Home Electricity for Newbies ?
Here's a simple diagram I just made that may give you a start. In simple terms, think of it like this. Black wire comes from the panel, gives power to your loads (outlets, lights, etc), and the white wire brings the electricity back to the panel, completing the circuit. If the black OR white get disconnected, the load will not get power.
Say water was going down a tube, turning a water wheel. Stopping the flow of water before or after the wheel would prevent the wheel from turning, since the water needs a place to "go".
In the diagram, power comes in from the left on the black wire, hits the top screw terminal on the outlet. The jumper tab (connected by default on outlets) sends power to the bottom screw terminal on the left outlet, that wire feeds the next outlet. Then the electricity follows the white back to the panel.
This is one way of wiring outlets. There is also another way (called "pigtailing").
Last edited by secutanudu; 03-19-2010 at 11:55 AM.