Premium Electric Answers Your Electricity Questions

Graphic depicting different household devices that are powered by electricity.

Electricity remains the silent force powering much of our activities but for the layperson, electricity questions abound.

Electricity is integral to our daily routines. It starts from the moment we unplug our phones in the morning, flick on the lights, and brew our first cup of coffee.

We continue to use electricity throughout the day as we heat or cool our homes, work on our computers, and unwind by watching TV.

What Electricity Questions Do You Have?

Even though electricity is used everywhere around us, many people find the basics of electricity puzzling.

What are the types of electricity? What conducts electricity? When did electricity even become a thing?

Through addressing frequently asked questions about electricity, we aim to bridge the knowledge gap, fostering a greater understanding and appreciation of electrical power.

The details of how electricity is made, sent to our homes, and utilized, help us use electricity more wisely, and make smarter and greener decisions for our future.

Contact one of our electricians 24/7 Call Premium Electric
Static electricity demonstration by holding a balloon over a person's head to see hair raising up.
Image courtesy of Cool Science Experiments

Static Electricity Questions

Let’s first learn about static electricity to understand common everyday experiences. This knowledge will help ensure your personal safety and give you a grasp of the foundational concepts that drive many technological innovations.

What is static electricity?

Static electricity is the build-up of electrical charge on the surface of objects. It’s like when your hair stands on end after rubbing a balloon on it. It happens because tiny particles called electrons jump from one another when rubbed together.

How to get rid of static electricity?

You can dissipate static electricity by grounding, using humidifiers to increase moisture in the air, or using anti-static sprays and products.

What causes static electricity?

The primary cause of static electricity is when different materials touch and separate, which leads to the transfer of electrons and the creation of an electric charge.

What is the difference between current and static electricity?

Static electricity refers to the build-up of electric charge on the surface of objects, while current electricity flows through wires as water flows through pipes.

Is lightning static electricity?

Lightning is a large-scale natural display of static discharge. It occurs when there’s a rapid discharge of static electricity in the sky.

Questions on the History of Electricity

Vintage 1881 photo of a the first hydro electric dam in Canada.
Image provided by Electricity Canada

Electricity is a natural resource that has been around for thousands of years.

When was electricity invented?

Electricity was discovered in the early 1800s, with significant contributions from scientists like Benjamin Franklin, Alessandro Volta, and Michael Faraday.

When was electricity introduced in houses?

Electricity started lighting homes in the late 19th century following the development of hydroelectric power stations.

Who invented the electric bulb?

Many people can be credited with inventing the electric bulb, but Thomas Edison made it practical and long-lasting, so it could be used in everyday life.

Conductors of Electricity Questions

Discover what materials allow electric currents to flow through them easily.

A large coil of copper wire.What is an electricity conductor?

An electrical conductor is like a highway for electricity. It is a material that allows electric charge to flow through it with minimal resistance. Common electrical conductors include:

  • Copper (as pictured)
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Aluminum
  • Iron

Does aluminum conduct electricity?

Yes, aluminum conducts electricity. It has a structure that allows electrons to move freely, facilitating the flow of electric current through it. Its conductivity-to-weight ratio and lower cost make it a popular option for many applications.

Do acids conduct electricity?

Acids can carry electricity, especially when mixed with water because they break down into charged particles. Strong acids fully dissociate (detach) into ions and conduct electricity better than weak acids, which only partially dissociate.

Does water conduct electricity?

The impurities in water like salts and metals conduct electricity. When salts dissolve in water, they separate into electrically charged ions that make them conductive.

Does gold conduct electricity?

Yes, gold is excellent at conducting electricity and doesn’t rust, which is why it’s used in high-quality electronic devices. It’s particularly valued in electronics because, unlike other metals, it does not tarnish.

Electrical Charges & Discharge Questions

Discover what’s behind the basics of electrical charges.

What are electric charges?

A charge in electricity is the basis of electricity. Electric charges are carried by subatomic particles, protons, and electrons. Protons carry a positive charge, while electrons carry a negative charge.

What is electric discharge?

The electric discharge is when a built-up electric charge suddenly rushes from one point to another, like when you get a shock from touching a doorknob in winter.

Electrical Grounding Questions

Grounding provides a safe path for excess or faulty electricity, preventing potential shocks and fires, and ensuring the stable operation of electrical devices.

What is grounding in electricity?

Grounding is like having an emergency exit for electricity. If there’s extra electricity or a problem, it stabilizes voltages and provides a safe path to the ground, helping to prevent electrical shocks or fires.

How can you tell if an electrical tool is grounded?

To determine if an electrical tool is grounded, one common method is to see if the power cord has three prongs. Additionally, one can use a multi-tester or a basic voltage tester to check for grounding. Professionals like Premium Electric can ensure proper grounding​​. If you need help, do call us at 604-308-6195 or reach out to us by email.

Questions About Household Electricity Use

Households use electricity for lighting, appliances, heating, cooling, entertainment, and many other daily functions.

How much electricity does a house use?

