Back to School 101: Electricity in the Home

Learn the Basics of the Home’s Electrical System

Homeowners must know the basics of their home’s electrical functions. This allows them to maintain their systems, avoid problems, and keep residents safe. One doesn’t need a degree in electrical engineering to understand these things. They only need a few moments of their time to read the information outlined below.

The Electrical System’s Partselectric meter

The home’s electrical system is more than wires and outlets. These are some components of the home’s electrical system:

  • The electric meter: This device measures how much electricity the home uses. It’ll either show the reading using dials or a number digitally. It depends on how old the house is. The electric meter is generally located outside of the home on the side.
  • The disconnect switch: The disconnect switch allows homeowners to turn off their home’s power. They may do this when electricians make certain repairs, such as replacing an electrical outlet. This avoids any nasty burns or shocks while doing electrical work.
  • The breaker panel: The breaker panel is a big switch controlling how electricity travels to the home’s components. If one blows a fuse, they’ll generally fix it using the breaker panel.
  • Circuits: Electricity travels through the home using a series of circuits. These are usually inside the walls where homeowners can’t easily access them.
  • Electrical outlets: Nearly everyone knows what an electrical outlet is. This is where homeowners plug in their devices to power them on. Most outlets can last 15 to 25 years under ideal conditions.


Common Electrical Warning Signsburning smells

Now that one knows the basic parts of their home’s electrical system, they can learn how to spot issues. If one notices any of the following signs, they should consult an electrician immediately:

  • Burning smells: Electrical outlets should never smell when in use. They shouldn’t get intensely hot, either. This could mean the circuit board is melting or too much electricity is traveling through the system. One should avoid using an outlet if it smells because doing so could cause an electrical fire.
  • Flickering lights: Sometimes, a loose lightbulb could cause flickering lights—however, other underlying issues, such as loose connections or faulty wires, could also cause it.
  • Sparking outlets: Unplugging something while in use could cause a small spark. Most of the time, this is a harmless occurrence. However, if a spark “jumps,” causes burning smells, or causes excessive heat, this could point to a serious problem.

One shouldn’t attempt to fix issues with their electrical system themselves. Instead, they should turn to a trained professional who can identify the problem and safely render repairs.

Remember, Safety First!

The Electrical Safety Foundation International notes that there are 15,000 electrical fires each year. Many of these fires arise from DIY home repairs. Learning how to fix an electrical problem isn’t something one can learn on YouTube. It’s a task best left to a professional.

Here are some other things to know about electrical safety:

  • Avoid overloading outlets
  • Unplug appliances when not in use
  • Monitor the electrical meter for any unexpected increases
  • Keep electrical items away from water sources
  • Never run cords under rugs or blankets


About Modern Electrical Services

Modern Electrical Services has served the residents of Groveland, MA, and the surrounding areas since 2016. They provide straightforward pricing, same-day service, and the latest technology. Call them today for electrical services in Groveland, MA.