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Serving The Greater
Coeur D’Alene & Spokane Area

Serving The Greater Coeur D’Alene & Spokane Area


ACI Northwest Blog

How Does Electricity Work?

When you need any kind of electrical services in Spokane, make sure that you call the professionals electricians at ACI Northwest. We often hear about customers attempting to do it themselves and either injuring themselves or damaging their home’s electrical system. We wanted to explain, very briefly, about how electricity works to that our customers can understand it better and also understand why it is so dangerous to work with. Call our Spokane electrical technicians if you need any kind of services for your home’s electrical system.

What Is Electricity?

Electricity is the flow of electrons. If you remember seeing a picture of an atom in your science classes you may recall that there was a ball at the center comprised of protons and neutrons, and there were a bunch of swirling spheres around the outside: these are electrons.

Different materials easily give up these electrons: these are called conductors. In order to generate a flow of electrons you need a material that easily absorbs and then passes on electrons. Water and various metals like copper and gold are very good conductors. If you had a copper wire and you sent an electron from one end to the other it would get there very quick because copper atoms are very good at giving up electrons.

Obviously, we need more than one electron in order to power things like our computers, our homes and our cars. We need a constant current of electrons. This current of electrons is measured in Amperes. A typical home wall outlet is rated for 15 amps while a 9 volt battery can have .5 amps.  The speed or force at which electrons travel on a current is described by its Voltage.

How is Electricity Generated?

There are a couple different ways to generate electricity. The first is through chemical reactions. The interaction of certain chemicals and metals will generate an electric current which is how car batteries work.

Another way to generate electricity is with magnets and wire. If you pass a magnet by a coil of wire you can induce an electrical current. This is how power plants work. Nuclear power plants use nuclear energy to generate heat which turns water into steam that powers giant generators that contain magnets and wires.

If you have any questions about electricity or if you need any kind of electrical services, just call the Spokane electrical technicians at ACI Northwest.

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