Category Archives: Electrical Education

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6 Tips for Labeling Your Electric Panel

Moving into a new home has a lot of ups and downs.

It can be very exciting to discover all the nuances of your new home!

Don’t let a tripped breaker be a bummer.

Be sure your electrical panel is labeled well so you can get power back quickly.

Here are six tips to help you get started.

#1. Grab a Buddy
The fastest way to find out which breaker controls which area is to do it with a buddy. One person can flip switches while the other controls the panel. Don’t have a buddy? It’s easy to do on your own, you just need a little more time.

#2. Map Your Breakers
Start with turning all the breakers off. Then turn them on one by one and make note of the lights or large appliances that come on. Also take a small lamp or alarm clock around to check the outlets. Find an outlet that doesn’t seem to work? The safest way to check if the outlet is getting any power is by using a non-contact voltage tester.

#3. Label Label Label
It’s likely that your panel is already labeled, just not well. Sticky labels are easier than taping tiny pieces of paper, but either is effective. Print legibly and be clear with your locations. Draw a diagram of the panel and label your practice panel before writing out and applying your final labels. If your handwriting isn’t legible, consider printing your labels.

#4. Take Notes
If you have a section on your electrical panel that doesn’t belong to one specific breaker, you may have a wiring issue. Call a qualified electrician to come out and take a look.

#5. Keep It Simple
Don’t use nicknames for your labeling. Chances are, you won’t live in your house forever, so do the next owners a favor and use practical labels like “SW Bedroom” or “Garage Outlets” rather than “Nursery” or “Bedroom 1.”

#6. Watch the Amperage
If your panel has anything labeled, it’s likely for your large appliances. When you switch off a breaker and discover only the stove doesn’t work, you’ve found a dedicated circuit. Need a little help figuring out which dedicated circuit goes to which location? Check the amperage (amp) rating of the circuit. This is indicated by the number on the circuit toggle lever or nearby. Here are some common amp ratings for various appliances or devices:

  • Kitchen outlets: 20-amp
  • Range/oven/cooktop: 30-, 40-, or 50-amp
  • Dryer: 30-amp
  • Garage outlets: 20-amp
  • Laundry outlet/washer: 20-amp
  • Lighting, general receptacles, and probably everything else: 15-amp

    Keep in mind, some large amp appliances may require more than one breaker.

    Labeling your electrical panel before there’s an emergency can save you lots of time plus a huge headache. It may not be the most fun job, but it will certainly pay off in the end.


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Electrical Symbols

Last time we discussed how architects and electricians work together.

Today, we will look at how electrical symbols are used on an architectural plan to highlight both the location and style of electrical tool / device needed to safely complete a project.

Now, before you get too excited, I want to take a moment to say “THANK YOU” to Filip Domenic and his contributors whom in 2007 was attributed as the copyright owner of the electrical symbols we will share today.

Note, that Domenic and his contributors kindly donated the artwork to the public domain.

Kemp Electric has simply modified the images with content for curating modern thought.

Let’s begin.

Sometimes we are dealing with digital challenges that require “Basic Logic Blocks”

Basic Logic Blocks - Electrical Symbols - Kemp Electric

Electrical Symbols : Basic Logic Blocks

According the Radio-Electronics.com,

Digital electronics deals with the manipulation of numbers.

This is achieved by representing numbers in a digital form and using logic operations to provide the processing needed.

Using a wide variety of logic gate and digital circuit building blocks the electrician can successful make this happen today.

What is amazing is that despite the countless number of electronic products available within current markets, these fundamental logic blocks, as known as, digital circuits are all used in a basic form.

The only difference is the number of circuits contained within a large block.

Moving on we have to understand how sources and connectors work.

Sources and Connectors - Kemp Electric - Best of Indiana

Electrical Symbols : Electrical Connectors & Sources

As its name applies, an electrical connector is a device used to bring electrical circuits together using a mechanical assembly.

Electrical connectors can be either temporary or function as a permanent electrical solutions joining two wires together.

There are more types of electrical connectors than one would care to count.

Most connection made with an electrical connector require crimping.

Crimping Electrical Connectors

The crimping process is not too difficult, but, it must be done correctly.

The website Sparkfun, offers a great tutorial on how to master crimping of wire using an electrical connector.

If you need a low-cost, but, high quality crimper, we suggest you check out Walmart or the Auto Part Store.

 

Next we have linear components.

Electrical Symbols - Kemp Electric - Best Electrician in Indiana and Elkhart County - Bristol - Plymouth

Electrical Symbols : Linear Components

A linear component is briefly defined as follows:

linear circuit - kemp electric Warsaw electrician indiana kosciusko

On March 25, 2016, Shivakshit Patri, comprehensively explained what both linear and non-linear components are, and are not. Quora Linear Components

Since, he mentions diodes, let’s take a look at them.

Electrical Symbols diodes

Electrical Symbols : Diodes

According to Tech Target’s WhatIs.com a diode is defined as follows:

A diode is a specialized electronic component with two electrodes called the anode and the cathode. Most diodes are made with semiconductor materials such as silicon, germanium, or selenium. The fundamental property of a diode is its tendency to conduct electric current in only one direction.

Now, let’s take a look at transformers.

No, not the Hasbros Cars that turn into robots, but rather the type of transformer explained by Chris Woodford on Explain That Stuff.

Kemp electric - best of indiana electrical transformers

Kemp Electrical transformers


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