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How is electricity produced in a circuit?...  There are atoms in the air, these atoms contain electrons. To produce electricity you need a force to move these electrons. There are several ways to produce this force, the most common being magnetism which can be produced by generators. This force is called E.M.F. (ElectroMotive Force) . As conductors are passed through a magnetic field a voltage (emf) will be produced in each conductor. This voltage will produce the necessary pressure to move the electrons. The movement of these electrons is called electric current or amperage. Thus you have voltage and amperage which along with resistance (the load) make up an electric circuit.(Manhattan Electrician NYC Electric Tips Information)
 Electricity is one of the great assets we have. When the power went off in 2003 we were reminded of it's importance. Harnessing electricity has improved just about everything in our lives. Electricity begins mostly at large dams and waterfalls, and some nuclear plants. The constant flow of water is used to turn large generators, which through magnetism produces electricity. The electricity is than sent to power lines at extremely high voltages. When it reaches your home from sub stations, it goes through a step down transformer, ( these are the large metal units you see on the telephone pole ) and produces the correct voltage needed for your home.(Manhattan Electrician NYC Electric Tips Information)




Home Computer. Computer and monitor use very little electricity, so it does not require its own circuit


Upgrading Electrical Service. If your  service needs upgrading. You probably will not have to replace your existing electrical lines. However, if you require more electrical capacity in certain rooms, new wiring runs and additional outlets are likely to be needed.


Fuses. Fuses protect the wiring from an overload (excessive current) if your fuses or circuit breakers blow, this is an indication that circuit has been overloaded. This could be caused by too many appliances plugged in, or too many rooms (outlets & lights) on 1 circuit.


Microwave. Microwaves should be on it’s own circuit, because it is a stationary appliance.


Panel Box.  Switches have a set of contacts within them. These contact points open and close when operated. Upon opening, a small electric arc will occur. Under a normal load (within the switches tolerances) the arc is small unnoticeable. However if the load is high, the arc is stronger. Sometimes these contacts will develop “Hills and Valleys” due to this excessive arcing. These “Hills and Valleys” may cause the points to stay close enough to allow arcing to occur even in the open position. This is the crackling sound you hear. The switch should be replaces as well as the load checked by a qualified electrician.


Lights Flicker. The most common cause of flickering light is major appliances on the same circuit as the lighting. Lamps flicker when the appliances start up. This is caused by the appliance drawing a lot of power momentarily and basically robbing power from the rest of the circuit. Lighting will also flicker if there are any loose wiring connections, defective lamp sockets or defective bulbs.


Dimmers. One of the by products of lighting dimmers is heat. Dimmers have built in heat sinks to dissipate the heat energy safely to the atmosphere. Dimmers are rated as to the amount of watts they can safely dim (ie: 1 300w, 500w, 1000w 1500w). Dimmers will get warm to the touch but should never get hot. A hot dimmer indicates the dimmer may be overloaded (to many watts).


Ceiling Fan and Lights. To control your ceiling lighting fixture separately from the fan, you would need to have 3 wires between the switch and the ceiling outlet box.


220 Volts. 220 refers to voltage. Without getting into too much detail, modern residences are supplied by the utility with (2) power wires. (Service conductors) and (1) ground conductor. Each of the two conductors has 120 volts (when measured to ground) When both of these two conductors are present, it is said to be 220 volts. This can refer to the house “having 220” or an appliance (an A/C, Hot tub, etc) needing 220 volts.

All recessed lighting fixture such as high-hats are required to have thermal protection. Recessed fixtures have a wattage limit. When a bulb that has either too many watts or is not the correct type ( an “A” rather than a “R”) the fixture will shut down until the thermal probe is cool and then turn on again to start the process all over again. This will cause the lamps to go off and on by themselves.
This may also indicate that the fixture was installed in an environment that is trapping in the heat, such is insulation. There are special recessed fixtures designed for contact with insulation. Some one familiar with lighting fixtures can identify which are installed in your home.


“R” lamp,  “A” lamp.  An “R” lamp is a “Reflector” lamp. Most high-hats or recessed fixtures require “R” lamps to get the most efficient lighting. The reason is simple, any light that doesn’t go straight down is wasted light Reflector lamps reflect the majority of the lighting down where you want it. Although some recessed fixtures can use “A” lamps (standard light bulbs) you have to lower the wattage due to heat build up and waste energy.




