Electricity has, without  doubt, become one of our most basic necessities as it powers our daily lives. Over the years, newer technologies have increased the demand for electricity. As a matter of fact, it is nearly impossible to think of any activity that won’t be needing electricity.

From the moment we wake up, we use electricity to make our coffee and toast. If not for electricity, business operations won’t be possible. From morning to evening, every day, and all year long, we use electricity.

Because we depend on it too much, it pays to have basic knowledge on how your electrical system works and which portion of your electrical service should you be responsible for. Get to learn more about your electrical system as you follow this guide.

Basic Electrical Parts and Components

For starters, it is important to know first the basic components of your electrical system.

Electric Service Connection

Let’s begin with where all our electricity comes from. The electric company would provide its consumers service components and metering equipment that are either installed inside a consumer’s property or in a outdoor weatherproof cabinet.

Safety Disconnect Switch

In the event of worst case scenarios such as fire or flood hit your property , a disconnect switch enables you to shut off the power outside the premises. It can also be used as a transfer switch where you can switch between live power and backup power from a generator set.

Electrical Service Panel

This is the first electrical part which receives electricity from the electric meter. It’s responsible in distributing the electricity down throughout the entire property.  It contains a large main breaker that acts as the main switch to control the power for the panel. It is sized depending on your home’s electrical usage. Nowadays, standard panels typically provide 200-ampere service.

Distribution Box

This is the most noticeable electrical part. It has the main switch, the trip switch and the circuit breakers. What it does is it distributes power supply to all the sections of your property. Usually, these sections include light circuits, electrical plug socket circuits and fan circuits.


May it be lights or fans, switches can be found everywhere around the home or at the office. These are the components that can either “make” or break any electrical circuit. They may come in various types and styles.  Some types of switches include single-pole switches, three-way switches, double-pole switches and four-way switches.

Electrical Outlets

This is the most sought after electrical part. It is basically where we plug most of our electrical devices into. Typically, an outlet has three holes. One of which is the called the ‘neutral’, the other is called ‘hot’ and the last one is the ground hole. The hot hole is the one connected to the wire that supplies electricity. On the other hand, the neutral brings back the electrical current back to the source. The ground makes it safer as it takes large electrical current into the ground.


An electrical wire is a type of conductor that basically conducts electricity. The most commonly used wires in a household setting have copper or aluminum conductors that can either be solid or stranded.

In most modern homes, nonmetallic (NM) cables are the most widely used. These cables usually contain one or more hot wires, one neutral wire and a ground wire. NM cables are usually called Romex after a popular brand name.

You need to take note that the type of wiring will depend on the usage. Different voltage ratings require different wire size. You need to be aware of the proper wires to be used depending on the amount of electrical load that will make use of it.

Electrical Devices

Electrical devices are simply everything that needs electricity to function. Examples of which include electrical outlets, lights and appliances. As a responsible building owner, you need to be aware of what single circuits and dedicated circuits are.

Single circuits can accommodate multiple switches, outlets and devices. Dedicated circuits, on the other hand, are used for critical-use devices and appliances such as water heaters, air conditioning units and refrigerators. Using this type of circuit reduces the risk of overloading.

Electrical Installation Tasks

What can you expect during electrical installation?

  • Electrical inspection
  • Electrical layout patterned to the architectural plan.
  • Installation of electrical conduits
  • Installation of  main switches and distribution boxes
  • Installation of  cables from distribution boards
  • Installation of switches, light fixtures and sockets
  • Testing all the installation
  • Electrical service  connection

Get ‘Wired’ with JCP Electric

JPC Electric Inc. provides electrical upgrades for customers across Arizona. If you are increasing the living area of your home or office, we’ll be glad to be of service. If you find yourself in need of more electrical outlets, and light switches, we can help. Contact us now  at 520-808-3108 for FREE estimates.