The Physics
Factbook
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Electric Current Through a Home

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Bibliographic Entry Result (w/surrounding text) Standardized
Result
Miller, Rex. McGraw-Hill Pocket Reference. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc, 2000: 181. "The square footage of the house determines the amount of minimum service capacity needed (125 amperes, 150 amperes, or 200 amperes)" 125-200 A
Glossary of Electric Utility Terminology. Western Massachusetts Electric (WMECO). June 1, 2004. "A typical residential heating service capacity is 100 amps. 200 amps or more are required with electric heating." 100 A
Erickson, Larry. Ortho's Wiring Basics. Iowa: Meredith Publishing Group, 2000: 15. "Service of less than 100 amps may be adequate if you do not use a lot of appliances." ~100 A
Palmquist, Roland. Audel House Wiring. New York City: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1986: 34. "Then, 21,880 watts divided by 240 volts equals 91 amperes. So this installation will require a minimum service of 100 amperes." 91 A
Kaese, Chris. The Modern Metric System: 2002-17-18. "Maximum current for main electricity connections to private homes: 100 A" 100 A

Since the beginning of the universe, there has been electricity. As life evolved, electricity became an integral part of the living world. It seems as though we are constantly surrounded by electricity because for example, there's electricity in the air, there's electricity in animals, there's electricity in our bodies, and last but certainly not least, there's electricity in our homes. Electricity! Electricity! Electricity!

In the 1880s, electricity was first wired from power stations into homes, offices, and factories, in big cities such as New York, London, and Paris. So at night, instead seeing people using oil lamps or candles when you look through their 1880 house windows, you can now see how with the flick of a light switch, how people became able to turn night into day.

You can agree with me that none of the electrical appliances that we have in our various homes would be able to work without electric current moving through them. For a current to flow, there must be a circuit, or an unbroken loop, for it to travel around. There must also be a force to push the charge along, provided by a battery or generator. Current, measured in ampere, is the amount of electrical charge transferred from one place to another in a set amount of time.

Most modern houses have different electric circuits serving different needs. A main service line leads to a central distribution panel. Separate branch circuits go to wall outlets and lighting fixtures, while a heavy-duty circuit serves the kitchen and its appliances.

The question now is, how many amperes of electric current flow through a home? Because the answer to this question varies depending on the size of the home, my researched findings on this measurement ranged from 100 A to 200 A. But I did notice one reoccurring result, most private homes in the US can be adequately supported by 100 A of current.

So while there might not be one exact current value for the representation of homes, it seems that there's a general estimation of the figure. But one thing is for sure, a home is not a home without presence of electricity!

Chiemezie Osu -- 2004