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Repair Help Glossary

Bimetal: Two dissimilar metals joined together to form one unit with a differential expansion rating, and it will bend if there is a temperature change.

Bake Element: Lower heating element in an oven, used for baking foods.

Broil Element: Upper heating element in an oven used for broiling foods.

Calibrate: To check, adjust, or determing by comparison with a standard: calibrate a thermometer.

Cam: A rotating surface with rises and falls that opens and closes the switches in a timer.

Capillary Tube: A metering device used to control the flow of refrigerant in a sealed system. It usually consists of several feet of tubing with a small inside diameter.

Circuit: A path for electrical current to flow from the power source, to the point of use, and back to the power source.

Circuit Breaker: A safety device used to open a circuit if that circuit is overloaded.

Component: An individual mechanical or electrical part of an appliance.

Contact Points: Two movable objects, or contacts, that come together to complete a circuit; or separate to break a circuit. These contact points are usually made of silver.

Continuity: The ability of a completed circuit to conduct electricity.

Fuse: A safety device used to open a circuit if that circuit is overloaded.

Gasket: A flexible material used to seal components together; either air-tight or water-tight.

Insulation: Substance used to retard or slow the flow of heat through a substance.

Insulator: A material that does not conduct electricity. It is used to isolate current-carrying wires or components from other metal parts.

Lead: A section of electrical wiring that is attached to a component.

Ohm: A unit of measurement for electrical resistance.

Ohmmeter: A test instrument used for measuring resistance.

Relay: A magnetic switch which uses a small amount of current, in the control circuit, to operate a component needing a larger amount of current in the operating circuit. A remote switch.

Resistance: The opposition to current flow. The load in an electrical circuit.

Solenoid: A cylindrical coil of insulated wire that establishes a magnetic field in the presence of current.

Switch: A device to turn current on or of in an electrical circuit.

Temperature: A measure of heat energy, or the relative lack thereof.

Terminal: A connecting point in a circuit to which a wire would be attached to connect a component.

Terminal Block: An insulating base with binding posts to make connectionswhere sets of terminals are mounted.

Thermometer: A device used to measure temperature.

Thermostat: A device that senses temperature changes, and which usually operates a control relay.

Voltage: The difference in potential between two points; or the difference in static charges between two points.

Voltmeter: A test instrument used to measure voltage.

Vom: A test instrument used to measure voltage, resistance, and amperage. A Volt-Ohm-Milliammeter.