Electrical Terms




COPPER WIRING: Should all-copper wiring be used for any new installation?

Solid copper wiring is the material of choice for new homes or renovations.

DIMMING LIGHTS: Why do the lights dim when my appliances turn on?

High-demand appliances such as air conditioners, clothes dryers, refrigerators and furnaces need extra power when they start up. This temporary current draw can be more than just a nuisance; it can damage sensitive equipment. When in doubt, check with your electrician.

EXTENSION CORDS: Is it okay to use extension cords to reach outlets in the different rooms of my home? The existing outlets are spaced too far apart for my needs.

Electrical outlets, especially in older homes, are often spaced too far apart for modern living. This not only creates too much demand on too few outlets, it also poses a hazard when the extension cords are run under rugs and furniture. You should call your electrician to have more outlets installed throughout your home. (See PLUG-STRIPS question.)

EXTENSION CORDS: Is it okay to use extension cords to reach outlets in the different rooms of my home? The existing outlets are spaced too far apart for my needs.

Electrical outlets, especially in older homes, are often spaced too far apart for modern living. This not only creates too much demand on too few outlets, it also poses a hazard when the extension cords are run under rugs and furniture. You should call your electrician to have more outlets installed throughout your home.

PLUG-STRIPS: Is it safe to use accessory plug-strips on my electrical outlets?

Too many things plugged in at one location can create more current demand than a single outlet or electrical line can safely handle. Adding multiple plug-strips won’t solve the problem. What you need are additional outlets, and possibly new wiring runs to service them.

PLUG-STRIPS: Is it safe to use accessory plug-strips on my electrical outlets?

Too many things plugged in at one location can create more current demand than a single outlet or electrical line can safely handle. Adding multiple plug-strips won稚 solve the problem. What you need are additional outlets, and possibly new wiring runs to service them. (See EXTENSION CORDS question.)





OVERLOAD: Why do the circuit breakers in my home seem to trip often and the fuses keep blowing?

A home痴 electrical system has built-in safeguards to prevent electrical overload. Too much current causes the breakers to open automatically or the fuses to melt. When a circuit shuts down repeatedly, it痴 a warning that should not be ignored ・call your electrician today!

Continuos Load - A load where the maximum current is expected to continue for three hours or more. Rating of the branch circuit protection device shall not be less tan 125% of the continuos load.

Demand Factor - For an electrical system or feeder circuit, this is a ratio of the amount of connected load (in kva or amperes) that will be operating at the same time to the total amount of connected load on the circuit. An 80% demand factor, for instance, indicates that only 80% of the connected load on a circuit will ever be operating at the same time. Conductor capacity can be based on that amount of load.

Overcurrent - Any current in excess of the rated current of equipment or the ampacity of a conductor. It may result from overload, short circuit or ground fault.

Overload - Load greater than the load for which the system or mechanism was intended. A fault, such as a short circuit or ground fault, is not an overload.

Voltage Drop - The loss of voltage between the input to a device and the output from a device due to the internal impedance or resistance of the device. In all electrical systems, the conductors should be sized so that the voltage drop never exceeds 3% for power, heating, and lighting loads or combinations of these. Furthermore, the maximum total voltage drop for conductors for feeders and branch circuits combined should never exceed 5%.


Units of Measurements


Ambient Temperature - The temperature of the air, water, or surrounding earth. Conductor ampacity is corrected for changes in ambient temperature including temperatures below 86°F. The cooling effect can increase the current carrying capacity of the conductor. (Review Section 310-10 of the Electrical Code for more understanding)

Ammeter - An electric meter used to measure current, calibrated in amperes.

Ampacity - The current-carrying capacity of conductors or equipment, expressed in amperes.

Ampere - The basic SI unit measuring the quantity of electricity. Amps is an abbreviation for amperes. Amperes is the technical term for the amount of current flowing through wiring. A good analogy has always been to think of amps as water pressure through a pipe. Low pressure, the water trickles out but high pressure and that hose can, knock the socks off you. Wiring is sized to handle different amperes, therefore your circuit breaker / fuses are rated for different amperes. Circuit breakers protect wiring.

Ohm - The derived SI unit for electrical resistance or impedance; one ohm equals one volt per am-pere.

