Basic Components of Our Electrical System

The electrical system is an essential component of our home. It supplies electricity to our appliances and other electrical devices, so they have the energy to also perform their vital functions. Electricity, however, is like fires, they are very useful if utilized properly but they can also be destructive if it is carelessly handled.

The best way to prevent accidents is to equip ourselves with knowledge. Know the basic components of your electrical system, so that you will have basic knowledge of the overall system of your electricity. You may not be able to handle electrical problems, but you can at least contact electrical contractor if you notice that there is something odd with the components of your electrical system.

Electrical System


  1. The Meter

The Meter is the first component of our electrical system in receiving electricity from the main line. The meter is the machine that counts off the amount of electricity that you are consuming. There are two types of meter, the traditional and the digital. The traditional ones have a spinning wheel and mechanically displays numbers, the digital ones don’t have this, but it has LCD to show the numbers. The meter is typically placed outside of your home, so it is easier for the meter-readers to read your consumption.

  1. The Main Panel

The main panel is the box-like structure that handles the electricity after it has gone through the meter. The main panel has two major functions; first, it is the machine that allows you to turn off all incoming electricity to your home, this is especially helpful if there are distressing situations involving electricity.

The main panel’s second function is to hold several small branches of electrical circuits. The main panel contains the main breaker, and the size of this breaker is the determinant of the capacity of electricity that your house can handle. So you can only install branches of small circuits that is less than the capacity of the main breaker.

  1. Circuits

Speaking of circuits, they also belong to the basic and important components of our electrical system. Our circuits are composed of three wires, which are often colored red and white, while the third is bare.

The red wire carries electricity from the main line, while the white one carries electricity back to the main line. The third wire serves as a safety wire; it is connected directly to the ground. In the case of situations like a short circuit, the excess amounts of electricity would travel through the third wire and into the ground, triggering your circuit breakers that would avoid fire or electrocution.

  1. Outlets

Another part of our electrical system is the outlet. This is where we can plug in our appliances and other electrical gadgets. Homes with safe outlets have GCFI in them; it is a device that stops grounding. Grounding can occur when there is a metal or water that is inserted into the outlet; this would complete the circuit, making the electricity flow through them and might electrocute the one who is holding the metal or the source of water.