A Look At House Electrical System

The main question when looking at your house panel or electrical service panel and breakers is to ask how safe is it? and how well functioning every breaker is?

Why is the panel well-functioning so important to overall electrical safety?

Read more about electrical panel here: Understanding Electric Panels & Overview of Residential Electrical Panels

Because safety and security of your electrical wiring system is mostly determined by your electrical panel, and your electrical breakers, which act like your house defence system in case of any electrical fault or short circuit.

How this process work? Your breakers amperage and voltage size for each branch circuits are identified based on your wires size (AWG) for that branch circuit.

And if any current higher than what breaker and wire is rated for, flow on that circuit will activate overcurrent mechanism inside the breaker and this mechanism is responsible to disconnect the circuit to protect wiring and electrical devices and equipment on that branch circuit and in case of higher amperage short circuit which cause over current or higher voltage short circuit the main system breaker which is usually double pole breaker will tripe to protect everything on that  system.

All new house in Canada have 100-ampere 220-volt main electrical panel, with functioning and well protecting circuit breakers, some old houses have 60 Ampere Or 70 Ampere Main panel with old breakers, which usually are required by insurance company to be upgraded to 100 Ampere And there are homes that require, 150 Amp, 200 Amp, 250 Amp or even higher amperage depending on size of house and number of electrical devices and equipment.

The main defining factors in every residential house are building size, electrical range, electrical dryer, A/C, Hot tub and for commercial building again is the size of the building and type of usage and machinery inside the building.

Can Electric LTD

Can Electric Ltd, can do an exact electrical Load calculation for your house according to Canadian Electrical Code, when requested or if you need any type of electrical upgrade.

And to do electrical upgrades, first step is to get permit from local electrical code enforcing authority and the second step is to contact local utility company to arrange for an electrical disconnect and reconnect time and date, and in most case of electrical service upgrade, the work to upgrade, power disconnect and reconnect and electrical inspection is done in same day.

You might need temporary power for duration of disconnect, you can rent an electrical generator or bring in power from neighbor.

What are two different types of electrical services in the house? The electrical house service can be underground or overhead. Most of new developments have underground electrical services. The main electrical service for residential units is usually overhead service for units build in 1980 or older and the residential development in years after 1980 usually have underground electrical service.

 

Electrical System

  • Overhead Main Electrical Service

In this case the service cables is run from the closest step-down transformer which is mounted on electrical pole and point of attachment to the building is through electrical wire holder that is bolted through building structure when is possible to fulfill electrical code reequipments or connected to the main service mast which is going through roof and the point of connection is 18 inches above the roof (it might differ in different jurisdictions) and from there is rooted through a service mast to the line side of the service meter socket at the top of meter.

And from load side of meter socket wires are run to the main house panel, and are terminated on main circuit breaker, which is at the top of the panel and most of the time is separate by a sub-cover from the branch circuits. In overhead most of the time line entrance to meter socket is from top and load entrance to the meter socket from the bottom of the meter socket.

 

Main components of overhead electrical services upgrade are (100 Amp as example):

  • Supply and install 100 Amp. meter socket.
  • Supply and install 100 Amp panel and breakers
  • Supply and install 100 Amp. service wiring
  • Supply and install 100 Amp. service mast
  • Supply and install 100 Amp. grounding
  • Bounding the gas line
  • Permit and inspection
  • Arranging with local utility provider for power disconnect and reconnect.

 

  • Underground Main Electrical Service

underground main electrical service

In this case the service cables which is called service drop, usually is taken from the closest step-down transformer will be connected to service entrance wires and are terminated on line side of meter socket.

And from load side of meter socket wires are run to the main house panel, and are terminated on main circuit breaker, which most of the time is separate by a sub cover from the branch circuits. Usually the meter is made of two parts, meter which is owned by your local utility company and meter socket is considered homeowners property. In underground most of the time line and load wires are both entered the meter socket from the bottom of the meter.

 

Main components of underground electrical services upgrade are (100 Amp as example):

  • Supply and install underground 100 Amp. meter socket.
  • Supply and install 100 Amp panel and breakers
  • Supply and install 100 Amp. service wiring (USE- direct burial rated)
  • Supply and install 100 Amp. Underground pvc-mast and mast sleeve and bolting to the main building structure.
  • Supply and install 100 Amp. grounding
  • Bounding the gas line
  • Permit and inspection
  • Arranging with local utility provider for power disconnect and reconnect.

 

What are the main differences between underground and overhead electrical services?

  • As you can see from the name underground service is run underground usually (18- to-40) inches trenching and with 6 inches of sand under and over the electrical cable and with caution tape buried a foot above electrical cable and overhead electrical service is run from overhead pole to the house point of attachment and usually it is triplex overhead rated wire and it 6 AWG or higher size wire.
  • Underground electrical service wiring is safer than overhead electrical service.

 

This week’s electrical terms:

Main house electrical service: it’s main electrical power coming to the house or commercial units and it can be (60, 100,150,200, 250,300,350,) Ampere or higher.

Service mast: it is the main service mast which is attached to the building or it goes through the roof.

Service meter: it is main meter for the building and usually sealed by local utility company.

Main house panel: it is a service panel with main disconnect and branch circuits

Overhead Electrical Service: Electrical service that enter the building with overhead wiring.

Underground Electrical Service: Electrical service that enter the building with underground wiring.

Electrical Load: it is the wattage entering the house or commercial building which is (W=VI) w: watt, V: voltage, I: amperage

Local Utility (Electrical) Company: It’s is Electricity provider (for Edmonton, Alberta its EPCOR)

Electrical Code Enforcement Authority: City of Edmonton

Residential electrical permit: https://www.edmonton.ca/programs_services/electrical-permits-residential.aspx

Commercial electrical permit: https://www.edmonton.ca/business_economy/licences_permits/commercial-electrical-permits.aspx

 

Any Question? Call us now: (780) 604-3939

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house electrical system

By | 2019-02-04T10:01:01+00:00 January 29th, 2019|Educational|

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