Glossary O - Z
|Outlet: This is just another name
for a receptacle.
Overload: A demand for more current that the circuit
wires or electric device was designed to carry. An overload
is what causes a fuse to blow or a circuit breaker to trip.
Pigtail: A short wire used to connect two or more
circuit wires to a single screw terminal.
Polarized Receptacle: A receptacle designed to keep
hot current flowing along black or red wires, and neutral
current flowing along gray or white wires. Most receptacles
Receptacle: A device that provides plug in access to
Romex: A brand name of plastic sheathed electrical
cable that is commonly used for indoor wiring.
Screw Terminal: A place where a wire connects to a
receptacle, switch, or fixture. The bare wire (minus the
insulator) is simply wrapped around the screw and the screw
is gently tightened.
Service Panel: This is the metal box where all your
current is divided into electric circuits. The circuit
breakers or fuses are located in this box to protect each
circuit. This panel is located near where the electrical
power enters the house.
Short Circuit: An accidental and improper contact
between current carrying wires, or between a current
carrying wire and a grounding conductor. A short circuit may
be caused by using too many appliances on one circuit.
Switch: A device that controls electrical current
passing through hot circuit wires. In other words, this is
the on-off switch for your lights or appliances.
UL: An abbreviation for Underwriters Laboratories, an
organization that tests electrical devices and manufactured
products for safety. You will see UL approved on the label.
Voltage: (Volts) A measurement of electricity in
terms of pressure. This determines the power of your
Wattage: (Watts) A measurement of electrical power in
terms of total energy consumed. Watts can be calculated by
multiplying the voltage times the amps.
Wire Connector: A device used to connect two or more
wires together. This piece is also called a wire nut.
Home Tips &