Electricity problems at home can be quite unnerving and it can be frustrating when it occurs late at night especially in summer season. An electrician may not be available at all hours. So some basic knowledge about residential wiring and common electricity problems can help you through the chaos. A basic understanding is all that you need. However, avoid taking care of these issues if they are a greater risk because no matter how much knowledge you have, experience can put you on lacking ground.
Understanding residential wiring
Mostly home electricity is provided with two hot wires and one neutral coming into them which supplies you a voltage of 240/120 volts. However, the basic voltage is slightly less which is around 230/110 volts. This power supply is called single phased power.
You might be aware of alternating current which is taught in physics. So, the power coming to your home is indeed alternating. In common language, alternating current allows electricity to be transported along long distances. Therefore, it is required for the power department to provide you with electricity.
Now coming to wiring systems again, if you notice only one hot wire along with neutral then you might be getting a power of only 115 volts. It all depends on the wiring system. This type of wiring, however, is mostly seen in electrical devices. Few exceptions like dryer or hot water tanks use both hot and neutral wires use up to voltage of 230 volts.
Basic things to know before working on them
Do not tear your electrical devices to see the wiring or your home power supply because it can be life threatening. Always remember to switch the power circuit off before working on them even if the power is down. Keep your contact voltage tester with you. Look at the wiring carefully, it is very possible to have more than one circuit in a single box. Find the one that you switched off. Wiring system is complex so do not rush and double check yourself.
Working with electricity is very dangerous compared to other tasks and comes with unfavorable outcomes. So, wear your safety gear. If you do not have some then simply wear rubber shoes. They will protect you from electric shocks.
Secondly, every home is provided with a “main service panel” which contains circuit breakers or fuses for maintaining the electricity at your home. Whenever power goes off, check the service panel because in case it might be disconnected.
With this superficial knowledge you will be able to fix minor problems. Do not take risk of solving the major issues as it can be hazardous.