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Some Electrical Terms.

AIC (ampere interrupting capacity)
AIC is the fault current that a device, normally a fuse or circuit breaker is capable of breaking without damage.

ALTERNATING CURRENT.(AC)
Is one that the direction of which is reversed at regular intervals

AMPACITY
The current or amperes that a conductor can carry continuously under the conditions of use. without exceeding temperature rating.

AMPERE OR AMPS.
A unit of measurement for the flow of electrical current in a conductor.I=E/R.

AMERICAN WIRE GAGE.
A term used to measure wire size.

APPLIANCE (Fixed)
An appliance that is fastened or other-wise secured at a specific location.

APPLIANCE (Portable)
An appliance that is actually moved or can easily be moved from one place to another in normal use.

APPLIANCE (Stationary)
An appliance that is not easily moved from one place to another in normal use.

BALANCED LOAD
An alternating current power system consisting of more than two current carrying conductors in which these conductors all carry the same current.

BONDING
The connection of two or more points to reduce any difference of potential .

BRANCH CIRCUIT
The circuit conductors between the final overcurrent device protecting the circuit and the outlets.

BURNDY
A threaded u shaped clamping device usually made of copper. It can be used to connect small or very large wires together.

CONTINUOUS LOAD
A continuous load is a load where the maximum current is expected to continue for 3 hours or more.

CURRENT
The flow of electrons through a conductor. Measured in amperes.

DELTA
A standard three phase connection with the ends of each phase winding connection in series to form a closed loop with each phase 120 electrical degrees from the other.

DELTA-DELTA
The connection between a delta source and a delta load.

DELTA-WYE
The connection between a delta source and a wye load.

DIRECT CURRENT.(DC)
Is one that flows always in the same direction.

DUPLEX RECEPTACLE.
This is wired into an outlet box. And will allow you to plug in two electrical devises.

ELECTRIC POWER.
Is the rate of doing electrical work.The unit is the watt or kilowatt.A kilowatt is 1,000 watts. Work is being done at the rate of one watt when a constant current of one amp is maintained through a resistance by an emf of one volt.

E.M.T.
A metalic tubular raceway used for carrying wires.

FIXTURE
Any permanently connected light or other electrical device that consumes power.

FLOATING GROUND
A floating ground is a common connection in a circuit that provides a return path for current but is not connected to an earth ground.

FUSES
Removable devices that link a circuit at the fuse box. Fuse connections blow apart and break the circuit if an overload or short occurs.

GFI (GROUND FAULT INTERRUPTER)
A device whose function is to break the electrical circuit to the load when there is a fault current to ground.

GROUNDED
Connected to earth or to some conducting body that serves in place of the earth.

GROUNDED CONUCTOR
A system or circuit conductor that is intentionally grounded.

GROUNDING CONDUCTOR
A conductor used to connect equipment or the grounding circuit of a wiring system to a grounding electrode or electrodes.

GROUND LOOP.
Ground loop is a condition where all your electrical grounds are not at the same electrical potential, namely zero volts.

HAZARDOUS LOCATIONS.
A location where fire or explosion hazards may exist to flammable gases,vapors,liquids,dust or fibers.

INVERTER.
An inverter takes DC power from a 12-volt battery and converts it to household AC power.

JOULE.
A joule is a measurement of electrical energy. 1 joule is equal to 1 watt of power for 1 second of time (watts x time = joules).

JUNCTION BOX.
A metal or plastic box used to enclose splice connections.

MILLIAMPS
To convert Amps to Millamps multiply by 1000 (.055 Amps = 55 Milliamps).

OHM
The unit of measurement for electrical resistance.R=E/I.

OHM'S LAW
E=IR, or I=E/R, or R=E/I. E=voltage, I=current, and R=resistance.

OPEN GROUND
The wire grounding your electrical devices has been disconnected.

OUTLET.
A point on a wiring system at which current is taken to supply electrical devices. A receptacle is placed in an outlet. A light is made to an outlet.

PARALLEL CIRCUIT
Parallel circuits are those in which the components are so arranged that the current divides between them. In parallel circuits the voltage remains the same but the current may vary. The circuits in your home are wired in parallel.

PIGTAIL
A short, added piece of wire connected by a wire nut. Commonly used to extend or connect wires in a box.

RESISTOR.
Is an object having resistance. A resistor is a conductor inserted into a circuit to introduce resistance.

ROMEX
Plastic coated cable. Has a soft flexible jacket.Used mostly for indoor wiring.

SERIES CIRCUIT
A Series circuit is one in which all components are connected in tandem. The current at every point of a series circuit stays the same. In series circuits the current remains the same but the voltage drops may vary.

SERVICE
The conductors and equipment for delivering energy from the electricity supply system to the wiring system of the premises.

SERVICE MAIN PANEL.
This is the panel that holds the branch circuit overcurrent protection devices that feed lighting and appliances. This panel also contains service entrance cables from the meter or disconnect.

SERVICE POINT.
The point of connection between the facilities of the serving utilility and the premises wiring.

SINGLE PHASE
A single output which may be center tapped for dual voltage levels.

SWITCH LOOP.
The interrupting of the flow of current in an electrical circuit by means of a switch or switching device.

SURGE.
A short duration high voltage condition. May last for several cycles.

THREE PHASE POWER
Three separate outputs from a single source with a phase differential of 120 electrical degrees between any two adjacent voltages or currents.

 TRANSFORMER ACTION 
The transferring of electrical energy from one coil to another by means of an alternating magnetic field.

TWO GANG OUTLET BOX
This is an outlet box that will allow you to use two electrical items ( two receptacles, two switches, or one of each). The more gangs the more devises.

TYPE U.F. CABLE.
This type of cable is used mostly for direct burial in the earth. This is a branch circuit cable that also can be used for outside wiring.

VOLT
A unit that measures the amount of electrical pressure.E=IR.

VOLT AMPS
Amps is the term used to describe the flow of current. Volts is the electrical pressure applied to a circuit to make the current flow. The formula for power or watts is volts times amps. Volt Amps would be Watts.

WATT
A unit that measures the amount of electrical power.P=EI.

WIGGY.
This is a slang name for a type of meter that reads voltages from 120 to 600 volts. This meter can be held in the palm of your hand and has a slight vibration when testing voltages.

WIREMOLD
This is a brand name for a raceway used to carry wires. This is exposed and is used mostly in public buildings and offices. It is also used in homes when it is not practicle to run wires inside of walls.

WIRENUT
A device used to connect spliced wires together.

WYE
A wye connection refers to an electrical supply where the source transformer has the conductors connected to the terminals in a physical arrangement resembling a Y. Each point of the Y represents the connection of a hot conductor.The center point is the common return point for the neutral conductor.

Motors

Direct Current.
These motors run on direct current that when applied to brushes excite the windings thus causing the motor to turn.

Single Phase Motors:
Alternating Current motors also need starting help which is usually accomplished by having a starting capacitor, a starting switch or a split phase winding. These are the motors used mostly for mosty smaller appliances or machines.

Three Phase Motors:
These motors are used for both small and heavy duty applications. They have three windings and a rotor that run on alternating current. When the A.C. is applied it magnetizes to the windings thus causing the rotor to turn.

This page was not intended to encourage electrical work to be performed by unauthorized persons. The only intent is to give advice on what should be done by qualified persons only.

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