When it comes to the electrical system in your home, it is essential that you know how power enters and leaves. Understanding your Electrical Service can save you money and trouble by preventing electrical problems before they start. If you’re considering remodeling or upgrading your home, knowing the capacity of your Electrical Service is crucial to making sure that you can add the appliances and equipment you need without overloading the system.
Electricity is a vital resource for every household and commercial facility in the US. But if you are not familiar with how electrical power functions, you can put yourself and your property at risk by accidentally cutting the wrong wire or mishandling tools. This article will give you a basic overview of how electrical service works, and how to avoid common errors that can lead to dangerous situations.
The National Electrical Code defines Electric Service as:
A point of connection between the serving utility facilities and the customer premises wiring system, which is usually located on private property. The term includes service conductors and the necessary equipment, including circuit breakers, switches, and fuse(s).
Your Electrical Service is the main line that connects your house to the power grid. This line may be overhead or underground and can vary in size based on the power needs of your home and what kind of electricity you use. The size of your electrical service is measured in amps, and can range from 30 amps in older homes that have not been updated to 400 amps in larger newer houses with extensive electric heating systems.
There are also different types of electrical services, depending on whether they are 3-phase or single-phase. This is typically indicated by the number of wires in the service panel, which should match the type of service that is listed on your electricity bill. In the US, it is most common to have 208V 3 phase electric service, which allows for large loads and standard 120V outlets.
In order to work on a electrical service, you must follow the proper safety precautions in accordance with the National Electrical Code. This is important because touching the wrong part of the service wires can lead to a severe and even fatal electric shock. This is why it is important to be extremely careful when working on your electrical service, and always wear rubber gloves when handling any tools that could come into contact with the service wires.
When assessing your Electrical Service, you must first locate the service point on the property. This can be done by evaluating the main cable that runs to the home, or by looking for the meter box on the outside of the building. The meter box is usually a gray metal or brown box mounted on a wall in the utility area. Sometimes it is contained within a finished cabinet, but by law it must be easily accessible at all times. The meter box will contain the meter and the electrical meter, which is used to monitor the amount of power that is used in your home.