Circuits & Wiring in Charleston, Mount Pleasant SC and Surrounding Areas
Electricity is a modern convenience that you might take for granted. Although many parts of your home’s electrical system are hidden behind the scenes, each circuit and wire is vital for powering your most important appliances from the coffeemaker to the air conditioner.
Understanding the Circuits and Wiring in Your Home
After the power flows past the meter and into your home, it’s handled by an assortment of critical components in the electrical panel. This service box houses the circuit breakers and the two main electrical lines that each provide 120 volts of energy. The circuit breakers direct power to every branch of your home’s electrical system. Each item on the circuit is linked to three wires. The hot wire leaves the breaker box and travels to the designated receptacle or fixture. Then, the ground wire and neutral complete the return circuit by sending signals back to the breaker box or into the earth.
Dedicated and Shared Circuits
Electrical regulations require each circuit to be properly sized according to the number and type of devices that it will be powering. Although one branch can support several outlets or light fixtures, some appliances require high-capacity circuits.
- Outlets in high-use areas are often on dedicated 15- or 20-amp circuits. These receptacles are used for refrigerators, microwaves and hair dryers that need more than 1,500 watts of power.
- Large appliances, such as ovens, water heaters, and clothes dryers, use 220 volts of power, so they’re linked to both incoming electrical lines using heavy wires and a 30- or 50-amp breaker.
- For added protection, central air conditioners, pool pumps, and other important appliances sometimes have their own subpanel located closer to the point of use.
Residential Wiring Standards
Over the decades, electrical standards have changed substantially. If your home was built before 1973, it may contain dangerous aluminum or knob-and-tube wiring. Nowadays, electrical codes have specific standards for the capacity and amperage rating of electrical wires. These products are color-coded based on their load capacity.
- White cables feature 14-gauge wire and are rated for up to 15 amps.
- Yellow sheathing is used on 12-gauge wires that are rated for 20-amp circuits.
- Orange cables use 10-gauge wire and are designed for 30-amp circuits.
When completed properly, electrical updates are a worthwhile investment that can make your home safer. In most cases, projects that involve modifications to the circuits and wiring should be left to a professional. That’s why communities like Charleston typically require building permits for this type of work. If you’re tired of living with an outdated electrical system, get in touch with Mister Sparky today to upgrade your Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Summerville, North Charleston, and surrounding area home. Our professionals can inspect your home, recommend updates and provide a comprehensive estimate.
Call the Expert Electricians with Mister Sparky
We’ll gladly provide straightforward pricing on our estimates, a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all work and superior customer service. Mister Sparky is “America’s On-Time Electrician”.