Making Your Home Smarter

Features To Consider Regarding Your Home's Electricity

Whether planning a new home or renovating, you'll need to consider the electrical system and loading. While your builder and the electrical contractor will be familiar with what's required, it's always better to enter discussions as well-informed as possible. Read on to discover several features to consider regarding home electricity. 

Circuit Breakers

All homes will have a switch box located either indoors or outdoors. In an existing house, look for a small cabinet full of switches; it will contain circuit breakers and a safety switch. The circuit breakers divide the wiring into separate circuits so that particular lights, electrical sockets and appliances, for example, are arranged into groupings. Circuit breakers can sense an electricity overload or a short-circuit—and switch off in response, preventing possible overheating and fires. 

Safety Switch

Also inside the switch box, you'll find one or several safety switches. Safety switches protect lives more than property. When an appliance malfunctions, some of the current returns to the ground via the earth wire. Once the safety switch senses some current has gone missing, it will instantly switch the power off, preventing someone from being electrocuted. 


Somewhere on your property will be a meter to measure your home's electricity use. Energy companies need access to the meter, thus it needs to be publicly accessible—it might be in your front porch, or around the side of the building, for instance. Sometimes the meter is combined in the switch box with the circuit breakers and safety switches, so long as the box is externally located. 

Single Phase Vs Three Phase

Most homes only require standard single phase 240 volt wiring to power lighting, heating and even large appliances. However, sometimes extra electricity is needed, and three-phase 415-volt wiring is warranted. For instance, your home may have a massive ducted heating and cooling system, or you may need energy to power a kiln in your garage. When considering large electrical items, check their voltage requirements to make sure they'll suit your setup.

Lighting And Power

Building regulations limit the amount of power a home can consume for lighting. Your electrical contractor can advise on the number and type of light globes you'll need. One thing you will have free reign on, however, is the quantity and position of power outlets. Consider how you're likely to use each room and where the outlets should be most conveniently located. An ample amount will prevent you from relying on dangerous extension cords and power strips that can overload the circuit. 

If you have any more questions, reach out to a local electrical contractor.