THE BASICS OF ELECTRICITY

Electron: The basic unit of electricity. Think of electrons as “bullets”, moving through the wire. It is the movement of electrons which runs the devices.

Voltage: This is the force (or pressure) of electricity in the wire. Imagine your garden hose as the wire; the water pressure would be equivalent to the voltage. Older cars run on six volt systems and newer (most 1955 and later) utilize twelve volt systems.

Current: This is the movement of electrons in the wire, also known as Amps. The greater the movement through the wire, the greater the number of amps. Think of this as the speed of the water coming out of the garden hose. When you tighten the nozzle the water shoots out further and faster.

Resistance: This is a restriction to the movement of electrons through the wire or circuit. The unit of resistance is called the OHM and you can think of it as a kink in that garden hose. The higher the resistance, the more current must flow to overcome it. The more current flow through an area of high resistance, the hotter the wire will become, ultimately failing. Corrosion, loose terminals and too-small diameter wires are three very common causes of resistance.