Monthly Archives: November 2015

The Mystery Of Electrical Components Continued

Many of the electrical components we use on a daily basis in our homes and businesses are a mystery to us.  Not many people are concerned with their electrical systems or those electrical systems that supply heat, electricity and such until they have failed.  Once they stop functioning and our lives are put on hold or business is delayed we finally become concerned with all the inner workings of the equipment.  In a previous installment we reviewed electricity its flow along with three main electrical components: disconnect switches, main breakers and fuse panels.  In this installment on the mysteries of electrical equipment we will examine branch circuits, switches, outlets and wiring.

Wiring: In every home you will find various wires and cables.  The three main options in wiring within a home consist of Romex, bx cable or wiring encased within conduit. Romex is the name of a type of plastic insulated wiring that is comprised of non-metallic sheath.  This is normally the wiring that is used in dry, protected areas such as stud walls and side joists.  It is the wiring used when there is no risk of mechanical damage or subjected to excessive heat.  Bx cable is also known as armored cable.  This cable encases wires using aluminum or flexible steel sheaths that are semi resistant to damage.  The safest method of wiring when it comes to durability is single strands of conductor wiring pulled through a conduit.  These three types or wiring are used to carry the electrical current from the main panel to the device needing it.  It is crucial that the wiring that is installed is properly sized for the load requirements that are anticipated.

Outlets:  Electrical outlets are used to plug in portable electrical devices.  An outlet consists of a hot feed, a neutral and aground.  Special outlets should be installed in areas with moisture present as normal grade home outlets are not equipped to handle getting wet.  Outlets are found throughout homes are usually places strategically in consideration of a rooms layout and where there appears to be a need to electricity.

Switches:  A switch is similar to an electrical outlet in that they are placed in areas throughout the home.  They provide electricity to devices that are stationary such as lights and fans.  The switch will turn the devices on and off.  Switches come in single-pole, three-way, four-way and dimmer.  The purpose of the different switches is to offer a variant to the flow of current that goes to the lights and fans within the home.

Branch Circuit:  In a home there is a main circuit breaker that has several smaller branch circuits that is feeds electrical current into.  A branch circuit feeds electricity into breakers to power switches and outlets.  Most circuits can be either 120 volts or 240 volts.  A 120 volt circuit requires a single pole breaker and only uses one phase of electricity.  This is a light circuit meant to power between 15 and 20 amps. It is good for outlets and switches.  A 240 volt circuit uses a two pole breaker and uses both phases of the circuit.  A 240 volt circuit will power larger appliances such as electric ranges, electric stoves, central air units or hot tubs.  The appliance will not get electricity unless both phases are working.  This circuit also requires a two-pole 30 amp breaker.

J&P Electrical is a full service electrical equipment company.  At J&P, we supply contractors, end users and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned and obsolete electrical equipment. Contact us today at for all of your bus plug, circuit breaker, switchboard, fuses, disconnects and more.

Preventive Electrical Maintenance For The Winter Season

The winter season is upon the north.  Many of us are starting to get buried under piles of snow and are soon to be locked inside hoping for a break in the freezing temperatures.  It is the perfect time to make sure that all electrical systems have been inspected for potential electrical component problems.  Proper maintenance and regular upkeep on the industrial electrical systems in your home will prevent having to find emergency maintenance service when temperatures are below freezing when being without heat or electricity is dire.  Proper preventative maintenance on electrical systems can prevent a disaster later on.

Why should proper preventative maintenance on electrical systems be performed?

The power requirements, during the winter months, are far greater than any other time of the year.  There is a constant struggle to keep industrial buildings warm in order to prevent electrical systems used in the operation of the business running efficiently.  All the while industrial facility’s and plant managers are looking to improve their efforts to lower power consumption and reduce expenses overall.  Programmable logic controllers should be employed by industrial companies to be trained and specialized in the equipment used throughout the facility.

With the above goals in mind there are a variety of issues, as listed below, that can be prevented with proper electrical preventative maintenance.

  • Circumvent electrical shorts that can lead to fires. When a current is overloaded electrical short circuits can occur. This could potentially lead to starting an electrical fire.  To avoid this remove any wires that have become exposed.  It is also important that load imbalances are avoided.  Excessive heat buildup, arcing and explosions can occur.
  • Detect electrical components that are running hot or not running according to the specifications stated. Before an electrical component fails it will most likely start to run hot.  Check running components such as transformers, motors, bearings and wires.  If it noted that they are running warmer than specified it is time to think about preventative replacement.  Refurbished electrical components can be purchased at a discount to allow industrial equipment to keep running efficiently without the expense of new components or replacement equipment.
  • Check for any loose connections. A loose connection on any piece of equipment can lead to fluctuations in power causing erratic operations and uneven power distribution between the wires.

Preventative maintenance should be a full time position that is filled by a trained specialist.  This one position can save the company both time and money.  With regular equipment maintenance companies are able to avoid unplanned downtime.  This leads to more regular production, better customer services and is cost effective.  Buying new equipment, down time, decreased production and hiring emergency repair services are all incredibly costly for any company.  Simple, regularly scheduled maintenance along with the use of refurbished electrical components allow for smooth operation within manufacturing.

J&P Electrical is a full service electrical equipment company.  At J&P, we supply contractors, end users and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned and obsolete electrical equipment. Contact us today at for all of your bus plug, circuit breaker, switchboard, fuses, disconnects and more.