Understanding how your home's electricity works

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Last updated Jan 24, 2018

Understanding how Electricity travels to your home from Power Plants

  • There are few things most of us can leave without having, and electricity is one of those things, along with Plumbing and Heating and Cooling. Most of us never have to consider how the Electrical, Plumbing and Heating and Cooling systems in our home works because we can just call a Plumbing Company, a local electrician or a heating and cooling contractors whenever we need repairs done. Understanding how Electricity gets to our home, how the electrical wiring in our house works or how electrical installations of the various electrical components like switches are done will bring a better appreciation for the electricity in our home.
  • Power Plants generate Electricity with generators that can be powered on by the use of steam, wind or water(hydroelectricity). This generated electricity is then raised to a high voltage to make it easy to transmit through transmission lines to local substations, where stepdown transformers lower the voltage for distribution to local areas through street lines, eventually to your home. By the time the voltage gets to your home, it is further reduced to 240 volts by utility transformers installed on utility poles or in the ground. This current is carried by two power wires each carrying 120 volts and a ground neutral, to your home. This electricity goes through the electric meter installed by your utility company, outside your home, to measure your electrical consumption in kilowatts/ Hrs, on to the electrical service panel( circuit breakers panel) that controls the flow of electricity to different circuits in your home. Power wires usually red or black from the circuit breakers carry electricity to the various devices such as your microwaves, appliances, lights etc.. within your home.

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