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Electrical Glossary A - D

Ampere or Amp: The rate at which electrical power flows to a light, tool, or appliance.

Armored Cable: Two or more wires grouped together and protected by flexible metal covering.

Box: A device used to contain and protect wiring connections. This is the little plastic or metal box that contains the wires in your receptacles.

BX: See armored cable

Cable: Two or more wires grouped together and protected by a covering or sheath.

Circuit: A continuous loop of electrical current flowing along wires or cables. For example, you may group your kitchen outlets into one circuit. The circuit switch is what you turn off on your electrical panel when you are working on that area to prevent electricity from going to that area.

Circuit Breaker: A safety device that interrupts an electrical circuit in the event of an overload or short circuit. If you have an overload, the circuit breaker will automatically shut the circuit. You must reset this switch by going to your electric panel and turning it off and then back on. You can tell a circuit breaker has been shorted when there is a red flag in the circuit breaker window near the off switch.

Conductor: Any material that allows electrical current to flow through it. Copper is an excellent conductor and is used in most electrical outlets.

Conduit: A metal or plastic tube used to protect wires. Conduit may be used outside your home where a group of wires enters the home.

Continuity: An uninterrupted electrical pathway through a circuit or electrical fixture.

Current: The movement of electrons along a conductor.

Duplex Receptacle: A receptacle that provides connections for two plugs.


Home Tips &
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Electrical Basics
Replace an Outlet

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Electrical Glossary
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E - N
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