*ELECTRICAL INFORMATION shared from third party
*Primary components are the service entry, service panel, and branch circuits. Unaltered buildings built since about "1940", the electrical system is likely to be intact and safe (maybe). although, maybe, may not provide capacity required for intended use. Electrical capacity can be easily increased by bridging additional capacity in from the street by adding a larger service panel between the service entry and existing panel. Existing circuits may continue to use the existing panel and new added circuits can be fed in through the newly installed panel. (buildings constructed before "1940" may require overhaul or replacement of the electrical system) also, older electrical systems may function adequately.
*SERVICE ENTRY: Service is a term used to describe conductors and equipment for delivering electricity from the utility company to the wiring system of the served building.
A single family dwelling will require a minimum of 100 amperage service.
*SERVICE PANEL: sometimes referred to as the main electrical panel. The first point of disconnect for conductors from the utility company.
*OVERHEAD WIRES: should be more than (10) ten feet above ground, not to have contact with tree branches or other obstacles, not reachable by nearby windows or other accessible areas, not to be located over swimming pools.
Wires should be attached to building and have drip loops where entering.
*ELECTRIC METER: electric meter and base should be securely fastened and weatherproof.
*MAIN ELECTRICAL SERVICE PANEL =(Breaker Box) is the distribution center for electrical service. The primary function of breakers and Fuses -offers current protection- to protect from wiring overloads.
*MAIN DISCONNECT: is a means for disconnect of electric power. must be located near the closest point of entry of service conductors to building. Typically a main disconnect switch is required by local authority.
*CONDITION AND LOCATION: Exterior service panels are required to be watertight, and have a workable area in front of panel.
*AMPERAGE RATING: of main disconnect should not be less than 60 amps, and should be labeled/identified as 100 amps or greater. The amperage rating may be found on the service panel or disconnect switch.
*GROUNDING: service panel should be grounded to an exterior grounding electrode or be clamped to the water service inlet pipe.
*GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) a device that adds greater level of safety by reducing electrical shock. Most building codes require GFCI protection to be provided in wet locations ie; *all kitchen counter receptacles, *bathroom receptacles; all exterior receptacles; laundry and utility rooms, next to wet bar sinks; unfinished basement and garages and or other.
*DOWNSTREAM GFCI: may be wired in a branch circuit=other outlets and devices may share same circuit and breaker. When properly wired GFCI device trips other devices downstream also lose power. DEVICES SHOULD BE TESTED PERIODICALLY AT LEAST ONCE A YEAR.
*AFCI -(Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter) all 15amp and 20amp, 120 volt circuits for dining rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, sunrooms, closets, hallways and similar areas must be AFCI-protected. an arc fault circuit interrupter is a circuit breaker designed to prevent fires by detecting non-working electrical arcs and disconnecting before the arc starts a fire. Arc Faults in a home are one of the leading causes of household fires.
AFCI RESEMBLE GFCI in that they both have test buttons, it is important to distinguish between the two, GFCI are designed to protect against electrical shock, while AFCI are primarily designed to protect against fire.
*OVER-CURRENT PROTECTION: a breaker or fuse is rerred to an over-current protection device. The amperage of the fuse or circuit breaker should not exceed capacity of wiring. Most household circuits us #14 copper wire, should have 15amp protection.There may be circuits with #12 guage copper wire should use 20amp protection. Large appliances, like hot water heaters, central air conditioners may require 30 amp service using #10 copper wire. An electric range requires 40amp service with #6 copper wire.
*IDENTIFICATION: each circuit should be clearly and specifically as to purpose, no two circuits should be labeled the same.
*BRANCH CIRCUITS: Knob and Tube, (K&T) wiring may still be in use today, was installed often before "1930". knob and tube wiring should be replaced when rehabbing a building. the problem most prominent is the insulation around the wire, it becomes dry and brittle with age, often falls off leaving bare wire exposed. K&T wiring is known to being a cause for fires.
ALUMINUM WIRE: installed predominately "1970's" it is known to be a fire hazard. When possible it is advised, aluminum wire should be removed and replaced with copper wire and devices appropriate for copper.