Electricians are essential technicians but are an unassuming presence in our lives.
Before we get out of the house, we reach for a switch and off the lights go. When we return, we press a button and food is reheated or cooked. We open the fridge and drink milk ice-cold. Wonders of science and technology.
Who is responsible for all these conveniences? First, it was Benjamin Franklin who theorized that electricity is a kind of fluid and demonstrated in 1752 that lightning is a form of electricity. With a kite he flew during a storm, a spark jumped when he touched a metal key attached to the string. Alessandro Volta invented the voltaic, the first and somewhat primitive form of electric battery in 1800, which facilitated the study of electricity from a “steady source”. But it was not put to popular good use then. Thomas Alva Edison later did his experiments on hundreds of electric light bulb prototypes before he became successful in 1880. Night started to be as the day because of that single invention. That was the beginning of our “good use” of electricity. Soon after, electric powered radio sets, the television, refrigerator, etc. came into existence.
But what does it take to have all these conveniences working for us?
Whenever there’s electricity, whether from a portable generator or from large turbines that generate alternating current (AC) power to homes, businesses and other facilities, there are wiring systems that connect the electric current from the source to electric devices. But before we are able to use the electrics, there must first be an electrical wiring system in the building. We cannot just pull wires in any fashion and connect them to the mains source. There would have been fires all over the city because of short-circuits we unwittingly would have caused. This is where the services of licensed electricians are needed.
Apart from electrical engineers, electricians lay out wiring installations inside buildings and connect them to the mains source normally by way of drop wires from lamppost transformers. According to the building occupant’s or owner’s specifications, your electrician installs the main switch or circuit breaker panel(s), the electrical outlets and switches. His skills are usually certified by the association or guild he is a member of and duly registered under an electricians’ or a Lehigh Valley electrical professional regulations body.
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