
Electrical Panel – The electrical panel is a metal box which takes in the main power from your electric provider into your home and distributes the electrical current to the circuits throughout your home. The panel also operates as a safety mechanism, helping to cut off the flow of electricity in cases of circuit overload. Also may be called a Service Panel, a Fuse Box, Breaker Box, or a Circuit Breaker panel.
Fuse – A fuse is a device that shuts off the power to an electrical circuit when too much electric current flows through it. This usually happens when too many appliances are plugged in or when there is a short circuit. Modern homes with updated wiring have circuit breakers, not fuses.
GFCI Outlet – A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), or Residual Current Device (RCD) is a type of circuit breaker which shuts off electric power when it senses an imbalance between the outgoing and incoming current. The main function of a GCFI is to protect people from electric shock and protect the house wires and receptacles from overheating and possible fire. They are most commonly found in kitchens, bathrooms and other high moisture environments.
Ground – In case of a short circuit in an electrical system, the grounding pathway is an alternative "safe" path for the excess electrical current to be dispersed. Older homes may not have grounding systems, which leaves them prone to fires and electrical shocks.
Jacket – A term used in wiring, the jacket is the rubberized, protective outer covering over the wires.
Kilowatt-Hour (kWh) – A unit of measurement for larger amounts of electricity usage. 1kWh=1,000 Watts. This number is commonly seen on your home electric bill to track your monthly energy consumption.
Power Surge – A power surge happens when there is a very brief spike in your home's electrical current. If a home has faulty wiring these power surges can damage your electrical system and any attached appliances or products using electrical outlets for power.
Switches – A piece of equipment that controls the flow of electricity to an electrical circuit.
Voltage (V) – Voltage is the "push" behind the electrical current. Average outlets run on 120V of electricity.
Watt/Wattage – A watt is the unit of measurement to determine how much electrical energy is consumed in a second. A high wattage product, like incandescent light bulbs, expend more electrical energy and are therefore more expensive to use than lower wattage products like LED lighting.
JSR ELECTRICAL SERVICES
JSR Electrical Services is a Grapevine/Euless, Texas-based residential and commercial electrical contractor serving the North Dallas and Fort Worth metropolitan area.