Electrical services are important to the operation of any building. They provide the energy needed for appliances and other electrical devices. Whether you are constructing a new building, renovating an existing one, or simply maintaining the current system, it is essential that you hire an electrician with the necessary experience and knowledge.
When choosing an electrical contractor, you will want to make sure that they are members of an electrical trade association. This will include the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting. If your system is older, you may need to replace certain parts, or upgrade your wiring. An electrical system that is properly maintained is compliant and eligible for tax breaks and other incentives.
The amount of electricity that is delivered to a home or other property is called the service capacity. This is usually measured in amps. While the exact voltage varies based on the needs of the home, the typical residential service is between 60 and 100 Amps. However, a large home with an electric heating system might need 400 or more Amps.
A service panel or breaker box is the central hub for your home’s electricity distribution. It contains circuit breakers and fuses to protect your home and appliances from electrical shock. Typically, the main service panel is located in the basement or utility room. Occasionally, it is enclosed in a finished cabinet.
In addition to the main electrical service, you may also have lateral service wires, which carry power to various parts of your home. These cables may have three or four wires, or they could be part of a single-phase system. Regardless of which type of service you have, you should always keep a clear path to ground at the meter.
A faulty outlet or a loose connection can cause your circuits to trip. To prevent this see here from happening, you should regularly have your system inspected. Your technician should look for signs of damage to the conductors, deterioration of the conductor insulation, and other issues. You may need to replace an outlet or circuit breaker or even install a dedicated circuit for outdoor lighting.
You should also check your service drop and laterals for proper clearances. For example, if you have a driveway or alley behind the building, you should be able to see a path to the ground through the wire that goes from the meter enclosure to the driven ground rod.
The electrical system in your home should meet the code and the requirements of the building’s lessee. However, you may need to upgrade your wiring or have larger appliances installed.
Electrical failures can cause fires or other problems, compromising the safety of your family and equipment. Make sure that your system is up to date and is labeled correctly. Keep a multimeter on hand to measure the voltage of phase wires. Also, inspect the exterior ground path for cracks or other obstructions.
Lastly, don’t forget to schedule regular building inspections. These are required by the National Electrical Code and will ensure that your system works as it should.