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Know Your Home's Electrical System
How does your home's electrical system work?

Electrical Receptacles

Conventional duplex receptacles have two places to plug-in devices. As shown in the illustration, newer receptacles have a half-round hole that receives the grounding plug on an electrical cord. A contact leads from this hole to a green grounding screw that should be connected to the house ground (metal conduit or a green wire) to provide protection against shock when an appliance is plugged in. It's always best to check with a licensed and qualified electrician, like an Excellent Electrician, if you're not sure about your type of electrical system.

Some receptacles in older homes don't have grounding plugs-they have only the paired slots. If your home's receptacles are like these, you've probably discovered grounding adapters, those little plugs that convert the end of a three-pronged plug to two prongs.

Outdoor receptacles are mounted with special covers that seal the weather out (standard types are not safe for outdoor use). A ground-fault circuit interrupter, also called a GFI or GFCI, shuts off a circuit instantly if it senses a hazardous short.



Electrical Nightmares

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    Know Your Home’s Electrical System
  • How does your home’s electrical system work?
  • How power comes into your home
  • Electrical Receptacles

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