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Ohms Law

Electrical Terms and Equations 2019

Dear Mr. Electrician:  I have purchased several books on home wiring so that I can do some electrical work around my house.  The books use words and terms that I do not understand and cannot find in the dictionary.  Do you have any suggestions? Answer:  If you plan to do electrical work you should have a basic understanding of wiring methods and code requirements.  Article 100 in the National Electrical Code is entitled Definitions.  It defines all electrical terms used for electrical installations.  See below for a short list of some common electrical terms.  NOTE: Links below go to applicable products on Amazon. Electrical Terms and Definitions Neutral or Neutral Conductor refers to the return path of electricity back to the utility company power transformer.  In the National Electrical Code this wire is called the grounded conductor because it is bonded to earth ground in the main disconnect for the home or building.  Sometimes electricians will just call it the return.  The wire color for the neutral in the USA is usually white, but gray is sometimes used. Hot or LINE refers to the current carrying conductors (Wires) that have electricity flowing in them to power things such as lights and appliances.  These wires are also called ungrounded conductors.  Wire colors for hot conductors can be anything but white, gray, or green.  A typical electrical receptacle outlet in your home will have a NEUTRAL and a LINE connected to it.  Anything that is plugged into the outlet is considered a LOAD. LOAD is what is powered by electricity.  Anything that consumes electricity to operate is a load on the electrical system.  Lights, appliances, machinery, and computers are all examples of a load.  A typical single pole wall switch that operates a ceiling light will have a LOAD wire on one screw and a LINE wire on the other screw. Ground or Earthing refers to a wire known as the grounding electrode conductor that is connected directly to the planet Earth via water pipes and/or ground rods, or other means.  There is no color code for the GEC and it can also be a bare un-insulated wire.  This provides lightning protection and voltage stabilization.  In the USA the ground is also connected (Bonded) to the neutral in the main electrical disconnect for a home or building to provide short circuit protection, also known as fault protection.  In your outlet and switch boxes the ground wire is known as the equipment grounding conductor (EGC).  Article 250 in the National Electrical Code covers all types of grounding.  The equipment grounding conductor color is green or can also be an un-insulated bare wire.  Article 100 for definitions is also helpful. One Ohm = The resistance of a column of mercury (At the temperature of melting ice) of a uniform cross section of one square millimeter and a length of 106.30 centimeters. One Volt = The electromotive force which produces a current of one ampere when steadily applied to a conductor the resistance of which is one Ohm. One Ampere The unit of...