Any electrical installation or building should have an on-site electrical service unless it already connects to an offsite power source or shares feedback to another electrical installation itself. Necessary services and definitions reside within National Electrical Code (NCEC) articles 230 through 237. These articles outline the standards that must be followed by an electrical contractor when making a service call. Other than those that, most international references also adhere to these rules. The purpose of these articles is to set the standards for safety and proper care of the building and electrical systems that surround it.
Electrician ensures all electrical service work performed must adhere to the guidelines. This includes primary electrical service size, voltage, frequency, overload, circuit breaker rating, and more. An electrical system’s overload is defined as any situation where more voltage is needed to support the system than is provided. The frequency of use defines the frequency of use and the amount of time the electricians can work on the project.
For example, circuit breaker rating refers to the maximum allowable current flowing through the main circuit breaker. The frequency of use determines the number of fuses the electrician uses to open and close the circuit. Overuse can lead to damage to the electrical system and utility control panel. The amount of load that the utility must handle during peak usage is determined by the service size. All utilities are measured in amperes. Amperes are one-thousandth of amps.
The average American uses about twenty-five amperes per hour or about twenty-five thousand amperes per month. One hundred twenty amps are the legal limit in most states for residential homes. Using the average monthly consumption of homes, it would take nearly thirty-two years to burn through the amount of electricity American homes use in a year. In other words, our homes consume too much electrical service; therefore, we need more efficient electrical service.
To begin improving electrical service, an Electrical Service Specialist (ES) needs to determine the amount of load required for a home. The technician then measures the amount of energy used which is measured in kilowatts. A kwh is one-kilo watt-hours or about one million watts. The technician then divides this number by the average American’s annual consumption of energy or about fifty megabytes per hour. This information provides the ES with a baseline. Next, the ES needs to locate the main service wires that cross each property line.
Most homes are wired with main electrical service wires that run beneath the foundation and directly under the ground. These main wires are called the utility company’s feeders. In many older homes, the utility company’s feeders are buried underground and require no drilling.
The next step involves locating the utility cabinets and locating the appropriate 120-volt service wires. When approaching the cabinets, remember that the older cabinets are typically made of cement and bricks. Therefore, to help maintain the integrity of the cabinet, electrical service technicians will prewire the cabinet. Once the cabinets are located, they must be removed. The wires are now ready to be placed back into their corresponding holes. Finally, the Electrical Service Specialist connects the 120-volt service wires to the main electrical service wires.
Finally, the Electrical Service Specialist attaches the electrical service panels to the walls of the building. If the building is framed, exterior mount fuses attach to the outside of the building wall. If not, the technicians fine wire the wiring. After wiring the panels, the Electrical Service Specialist installs the circuit breaker box. Finally, the technician attaches a ground fault circuit interrupter to protect the live circuits from damage by the energizing equipment. Finally, all wiring is attached and protected, and the electrical service is complete.