Basic Residential Wiring Tips for an Electrician

Written by  //  September 12, 2014  //  Home Construction  //  1 Comment

Whenever you are going to be working with electrical wiring for your home, it’s crucial to remember the devastating injuries and property damage which can occur if the process is not done properly.  Severe shocks and electrical fires are just two of the serious problems, so take all necessary precautions to ensure that you and those around you are protected.  Depending on the size of the task, your average handyman can probably complete the job, but for all large projects a residential electrician is the best option.  Here are some suggestions if you are a beginner and attempting your first electrical repairs:

Wiring Diagrams

A wiring diagram is essentially a guide that explains how to wire electrical devices and their controls.  It’s basically a key to wiring, and is a necessary first step to any electrical project.  These diagrams can be obtained from several sources, such as online sites and do-it-yourself wiring books.  A good guide for beginners should also have illustrations about wire color and specify where each wire should be located when the project is finished.  If you are printing from an online source, just make sure that all type and diagrams are legible and clear enough to read quickly.  And most important of all, if you obtain your diagram from any of these sources, please use it!  Keep it near you throughout the electrical project for reference.  This especially true if you are tackling a bigger project such as air conditioning repairs.

Service Boxes

In most states there will be specific directions for where the service equipment should be located.  These parts include the main panel, meter base and conductors, and each must supply the correct voltage for the home, particularly for the kitchen, where heavy-duty appliances will be run.  The National Electrical Code is an crucial part of wiring a home, and specifically lays out box setups and clearances to keep the home safe.  A residential electrician would know what these requirements are.

Kitchen Outlets

Wiring the kitchen is quite a difficult task.  In this area wiring must be done very precisely and completely to code for it to work as intended.  Heavy appliances, such as the dishwasher and refrigerator, necessitate specific voltage and specific types of wire.  All kitchens, counter tops and eating areas must have Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protected plugs, as they are specially designed to halt shocks and prevent electrocution.  Counter top outlets must be spaced a minimum of 24 inches apart, and any counter top or bar 12 inches or wider must have at least 1 receptacle.  All of this information makes air conditioning repairs look easy.

General Tips

Residential wiring implements three colors of wire — red, black and white — and bare ground wires too.  The bare wire is attached to the appliance frame and has no current running through it except in the event of a short circuit, which will result in tripping the circuit breaker.  This will kill all electrical current moving through the circuit.  Black and red wires contain the current that’s flowing from the breaker to the appliance; these are called "hot" wires.  White wires contain amperage that’s returning from the appliance to the circuit barker, and are thus called "returns."

Biography:  Jake Hyet is a residential electrician, and has years of experience making static electrics air conditioning repairs as well.  He is considered an expert in this area and writes extensively on both topics. 

About the Author

View all posts by

One Comment on "Basic Residential Wiring Tips for an Electrician"

  1. James Bergman April 22, 2016 at 11:42 am ·

    Diagrams are a man’s best friend. I’m sure anyone who had gotten an IKEA dresser will agree. Anyway, I can remember one of the first electrical projects I ever did was to help my dad install a ceiling fan. It was kind of amazing how long it took to get it to work. The first time we just put it in, and the switches didn’t work properly. Then my dad read the instructions and it worked fine the second time. Lesson, if you don’t know how to do it, find out before you screw everything in.

Comments are now closed for this article.