Electricity: Consumption, Supply and Distribution in the Home
The universal system of measuring the consumption ofis applicable to any kind of appliance; this is measured in terms of watts and is based on a unit of 1,000 watts. The wattage of the appliance, is marked on it, which makes it a very simple matter to measure the consumption of each and every appliance. For instance, a 100-watt electric lamp will consume one unit of electricity (1,000 watts) in ten hours of use; a 500-watt electric fire will consume one unit in two hours of use. Electricity is only consumed when current is passing through the appliance, not when it is switched off — and in the case of appliances that can be partly switched on the consumption is only that of the part in use,
A two-bar fire with a wattage of 1,000 would consume one unit with both bars hurtling for one hour. With only one bar switched on it would only consume one unit in two hours.
Supply and Distribution:
Electricity is supplied to a house by a cable which is connected to the company’s mains The cable runs into a main fuse-box, then to the consumer’s meter, and from the meter into a series of consumer’s fuse-boxes, one of which is provided for every circuit. A circuit is thefeeding a series of points; in a small house the upstairs and downstairs points are each fed by their own circuit; a large house may have more than two circuits, each feeding a group of points in one part of the house. A single circuit may feed four or five lighting points in several rooms, or it may feed two or three power points.
Power points are connected to completely different circuits from those of lighting points. Each separate circuit of the house supply is connected through a fuse-box, consisting of two fuses, one for each wire of the circuit; these are the consumer’s fuse-boxes. The Company’s fuse-box may be identified by a leaden tag sealing a wire through the lid and case of the box. The Company’s box should never be opened by the consumer; the circuit boxes are for the consumer’s use when replacing a blown fuse.
In most houses the circuit box, or boxes, is placed near the meter; in some cases the circuit fuse-boxes may be inserted at different points d trough the house; one group on the ground floor, for circuits feeding points on that floor, and another group on a landing feeding points of upstairs rooms.