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60 amp electrical service: Most standard sized homes built prior to the 1960’s were built with a 60 amp electrical service. The problem with 60 amp electrical service lies with renewing your insurance policy. Insurance companies may terminate the policy or demand that there be an upgrade if you are on a current plan. 60 amp electrical services can become dangerous when people do things like run too many extension cords or install oversized fuses. It is important to have a certified electrician take a look at the distribution of wiring when upgrading amps or your home may not be any safer than before. 

100 amp electrical service: The main circuit breaker identifies the amperage capacity of the electrical panel. There will be a number on the electrical panel telling you what the amp capacity is. For example, 100 or 150 could be listed beside the panel. 100 amp is the minimum allowed by today’s code. 150 amps, 200 amps, and 400 amps are among other standard available sizes. 

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter: AFCIs are a newly-developed electrical device. They are designed to protect your home from fires that can be caused by arcing faults in your electrical wiring. Arcing faults usually occur when corroded, damaged or deteriorated wires and cords are present. Traditional circuit breakers respond to overloads in circuits while AFCIs respond specifically to unwanted arcing conditions. The AFCI will shut off the electricity if an arc fault occurs, will trip or short circuit when an overload occurs and reduce the chance of a fire. It is important to note that AFCIs diminish the effects of arcing faults but cannot prevent them entirely. 

A-Line Lamp: An incandescent lamp generally used in most indoor residential homes.

Alternating Current (AC) : An electric current that changes direction with regular frequency. 

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Alternator: An electric generator that produces alternating current. 

American Wire Gauge (AWG) : A standard measure representing the size of a wire (a larger number represents a smaller wire). 

Analog: A unit of measure that utilizes varying physical restrictions.

Arc Tube: A tube enclosed by a glass made of clear quartz that contains an arc stream.

Ballast: An electrical device used with fluorescent lamps to supply sufficient voltage to operate the lamp but also then limits the current during operation. 

Branch Circuit: Conductors that protect circuits and outlets. 

BTU (British Thermal Unit) : The standard unit for measuring heat quantities. 

Capacitor: A device that stores electrical charge. 

Circuit Breaker: A device designed to open and close a circuit without causing damage to itself. 

Code Corrections: Procedures used to correct wiring that does not meet proper safety conditions. 

Continuous Load: A load whos maximum current is expected to continue for 3 hours or more. 

Controller: A device that serves to regulate the electric power delivered to a connected apparatus. 

Current: The flow of electricity measured in amperes. 

Daylight Compensation: An energy-saving dimming system that reduces lamp output when in the presence of natural light. 

Dimmer: A device used to vary the brightness of lamps. 

Electric Resistance Heating: A type of heating system that generates heat by passing current through a conductor, often used in baseboard heating systems. 

Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) : The ratio of the cooling capacity of the air conditioner to the total electrical input in watts.

Energy-saving Ballast: A magnetic ballast designed to operate more efficiently than "standard magnetic" ballasts.

Fault: A short circuit in an electrical system. 

Four-Way Switch: A wall switch allowing three switches to control one lighting system. 

Ground: A connection between an electrical circuit and the earth. 

Hard Wired: A light fixture permanently connected to an electrical source with a cord. 

High Output (HO) : A lamp or ballast designed to operate at higher currents in order to produce more lumens. 

High-Tech Troubleshooting: A procedure used to identify any electrical problems. 

Kilowatt (kW) : Real power delivered to a load.

LED: Light Emitting Diode: a small, energy-efficient electronic light that has a very long life. 

Limit Switch: A switch used to alter the electric circuit. 

Load Switching: Transferring a load from one source to another. 

Low Voltage: A wiring system that provides power to an electronic device operating on a voltage level lower than the standard 110 volts. 

National Electrical Code (NEC) : A guideline used for safeguarding people/property from electrical hazards. 

Rated Life: The time at which half of a certain kind of lamp will burn out. 

Relay: A device that switches a load on or off due to small changes in its current. 

Tap: A connection made from outside the wiring system. 

Three-Way Switch: A wall switch allowing two switches to control one lighting system. 

Transfer Switch: An electronic device that can disconnect from one power source in order to connect to another.

Transformer: A device wherein electromagnetic induction transfers electrical energy from one circuit to another.

Transient: A high amplitude, short duration pulse overlaid onto the normal voltage. 

UL: Underwriters Laboratories, Inc: a not-for-profit safety organization. 

Perucki Electric, LCC
Nicholson, PA 18446
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