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10 Electrical Terms Every Home Or Building Owner Should Know

​There comes a time in every household or business building, that an electrical problem may arise. It can be as simple as light fixtures needing to be changed or other major electrical problem. An electrician is usually called to help and fix the problem. However, it wouldn’t hurt for you to know some electrical terminologies so you’ll be able to communicate and understand what the electrician is talking about.

Here are some terminologies that home and building owners should know about:

1. Service Panel. This is the main electric panel. It is usually kept in a steel or metal box, with multiple circuits that divide the power coming from the main power source.

2. Current. Using a device called a meter, you can measure current. Current is the electrical energy that runs through the wires in your home supplied by a power source. There are 2 types of current, the Alternating Current and the Direct Current. Almost all current in the country is AC — it is the type of current that enters your home and supplies all electric appliances coming from the power company. DC is the type of current that you can just get using car batteries.

3. Voltage. This is often misinterpreted as current. Current is the carrier of the power, while voltage is the supplier of that power. It is the force that pushes the electrical energy to work.

4. Wattage. Watt is a unit of power. A kilowatt equals to 1,000 watts or approximately 1.34 horsepower.

5. Kilowatt hour is the overall measure of power consumed in a household, calculated in your electric meter and appears in your monthly billing statement.

6. Fuse is a device which consists strip of wire that interrupts or stops electricity by melting the electric circuit once it exceeds its safety level.

7. Electrical Receptacle. This is where you plug all your electric-powered devices and appliances.
8. Ground is the earth or soil. Grounding means the proper connection between the ground and the service panel.

9. GFCI outlet. The Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlet is an electrical device with a built-in circuit breaker that reduces the risk of electric shock. It is required by building codes to have GFCI near all water sources such the kitchen, bathroom, and the like. The GFCI turns the electricity off when power loss is detected to avoid electrocution.

10. AFCI.  Arc fault circuit interrupter is also a circuit breaker that works by detecting electrical wires that don’t work, thus preventing cause of fire. All 15-amp and higher circuits in all areas of the house should be AFCI-protected.


Knowing some electrical terms will make the whole repair thing easier. It would also make it easier for you to communicate with your electrician(s). Speaking of electricians, are you in need of an electrical repair or installation? Contact our friendly and reliable electricians at GT Electric at 850-421-9002. We are big enough to handle large projects and small enough to care about our customers.

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