Glossary of Home Electrical Terms

Glossary of Home Electrical Terms : Home Electrical Terms

It is not easy to understand the basics of electrical without knowing the definition and meaning of some of the most common electrical terms such as – volts, amperes, watts, conductors, resistance etc?

Here are some of the most common electrical terms that should be useful when working with home electrical.

Electrical Terms: Definition and Meaning

List of commonly used electrical terms:

  • AC / DC: Alternating current or direct current.
  • Ampere: The amount of current that moves through a wire in one second is measured in amperes. The larger the size of wire, the greater the ampere capacity.
  • Breaker: A device that trips like a switch and opens the circuit when overloaded.
  • Conductor: Anything that allows electricity to flow through it is called a conductor. Copper wire is an excellent conductor since it allows a free flow of electricity with very little resistance. Other good conductor is aluminum.
  • Current: Flow of electricity through a conductor such as a copper wire.
  • Electrical Grounding: Sending excess energy or electricity into the earth.
  • Electrical Outlet: Receptacle providing a place in a wiring system where current can be taken to run electrical devices.
  • Electrical Wiring and Circuit: A conductive path for electricity to flow.
  • Fuse: An electrical device that can interrupt the flow of electrical current when it is overloaded.
  • Hot Wire: Wire with electric current.
  • Jumper: A small connector used to make temporary electrical connections.
  • Open Circuit Voltage: a short spike in voltage (V) that is not sustained over a period of time.
  • Panel: A large metal box containing breakers for circuits.
  • Peak Power Current: the maximum amount of current in amps (A) that the solar panel will produce.
  • Peak Power: the maximum amount of power in watts (W) the solar panel will produce.
  • Peak Power Voltage: the maximum amount of voltage (V) or power the solar panel will produce.
  • Rated Power: the maximum amount of wattage (W) the solar panel is rated for.
  • Receptacle: An electrical fitting connected to a source of power.
  • Resistance: Anything in an electrical circuit that impedes the flow of current is referred to as resistance, or impedance. Resistance is measured in ohms.
  • Short circuit: Accidental contact between two points in an electric circuit.
  • Short Circuit Current: a short spike in amps (A) that is not sustained over a period of time.
  • Switch: A control consisting of a mechanical or electrical or electronic device for making or breaking or changing the connections in a circuit.
  • Voltage: It is measure of the pressure under which electricity flows. Voltage is expressed in volts (V)
  • Volt (V): This is the basic unit of electrical potential. One volt is the force required to send one ampere of electrical current through a resistance of one ohm.
  • Watt: This is the amount of electricity consumed per second. It is calculated by multiplying volts times amps. Most household electrical usage is billed in kilowatt hours, or the amount of hours times 1,000 watts.

The above list of electrical terms are just the ones that are most commonly used.


While the list of electrical terms used in engineering is too long, the above mentioned glossary includes the most common electrical terms that most people should know.

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