What are the most common electrical terms?
If you’re new to the industry, electrical terminology can be daunting and confusing. In this article we’ll look at some of the commonly used electrical terms
Units Of Measurement
A watt is a unit of power and is a measure of how much energy an appliance or device uses. For example, a 100 watt light bulb will use more energy than a 60 watt light bulb.
An amp (or ampere) is a unit of measurement for electric current. It measures the amount of charge flowing through a conductor, such as a wire.
A volt is a unit of measurement for electric potential difference. It measures the difference in electric potential between two points.
An ohm is a unit of measurement for electrical resistance. It measures the resistance of a material to the flow of electric current.
Common Electrical Terms (Safety Devices)
A circuit breaker is a safety device that protects an electrical circuit from damage caused by overload or short circuit.
A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is a safety device that protects against electrical shock. It works by sensing any imbalance in the current flowing through the circuit and instantly shutting off the power to prevent shock.
A fuse is a safety device that protects an electrical circuit from damage caused by overload or short circuit. It consists of a thin strip of metal that melts and breaks the circuit when too much current flows through it.
An MCB is a miniture circuit breaker which forms part of the overall electrical fuse board. The MCBs are on the end of each individual electrical wiring circuit – “What is an MCB?”
An RCD (or residual current device) is a safety device that protects against electrical shock. It works by sensing any imbalance in the current flowing through the circuit and instantly shutting off the power to prevent shock. – “What is an RCD?”
A surge protector is a device that protects electrical equipment against damage caused by electrical surges. It diverts the surge of electricity away from your devices and into the ground, preventing the damage. Power surges are likely to happen when there’s an abrupt increase in the amount of electricity going through the power lines.
A PAT test (or portable appliance test) is a test that is carried out on electrical appliances and equipment to ensure that they are safe to use. The test involves checking the appliance for any signs of damage, testing the insulation, and testing the cord for any signs of wear or tear. It is recommended that you have your electrical appliances tested every 12 months. This will help to ensure that they are safe to use and are not a fire hazard.
An EICR (or electrical installation condition report) is a test that is carried out on the electrical installation in your home or business. The test checks for any signs of damage, faults, or wear and tear. It is recommended that you have your electrical installation tested every 5 years. This will help to ensure that it is safe to use and is not a fire hazard.