Electricity 101: Volts, Amperes & Watts

Everyone uses electricity but most of us don’t know more than that we couldn’t have a refrigerator or a TV without it. Even though all electrical matters and work should be done by a professional electrician, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t know the basics. Here are some common terms and units you will come across when talking about your home’s wiring.

  • Volts – the unit that measures potential difference in electrical force between two points in a circuit (a.k.a. Your homes outlet and the power plant).  Most receptacles in your home will be 120 volts but can vary from 114V to 126V
  • Amperes – the measurement used for the amount of current.  The current is determined by how many electrons flow past a given point in a circuit.
  • Watt – the measurement of power. It indicates the rate at which an appliance or device will consume energy.

Here is the formula that ties all of these elements together.

Volts x amperes = Watts

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