The electricity usage of a house can vary widely based on the size of the home, the number and lifestyle of occupants, and the efficiency of appliances. On average, a household in BC consumes around 11,000 kWh of electricity annually with the average individual using about 917 kWh per year.

Which kitchen appliances use the least electricity?

Smaller appliances like microwaves, coffee makers, and toasters tend to use less electricity compared to larger appliances like ovens and refrigerators.

How to save electricity?

To save electricity you can use energy-efficient appliances, turn off lights and devices when not in use, and adopt smart home technologies like programmable thermostats.

What uses the most electricity in a house?

Heating and cooling systems usually consume the most electricity in a household, followed by water heating, lighting, and large appliances like refrigerators and washing machines.

Do fans use a lot of electricity?

Fans use much less electricity compared to air conditioning units. They are a cheaper and energy-efficient choice for cooling during milder weather conditions.

Do space heaters use a lot of electricity?

Space heaters can consume a substantial amount of electricity, especially if used for extended periods or to heat large areas. Their electricity usage can be higher during colder months or in poorly insulated spaces.

Questions on the Basic Concepts of Electricity

Electricity is the flow of electrons from one point to another, powering the devices and systems we use every day.

What is electricity?

Electricity is like a flow of tiny, charged particles that can power things like lights, phones, and refrigerators, which can either be static (stationary) or dynamic (flowing).

What is electrical current?

Electrical current is the flow of electric charges, primarily electrons, through a conductor. It’s measured in Amperes and can flow through conductors (any material that allows the movement of electric charges, such as copper wires).

How does electricity work?

Electricity works by making tiny particles called electrons move, which creates heat and a magnetic effect. It follows certain rules that allow it to be created, sent through wires, and used to power different things.

How is electricity generated?

Various sources of energy like coal, natural gas, nuclear, wind, water, or solar power used to drive turbines connected to generators, creating electricity.

As per Electricity Canada’s visual, the majority of Canadian electricity is generated from hydro energy.

Pie charts of the Generating Capacity of Electricity between Canada and the USA in 2020.
Electricity Canada graph image showcasing generating capacity for energy in Canada and the United States in 2020.

Where does electricity come from?

In British Columbia, electricity comes from various sources including fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, oil), nuclear power, and renewable resources (solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, and biomass).

How is electricity produced?

Electricity is produced in a similar way to how it’s generated, by using different sources of energy to spin turbines connected to generators.

What is electric resistance?

Electric resistance is the opposition a material presents to the flow of electric current. Think of resistance like traffic on a highway: it slows down the flow of electricity through a wire.

What is an electric circuit?

An electric circuit is a closed path through which electric current can flow. It consists of a power source, conductors, and one or more devices (like lights or motors) that utilize the electric current.

What is an electric field?

An electric field is like an invisible force field around charged objects that can push or pull other charged objects.

Is electricity physics?

Yes, electricity is a fundamental concept in physics, encompassing the study of electric charges, fields, currents, circuits, and electromagnetic interactions.

Is electricity energy?

Yes, electricity is a form of energy resulting from the movement or presence of charged particles to power all sorts of things.

Is hydro considered electricity?

Hydro refers to hydroelectricity, which is clean renewable energy generated from flowing or falling water to drive turbines connected to generators.

What do electrical engineers do?

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and oversee the making of electrical equipment, like power systems, electric motors, global positioning systems (GPS), communications devices, and electrical systems for buildings and vehicles.

Electricity Safety

It is essential to understand and follow all electrical safety precautions.

How to put out an electrical fire?

Use a fire extinguisher labelled “Class C” for electrical fires. Never use water since it conducts electricity and could make the fire worse. If you can do it safely, turn off the power before tackling the fire.

Electrical Installations & Repairs

Premium Electric Ltd. has extensive experience with electrical installations, safety, and professional electrical repair services

Who to call for electrical problems?

Call our licensed electricians at Premium Electric at 604-308-6195. if you have an electrical problem. A licensed electrician will ensure the safety and proper resolution of the issue.

How much to replace the electrical panel in Canada?

The cost can vary widely based on the region, the complexity of the installation, and the capacity of the panel. Contact us for a direct quote.

How to hide an electrical panel?

Electrical panels can be hidden or disguised using artwork, decorative panels, custom cabinets, or by placing furniture in front of them. However, it’s essential to make sure you can easily get to the electrical panel for safety and maintenance purposes.

Licensed Electricians Available 24/7

When it comes down to electrical installations, electrical repairs, or upgrades in your home or workplace, having a professional by your side is key to ensuring safety and dependability.

At Premium Electric, we are dedicated electricians providing quality services tailored to meet your electrical needs. Our team of skilled electricians is always ready to assist you with any electrical project, no matter how big or small.

Whether you’re looking to modernize your electrical system, need emergency electrical repairs, or simply have more electricity questions you’d like to ask, we’re here to help.

Explore our range of electrical services or call us at 604-308-6195

You can also reach out to us by email.

We look forward to continuing to provide professional electrical services for the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Lower Mainland communities.

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