Electricians install, repair and maintain electrical power, communication, lighting, and control systems in homes, businesses, factories, and other facilities. They are trained to read blueprints and understand state safety codes.
Typically, the first step toward becoming an electrician is to complete an apprenticeship program. These usually last 4-5 years and combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction.
Electrical wiring is the set of wires that run throughout your home, delivering electricity to lights, outlets, switches and appliances. The electrical wiring is insulated from the elements and protected by conduit, meeting local building code requirements for safety.
Electrical wires have a specific gauge, which determines how much current they can carry. House electrical wires typically have a 14-gauge diameter, while larger appliances may use 10, 8 or 6 gauge wire.
Black/Red wires carry electricity from your panel to a device, such as a switch, receptacle, light fixture or appliance. White (or neutral) wires connect devices to each other and carry electricity back to your panel, completing the circuit. Bare/Green indicates ground wires, which provide a path for current to return to your panel in the event of a fault and shut off power.
When a light or outlet goes dark or doesn’t turn on, it’s usually because your circuit breaker is “tripping.” Breakers are automatic power switches that protect you and your appliances from electrical overload.
A lever on the breaker switch opens or closes contacts to open or interrupt the current flow. When the breaker is flipped off, the electricity is cut off, preventing damage or fire.
The two power wires that bring electricity into your home attach to the main breaker in your service panel. The breaker disconnects the 240 volts of electricity before it reaches your branch circuit breakers. There are also specialty breakers like arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCI) that monitor your entire house’s wiring for dangerous arcs that older types of fuses may miss.
Having a generator means your home will continue to function as normal during power outages. This is especially important if someone in your house has a medical device that requires electricity. It also helps prevent food from spoiling in your refrigerator and freezer.
A generator does not create electrical energy; it converts mechanical energy into electricity using the principle of electromagnetic induction. Its operation is similar to that of an electric motor working in reverse.
These machines can be quite dangerous and require extensive training to use safely. They often emit carbon monoxide which is odorless, tasteless and invisible. It is essential that you have a proper generator installed by an experienced electrician to ensure safety and reliability. It is also important to size a generator correctly so that it can meet your specific energy needs.
Insulators are materials that surround electric wires and cables to separate them from each other and protect people from shock. The term can also refer to the insulating supports used to attach electric power distribution or transmission lines to utility poles and towers.
Insulation can be made from plastic, rubber or other substances that prevent a buildup of static electricity by trapping tiny pockets of air between its layers. Good insulations are heat, oxidation, weathering, acid and water-resistant, and flame-retardant.
For high voltage systems, liquid insulator oil is used to replace air in spaces that must support significant voltage without electrical breakdown. Other methods include porcelain, glass, or composite polymer materials. Most insulators are designed with a higher flashover voltage than puncture or puncture-through voltage to avoid damage from an arc.
Electric meters record the amount of power used at a property. They can be analogue or digital and come in a variety of styles and sizes. They must be accurate to the level set by law to avoid consumers being overbilled and utilities being deprived of profits from energy exports back to the grid.
These meters may be located outdoors on a power pole, in a meter cabinet or inside the premises. Wherever they are placed, they should be secure from theft and vandalism. They may be connected directly in line with the service conductors or by current transformers to permit them to be located away from the point of connection.
The dials on a traditional analog meter advance as electricity flows through the meter. They can be read by looking at each dial from right to left and reading the number when the pointer is on it. Electrician