Ohmmeter - an instrument for measuring resistance in ohms. Take a look at this diagram to see how an ohmeter is used to check a small control transformer. The ohmmeter's pointer deflection is controlled by the amount of battery current passing through the moving coil. Before measuring the resistance of an unknown resistor or electrical circuit, the ohmmeter must first be calibrated. If the value of resistance to be measured can be estimated within reasonable limits, a range selected that will give approximately half-scale deflection when the resistance is inserted between the probes. If the resistance is unknown, the selector switch is set on the highest scale. Whatever range is selected, the meter must be calibrated to read zero before the unknown resistance is measured.

Megaohm - A unit of electrical resistamce equal to one million ohms.

Megaohmmeter - An instrument for measuring extremely high resistance.




Duty, continuos - A service requirement that demands operation at a substantially constant load for an indefinitely long time.

Duty, intermittent - A service requirement that demands operation for alternate intervals of load and no load, load and rest, or load, no load, and rest.

Duty, periodic - A type of intermittent duty in which the load conditions regularly reoccur.

Duty, short time - A requirement of service that demands operations at a substantially constant load for a short and definitely specified time.

Duty, varying - A requirement of of service that demands operation at loads, and for intervals of time, both of which may be subject to wide variation.





GROUNDING: Is my home痴 electrical system adequately grounded?

Ground-wiring protects a home and its occupants in case of an electrical fault, such as a short-circuit. But grounding also protects expensive electronic equipment like computers and many appliances. An electrician can quickly check and add grounding capacity if needed.

Ground - A large conducting body (as the earth) used as a common return for an electric circuit and as an arbitrary zero of potential.

Grounded, effectively - Intentionally connected to earth through a ground connection or connections of sufficiently low impedance and having sufficient current-carrying capacity to prevent the buildup of voltages that may result in undue hazards to connect equipment or to persons.

Grounded Conductor - A system or circuit conductor that is intentionally grounded, usually gray or white in color.

Grounding Conductor - A conductor used to connect metal equipment enclosures and/or the system grounded conductor to a grounding electrode, such as the ground wire run to the water pipe at a service; also may be a bare or insulated conductor used to ground motor frames, panel boxes, and other metal equipment enclosures used throughout electrical systems. In most conduit systems, the conduit is used as the ground conductor.

Grounding Equipment Conductor - The conductor used to connect the noncurrent-carrying metal parts of equipment, raceways, and other enclosures to the system grounded conductor, the grounding electrode conductor, or both, of the circuit at the service equipment or at the source of a separately derived system.

Grounding Electrode - The conductor used to connect the grounding electrode to the equipment grounding conductor, to the grounded conductor, or to both, of the circuit at the service equipment or at the source of a separately derived system.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter - A device intended for the protection of personal that functions to de-energize a circuit or portion thereof within an established period of time when a current to ground exceeds some predetermined value that is less than required to operate the overcurrent protection device of the supply circuit.

Ground Fault Protection of Equipment - A system intended to provide protection of equipment from damaging line to ground fault currents by operating to cause a disconnecting means to open all ungrounded conductors of the faulted circuit. This protection is provided at current levels less than those required to protect conductors from damage through the operations of a supply circuit overcurrent device.





Service Drop - Run of cables from the power company's aerial power lines to the point of connection to a customer's premises.

Service Conductors - The supply conductors that extend from the street main or transformers to the service equipment of the premises being supplied

Service Entrance Conductors - (Overhead) The service conductors between the terminals of the service equipment and a point usually outside the building, clear of building walls, where joined by tap or splice to the service drop.

Service Entrance Conductors - (Underground) The service conductors between the terminals of the service equipment and the point of connection to the service lateral.

Service Equipment - The necessary equipment, usually consisting of a circuit breaker or switch and fuses and their accessories, located near the point entrance of supply conductors to a building and intended to constitute the main control and cutoff means for the supply to the building.

Service Point - The point of connection between the facilities of the serving utility and the premises wiring.





Switchboard - A large single panel, frame, or assembly of panels having switches, overcurrent, and other protective devices, buses, and usually instruments mounted on the face or back or both. Switchboards are generally accessible from the rear and from the front and are not intended to be installed in cabinets.

