Basics Of Your Home Electrical Systems
The power feed into your home can come from either underground conduit or via a power line. These lines lead to a meter box which measures the electrical usage in your home. The flow of electricity continues from the main and travels to the main breaker box (fuse box) where it is connected to all of the homes wiring circuits. These circuits run from the circuit breaker to each of the home’s outlets and light fixtures as well as any appliances.
Your meter is typically installed on an existing exterior wall of the home in a location where they can be easily read by the power company, so they should not be too difficult to locate.
Standard meters measure the flow of power into your home but, with solar energy on the rise, newer “smart meters” are able to record the flow of energy in both directions.
The Main Fuse Box
Most all main fuses (also known as ‘breakers’) are installed in your home or garage, main breakers in some rare cases can be on the home’s exterior in a waterproof box. The main breaker will determine the total power that a home can use. The reason for your breaker box is that in the case of an electrical overload, the breaker switch will flip to off to reduce the risk of a fire in your home.
Inside your box, and under the main breaker, are the smaller circuit breakers. These smaller circuit breakers govern how much electricity is sent to each circuit. Each of these circuits will often represent entire rooms or high powered appliances such as washers & dryers. All of these circuits will be labeled and easy to read on the inside of the main breaker panel door.
These are the wires the travel from the circuit breaker and through your home to each of the room’s outlets and fixtures in your home. Each of these wires will have at least three wires in a bundle. The bundle will contain a hot a ground and neutral wire. The hot wires will be black or red, neutral wires will be white and the ground will be bare.