How Does Electrical Wiring Work?

A common question that we hear from homeowners and home buyers is how does home wiring work? Whether you’re working with an electrician near me in Clayton DE, or you’re doing things on your own, there are a lot of things you need to know about electrical wiring.

Before we can understand how home wiring works, it helps to understand what an electrical circuit is. An electrical circuit is a pathway that allows electrons to flow from a power source, through some type of load and back to the primary power source. Current flows as long as all components are connected properly.

Many home wiring systems use two-wire cables with ground wires between each outlet so that water or other harmful substances won’t make it into your house. These two-wire cables are referred to as “neutral” and “hot,” and they are connected according to a standard color code.

When an electrical current passes through a wire, it creates an electromagnetic field around the wire. All wires have some resistance, which slows down or “drags” the current. The greater the distance between an electrical source and a light fixture, for example, or other type of load, the more resistance there will be in the wire, which is when you may “lose power.”

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In most systems, it’s important to minimize voltage drops. To do this, wires are typically bundled near their point of entrance into a building and run in parallel to the load they’re powering – rather than having them take circuitous routes throughout a house or building.

There’s a lot more to the system – grounding, other wires, and your connection to the grid – but this is a solid start to understanding. Your contractor can help you understand more and help you navigate whatever it is that you may need to do for your home’s wiring.