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Electrical

Terms In Alphabetical Listings:

Amp
AFCI
Armored Cable
Ballast
Box
Branch Circuit
Bus
BX
Cable
Circuit
Circuit Breaker
Conductor
Current
Daisy Chain
Device
Feeder
Fish Tape
Fitting
Four-way Switch
Fuse
Gauge
Goof Plate
Ground
Ground Fault
GFCI
Home Run
Hot
Insulation
Junction Box
Knob and Tub

Knockout (K.O.)
Live
Lug
NEC
Neutral
Ohm
Open Circuit
Outlet
Overload
Pigtail
Polarized
Raceway
Romex®
Service Entrance
Service Panel
Short Circuit
Single-pole Switch
Split Receptacle
Three-way Switch
UL
Volt
Watt
Wire Nut®


Amp
Abbreviation for ampere, the measure of the rate of flow of electric current. Back to alphabetical list


Arc-fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI)
A breaker that shuts off current in a circuit instantly when an arc fault is detected. Code-required for bedroom circuits starting in 2002. Back to alphabetical list


Armored Cable
This cable contains two insulated conductors and a thin aluminum or copper bonding strip inside a metal sheath. The metal sheath is the ground, not the bonding strip. Also called Armor-clad, AC, or BX. Back to alphabetical list


Ballast
The device that provides the current for fluorescent lights. Ballasts have become quite small, allowing the creation of compact fluorescent bulbs that can be used in place of incandescent bulbs. Back to alphabetical list


Box
Device for mounting electrical fixtures and their wiring in walls and ceilings. Common varieties include new work, old cork, single gang, two-gang, fan, and junction. Back to alphabetical list


Branch Circuit
The portion of an electrical running between the breaker or fuse and the devices it powers. Can serve a single device or several. Back to alphabetical list


Bus
The heavy-duty, rigid connector that connects the circuit breakers or fuses to the incoming power. Also called a Busbar. Back to alphabetical list


BX
A brand name of armored cable. Back to alphabetical list


Cable
Typically, a group of individual conductors bundled together. Back to alphabetical list


Circuit
Branch circuit. Back to alphabetical list


Circuit Breaker
The overcurrent protection device (OCPD) most commonly in residential use. The circuit breaker can be opened and closed repeatedly to allow or stop power from flowing along the branch circuit. Back to alphabetical list


Conductor
A device intended to carry electric current, typically wire or a busbar. May also refer to anything that carries current, intended or not. Back to alphabetical list


Current
The rate of flow of electricity. Back to alphabetical list


Daisy Chain
When conductors run from one device to the next. Saves wire, but if one device fails, all downstream devices are affected. Back to alphabetical list


Device
The items installed in boxes that help control and distribute current, such as switches, receptacles, timers, thermostats, and dimmers. Back to alphabetical list


Feeder
The conductors that feed panels other than the service panel. Back to alphabetical list


Fish Tape
A coiled spring-steel line used for pulling, or fishing, cable and wire through enclosed spaces. Back to alphabetical list


Fitting
Accessories such as bushings and clamps that serve a mechanical rather than an electrical function. Back to alphabetical list



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