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How Does Electricity Work?

Most people use electrical devices on a daily basis. Every time a light switch is flipped on or an automatic garage door opens, electricity is being used. In many cases, the assistance of electricity is taken for granted until the power goes off in a home or business. One way to appreciate the power of electricity is to learn more about it. Atoms are the beginning element in the explanation of how electricity works. Atoms cannot be seen because they are incredibly small. Protons and electrons are things contained within an atom. In short, when the electrons inside the atom move, electricity is created.

Electricity can be made in several ways. Electricity can be produced by coal, oil, hydropower, nuclear power, natural gas, as well as wind power. People are finding more ways to make electricity that cause little pollution to the environment such as wind power. Geothermal is another environmentally friendly way to produce electricity. In fact, geothermal process makes use of the natural warmth of the earth to make electricity.

There are dangers that come with the use of electricity. Consequently, it is important for kids and adults to be aware of potential hazards related to electricity. Electricity has the ability to move through a person causing injury or even death. For example, an electrical appliance should not be used near water. Water conducts electricity, which would put a person at risk for electrical shock.

Electricity was not invented by a person, however many people have contributed to teaching us more about it. Ben Franklin's experiments in the 18th century made the revealing connection between lightening and electricity. In addition, a man named Thomas Edison used his studies of electricity to invent the incandescent lamp. Long before Franklin and Edison, the ancient Greeks are said to have made the discovery of static electricity. After rubbing some an item made of fur against a type of tree sap, the ancient Greeks witnessed pieces of the fur bending in the direction of the substance.

The average person likely uses a dozen or more electrical devices throughout the day. Refrigerators keep foods cold while water heaters allow people to enjoy hot showers. Some electrical devices add entertainment to our lives such as televisions, DVD players, and radios. Furthermore, air conditioners, heaters, and humidifiers help us to stay comfortable in our homes. Electrical items serve a wide variety of purposes in a household.

Finally, in order to serve its purposes in a household, electricity must first have a way to get there. Electricity travels over lines or wires attached to towers. During its journey, it moves through transformers that serve the purpose of adjusting the level of strength of the electricity. Once the electricity arrives at its destination, it possesses a level of power that will meet the needs of various devices in the home.

Once electricity has made its way over the lines and into your home, there are precautions a person should take to ensure they do not receive an electrical shock. A shock can occur when a person comes in contact with an electrical energy source. When that energy flows through the body it causes the shock. Electrical shocks can be mild or result in severe injury or death, depending on the voltage. However, burns are the most common injury resulting from a shock.

To make sure you do not fall victim to an electrical shock, it is important to familiarize yourself with electrical safety. This is particularly important if you are going to repair an appliance with non-cosmetic appliance parts. Not only is it recommended to unplug the appliance before working on it, but you should also shut the breaker off as well. When working on an appliance such as a GE appliance, you’ll want to make sure that your area is clean and there are no liquid spills as this can increase the chance of receiving an electrical shock.

This is especially important when dealing with appliances that use water. Replacing dishwasher parts or washer machine parts require extra care because moisture is involved. If you are faced with this type of repair, be sure to prep yourself on electrical safety, work at a slow pace to ensure you are following the proper steps and it is recommended to wear work gloves as that can offer an additional source of protection. However, it is in every homeowner’s best interest to follow these steps for any repair, Maytag part or not.