Wiring in a house

a brief rundown of the basics of home electrical wiring

Electricity from the local utility company Your home through something called the service head.  It flows through the electric companies metre and then enters the house at the service panel.  Current flows to household devices such as a lightbulb through the hot or black wires the neutral or white wires complete the path.  Control devices like switches are always installed in the hot leg of the circuit.


Electrical Wire

Electrical Wire

Let’s talk about the service head: service head power comes into your home virus service drop from a nearby utility pole.  It connects their to a service head that anchors the wires securely to your home.  The service drop, which is the responsibility of the power company, carries three wires to provide 240 V to your home.


Meter: electric meter is owned by your local power company and has no user serviceable parts inside its installed between the service head and the service panel to monitor the amount of power you consume.  The round metal disk inside revolves as power is consumed; the faster it goes, the more power you are using.


Main service panel: often called the break a box or fuse box, the main service panel is usually located as close possible to look the electric meter on the opposite side.  Its main function is to distribute power throughout the house via individual circuits.  This panel also contains breakers or fuses to protect each of the individual circuits.  You can uses the device to turn the power on or off to circuits as needed.


Boxes: political boxes contain and protect devices such as receptacles, switches, and fixtures.  The National Electrical code also requires that all splices be made in and contained within an approved metal or plastic box.  Boxes may be inset into walls or flush mounted to a framing member.


Fixtures: most light fixtures attached directly to which will boxes.  The fixture wires are joined the circuit and stored within the box.  Other fixtures such as recessed lights don’t require knowledge will box, amounting, but they do need one nearby to encase the connections to the Letchworth circuit.  Common light fixtures include incandescent, fluorescent, and halogen


Switches and receptacles: switches control the flow of current to devices such as light fixtures and ceiling fans.  They all open the hot leg of the circuit and depending on the type of switch use can be wired to control the same device from a single location or multiple locations.  Receptacles, or outlets, allow quick and safe access to the power system via any plug-in device.


It is not possible to over emphasise the importance of learning to work safely with electricity.  It is important that you get a fully qualified electrician such as Ballarat Electrician to work on any home electrical job.  It is important that you develop a healthy respect for electricity and not fear.  Fear can lead to an accident.  Simple things such as shutting off the power before commencing any electrical work, checking for live power with a tester and wearing rubber soled shoes or standing on a rubber mat will promote a safe and healthy relationship with electricity.