10 Common Electrical Terms You Should Know

July 20, 2022

We all use electricity every day. Sometimes when things go wrong, we need to call a licensed electrician, but that doesn’t mean we need to keep ourselves in the literal and metaphorical dark. To understand a little more about the power in your home, here are ten common electrical terms that you should know and how they affect your daily life.


Volts are the numbers we use to measure the electrical current that goes into our devices. The United States typically uses 120V. Different countries use different voltages, so you may need to buy a converter for your devices when traveling.


Circuits are a complete loop of electrical energy. Electricity can only power devices when there is a complete circuit. Therefore, battery-operated devices require a negative and positive side to help keep things running.


AC (or alternating current) is the electrical system found in your home or office. Meanwhile, DC (direct current) is what you see in battery-powered devices or a car's charging port.


Amp, short for ampere, is a specific measurement of electricity. Amps measure the number of electrons flowing through a circuit versus the force they're flowing. The strength of this current is known as its amperage.


A conduit is a form of casing or protection around electrical wires to keep everything flowing smoothly in a given direction. Conduits are typically plastic, metal, or some other type of fiber.


Meters are devices that measure the output of electricity. They are valuable tools when performing any electrical work.


A common electrical term that you should know is that gauge has a slightly different meaning depending on the context. In the field of electricity, gauges do not measure electricity but instead refer to the physical diameter of your wiring.


Ohms are a measurement of electrical resistance in a current. More ohms result in the creation of light and heat.


Surges occur when an electrical system receives more electricity than it can handle. Excess voltage breaks through and may damage your electrical systems or individual devices.


Breakers are switches found in most homes that flip automatically in the event of a surge to try and protect your home’s electrical system from long-term damage during a power outage. Flipping a breaker back on will usually restore power.

For more information on electrical terms and electricians in San Diego, the experts and specialists at Anson Electric have the knowledge and experience for all your electrical needs.

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