Switch, general use - A switch intended for use in general distribution and branch circuits. It is rated in amperes and is capable of interrupting its rated voltage.

Switch, general-use snap - A type of general-use switch so constructed that it can be installed in flush device boxes or on outlet covers, or otherwise used in conjunction with wiring systems recognized by the National Electric Code.

Switch, isolating - A switch intended for isolating an electrical circuit from the source of power. It has no interrupting rating and is intended to be operated only after the circuit has been opened by some other means.

Switch, knife - A switch in which the circuit is closed by a moving blade engaging contact clips.

Switch, motor-circuit - A switch, rated in horsepower, capable of interrupting the maximum operating overload current of a motor of the same horsepower rating as the switch at the rated voltage.

Switch, transfer - A transfer switch is an automatic or nonautomatic device for transferring one or more load conductor connections from one power source to another.

Switch-Leg - That part of a circuit run from a lighting outlet box where a luminaire or lampholder is installed down to an outlet box that contains the wall switch that turns the light or other load on or off: it is a control leg of the branch circuit.


Other Common Terms


Bonding Jumper - A bare or insulated conductor used to ensure the required electrical conductivity between metal parts required to be electrically connected. Frequently used from a bonding bushing to the service equipment enclosure to provide a path around concentric knockouts in an enclosure wall: also used to bond one raceway to another.

Continuity - The state of being whole, unbroken.

Feeder - A circuit, such as conductors in conduit or a busway run, which carries a large block of power from the service equipment to a sub-feeder panel or a branch circuit panel or to some point at which the block power is broken into smaller circuits.

Panelboard - A single panel or group of panel units designed for assembly in the form of a single panel: includes buses and may come with or without switches and/or automatic overcurrent protective devices for the control of light, heat, or power circuits of individual as well as aggregate capacity. It is designed to be placed in a cabinet or cutout box that is in or against a wall or partition and is accessible only from the front.

GFCI: What are GFCI outlets and where do they need to be installed?

The National Electrical Code now requires extra protection for outlets in specific areas of the home, such as kitchens, baths, utility rooms, garages and outdoors. Ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs)謡hich are identifiable by their TEST and RESET buttons預re generally required in proximity to wet locations. If your wiring has not been upgraded with GFCIs, you池e not protected. Outlets (receptacles) in bathrooms are required to be GFCI (Ground fault circuit interrupters) type or GFCI protected. These GFCI receptacles are designed to protect the appliance user from electrical shock due to defective equipment or equipment/ users coming in contact with water or other grounded means. GFCI devices (receptacles and GFCI circuit breakers) are mechanical devices that can fail. These devices should be tested periodically, by pressing the test button, to ensure they perform as specified (they turn themselves off). If not they should be replaced. Since it is possible to install them incorrectly, it should be done by qualified personal.




1. Master Electrician License
NYC Requirements:
Bachelor's degree in engineering plus 3.5 yrs. under a licensed electrician, or Vocational School plus 5.5 yrs. under a licensed electrician, or no schooling plus 7.5 yrs. under a licensed electrician
The Master is the only one that can pull permits. Meaning this person has satisfied the city or state
requirements for the necessary experience, insurance requirements ect. Typically the master is the
owner of the company, although some companies exists with an employee who is the Master Electrician.

2. Journeyman Electrician - 4 or more years as an electrician and passed the Journeyman Exam.
This person typically is the one who actually performs the work. This person cannot pull any permits
whatsoever. Although some journeymen have access to Master Electricians who pull permits for them it
is actually illegal. Some journeymen will tell you that they can get a permit, just to get the job, then
do the work and get paid, then if a permit is actually required, will be unreachable after getting paid .
Then the permit is Your Problem. You'll have to call around and find a real company that want's to help
you. You're paying twice for the same job, because if it's done incorrectly it may have to be reinstalled.
Why? Because it has to be inspected by the city electrical inspector who will not pass the job unless it
has the proper permits and the work done correctly. and the permit cost may be doubled, if the work was
started before the job had an official permit on site.

3.Apprentice Electrician - 1 to 4 years experience - Must work under the supervision of a journeman electrican.

 (Manhattan Electrician NYC Electric Tips Information)

NYC license holders can work in all five boroughs: Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, & Staten Island.(Manhattan Electrician NYC Electric Tips Information)




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