When you’ve got an electrical issue on your hands, it helps to know the lingo when speaking with your electrician. Familiarize yourself with the following terms and you won’t have any trouble understanding what your electrician is saying during the next visit.
AFCI stands for arc fault circuit interrupter. This breaker protects the home from electrical discharge in cords or wiring that could lead to a fire. When a breaker senses unusual heat it immediately disconnects the damaged circuit.
This is an instrument used to measure direct or alternating electric current.
An ampere is the base unit of electric current.
An arc is a continuous discharge of electricity. In contrast, an electric spark is momentary.
A circuit breaker is an electrical switch designed to protect an electrical circuit from excess current. A breaker switches off automatically if it senses an overload or short circuit.
The electrical panel or box distributes electrical currents from a power source to the various circuits in a home. The electrical panel is typically housed in a metal box built into a wall.
A fuse is similar to a circuit breaker, protecting a circuit from excess current or overcurrent.
A generator is a device powered by gasoline that supplies electricity to the home during a power outage. A generator can be portable or stationary.
A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protects household members from excess electricity coming from an outlet. A GFCI monitors the amount of current passing through a circuit and automatically shuts off power to a circuit when it senses an overload.
The National Electrical Code (NEC) provides guidelines and requirements for electrical safety. The NEC also sets the standards for safe installation of electrical systems and components in the US.
Non-metallic cable is a flexible electrical cable with conductors enclosed in plastic.
This is a unit of electrical resistance. This measures how difficult it is for an electric current to pass through a substance.
This is when an electric current travels along an unintended path with little or no resistance, leading to excessive current flowing through the circuit.
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