Electricity 101General Interest

Electrical Supplies: Buyer’s Guide

If you are looking for electrical supplies to purchase for your next project, you need to make sure what you are buying is a quality item. When you are working with electricity, safety is paramount and faulty electrical supplies just won’t cut it. You also want well-made equipment that will do the work efficiently and last a long time. There are many factors you need to consider ensuring you are making a smart choice when purchasing electrical supplies.

Finding the Right Electrical Supplier

Finding a good electrical supply retailer is important. Here are some steps you might take before purchasing, to make sure whoever you are buying from is trustworthy.

Think about the work you are doing and try to find a retailer that specializes in electrical supplies that are tailored for your task. This could include residential, commercial or industrial electrical work. Finding a specialist will ensure that you are purchasing the best supplies for the work that needs to be done.

  1. Look for suppliers that carry brand name parts for the work you need done. Often brand name supplies are the safest and highest quality since they usually have more of a budget for testing their products Many will even come with a warranty.
  2. Ask for referrals for the best electrical supply retailers in your area. You may want to ask an electrical contractor, or a friend or neighbor who is often involved in do-it-yourself tasks. They will be able to direct you to a reputable retailer who can give you quality tools and good service.
  3. Although friend’s recommendations are a valuable way to find a good electrical supplier, you can make sure that you are buying from a reputable source by seeing if items in the store are warrantied and whether they have a safety seal of approval. This will mean the supplies were tested for safety. You can also do price comparisons before shopping, to make sure you are paying a fair price. Some examples of great stores that are sure to provide you with quality tools at affordable prices include USESI and Electrical Services, Inc.

Commonly Used Electrical Supplies

If you are in the market for electrical supplies, here are some of the most commonly used ones:

Convenience Outlet: A convenience outlet serves as an energy source for appliances and devices. They can be fastened to a wall or connected through an extension cord. The male plug is inserted into the outlet. Varieties include single, duplex or triplex and they can be source type or flush type.

Male Plug: The male plug is inserted into the convenience outlet to produce electricity. The plug will have a flat cord attached to it at one end while the other end is attached to the appliance or device requiring current.

Lamp Holders: Also called sockets or receptacles, lamp holders serve to protect the lamp. They can come in a variety of shapes, sizes and designs and be either flush, hanging or surface types.

Switch: A switch activates and deactivates the flow of electricity. These also come in a variety of shapes and designs and can be categorized as flush, hanging or surface types.

Fuse: A fuse is a safety device that can cut the flow of electricity if it senses a short circuit or detects that the current is reaching a dangerous point.

Circuit Breaker: Like the fuse, the circuit breaker also serves to cut electricity in the case of a short circuit or overload. Serving as a replacement for the fuse, it is more commonly featured in modern homes.

Junction Box: The junction box is octagonal in shape and serves as the site where the connections or joints of wires are attached, as well as lamp holders. The junction box is typically made of wood or metal polyvinylchloride (PVC).

Utility Box: A utility box serves as the site where a flush type convenience outlet and switch are attached. The box is typically made of wood or metallic PVC.

Flat Cord: A flat cord is a duplex stranded wire used for temporary wiring installation and extension cord assembly. It comes in rolls of 150 meters and sizes of gauge #16 and #18 awg (American Wire Gauge).

Electrical Wire/Conductor: This can be either stranded wire or solid wire. The stranded wire is made up of several strands that join together to make a single wire, whereas a solid wire is made up of a single strand on aluminum or copper wire. It is commonly used in wiring installation inside of buildings.

Conduits and Pipes: These are used for the passage of wires serving to protect and insulate. Types of conduits vary and can include flexible metallic conduit (FMC), rigid nonmetallic (PVC) and corrugated plastic conduit (CPC).

Clamps: Clamps are used to anchor electrical conduit into its proper position.

Connectors: Connectors are used to attach metallic or non-metallic conduit to junction or utility boxes.

When buying electrical supplies, it is important to buy a safe and quality product. Now that you are familiar with the electrical supplies that are most commonly used and you know how to find reputable retailers, you are on your way to a fruitful shopping experience. Best of luck finding the equipment you need, and with a successful electrical repair or installation.

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