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6 Electrical Terms You Should Know

Are you ready for a vocabulary test? Don’t worry, there’s no quiz at the end of this page, but we are giving you details on several important electrical terms. As a homeowner, it’s important to be aware of the lingo that may be discussed by your electrician, posted on your electrical appliances, or spoken about in the media.

Keep reading for 6 common, simple terms that will help you stay informed about your home electrical system.

1. Circuit

A circuit, in the electrical sense, is a system connected by electrical wires. To get even more technical, a circuit is a closed system by which electrons can flow freely, therefore transmitting an electrical current.

Your home is full of circuits, or systems of wire that go from outlets all the way to your circuit breaker, then the larger electrical grid.

2. Surge

Electrical current is normally controlled, but sometimes extra voltage flows through and causes a surge. Surges occur when a device or even the entire home is sent too much electrical power, either from natural or artificial sources. This can damage appliances and devices in your home.

3. Breaker

A breaker, usually located on your electrical panel, is a switch that flips automatically when there is a surge of power or short circuit. This protection device is crucial in protecting your home and your appliances from electrical damage.

4. Wattage

Named after James Watt, watts, or wattage, is a measure of the energy spent while using an electrically powered device.

5. Lumens

Incandescent, fluorescent, and other light bulbs often express their power in watts, while LED lights use the measurement known as Lumens. Rather than a measurement of energy, Lumens is a measurement of visible light.

The Department of Energy recommends buying light bulbs based on lumens, rather than watts, to get your desired level of light.

6. Grounding

When your home is powered by electricity, the current moves toward a location on one wire, then moves away through another wire. If there’s a problem in the system, like a short circuit, the current flowing away could potentially cause damage. That’s where a ground wire comes in. It’s an alternate route for the electricity to travel so it doesn’t damage a device or start a fire.

Your Trusted Electrical Experts

HedgeHog Electric is your go-to team for all electrical and solar work. Contact our dedicated team today at (866) 605-2113 to see how we can help manage your home electrical system.