How Does a Home Electrical System Work?
June 11, 2021
Electricity is a basic necessity in our modern world but, for many, the element itself is as mysterious as it is ubiquitous. This electromagnetic force is entirely invisible but immensely powerful. It can be difficult for the average person to wrap their mind around how electricity works, delivering power to residential and commercial properties. This article brought to you by HomeOps Electric will not get into the nitty-gritty details, but we will try to give you a concise summary of your home electrical system. If you have any questions or if you would like to hire a qualified electrician, then call HomeOps Electric to speak with courteous representative. We do offer emergency electrical services and repairs.
Like A Plumbing System
Water and electricity are no friendly elements. They do not get along very well. However, they are similar to one another, especially when it comes to plumbing systems and electrical systems. Thinking of electrical systems as similar to a plumbing system can help you envision the otherwise invisible nature of electricity.
Both systems travel through a network of connections (pipes and wires), entering your property via the utility service lines. After distributing throughout your property, both water and electricity exit the home.
Electricity is volatile, though. So, builders and electricians usually divide the electrical system into sub-sections called circuits.
How It Flows
Electricity powers your many devices, machines, and electronics, but how does electricity flow to its destination? With pressure.
Just like water is pressurized to push through the plumbing system, electricity has a specific pressure (its voltage). In both cases, the pressure is usually regulated by the utility company. Most devices and small appliances in a home are rated for roughly 120 volts. Larger appliances such as electric dryers and ranges are rated for about 240 volts.
That pressure of electricity, or voltage, moves through the wire. Larger wires can carry more electrical current. This “size” of the electrical current is measured in amps, or amperage. Those circuits we mentioned earlier are usually rated for between 20 and 50 amps. Too many appliances on one circuit will overburden the circuit, tripping the circuit breaker.
What is “Watt”
The amount of energy used is calculated by multiplying the “pressure” (volts) of the electricity by the “size” (amps) of the electrical current. This gives you the watts, or measure, of electricity used by devices or circuits.
So, if a device with a maximum of 10 amps is plugged into a 120-volt outlet, then the most power it can draw is 1,200 watts (or 10 amps x 120 volts). If the circuit has 1,800 watts available, then two of these devices would trip a circuit breaker.
Having Trouble? Call HomeOps Electric.
Like we said, the electrical system is complicated and we cannot get into the nitty-gritty over an article. However, if you have any questions or concerns, then feel free to call HomeOps Electric and get in touch with a live representative or qualified electrician. We are happy to offer emergency electrical services and repairs as well.