Basic Components of Your Electrical System

Every modern home has an electrical system, designed to run our lights, appliances and other devices that make modern living possible. In Southern Vermont, electrical problems can be more than an inconvenience, with cold temperatures and inclement weather outside creating all manner of problems. It helps to understand the basic components of your electrical system, so that you know what happens when there are problems and can give a service professional some basic idea of where to look.

Electricity in your home starts with the circuit breaker panel, which is connected to the main power supplied by your city or municipality. The breaker panel usually contains the main breaker, which covers the whole house, as well as individual breakers that run power to different specific outlets inside the house.

Electrical wiring goes out from the breaker box to each of the individual outlets in your home.  The wires have to meet certain codes, both federal and local, in order to be rated safely. Most circuits in the modern home have two conductors: one “hot” and one “neutral.” A third conductor, which grounds the electricity and channels it directly into the ground in the event of any emergency, is connected to every outlet in the home. Older wiring, such as “knob and tube” wiring used in the early decades of the 20th century, is no longer considered safe. If you live in an older home, check with a professional to see if your wiring is still up to code.

The wiring connects to the outlets in your wall, which let you access the electricity and power the lights and appliances in your home. Some outlets contain “mini-breakers” that shut off the power when an appliance overload them.

When your electrical system experiences problems, you should contact a trained service professional immediately. HB Energy employs trained professionals who can safely handle all kinds of electrical issues, and we serve most communities in Southern Vermont. Call us for an appointment today; we’re dedicated to your satisfaction and will work hard to correct your problem the first time, every time.

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