Many items, such as repairing or adding an electrical switch or outlet (receptacle), hanging a fan with a light or wiring a basement are items which a DIY handyman should be able to complete with relative ease.
The following list will guide you to additional information on each aspect of electrical installations, repairs and improvement for your home.
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The basic configuration of the electrical circuit needed to power your outdoor air conditioner condenser requires that the power comes from a double pole circuit breaker in your home load center, goes to an air conditioner disconnect switch and from the disconnect switch to the condenser.
A 3-way switch is used to turn a light fixture
ON from two locations.
In many instances in a home, having the ability to turn lights or other electrical devices
ON from more than one location is desirable and provides added safety and security.
A 4-way switch is used to turn a light fixture
ON from three or more locations.
Most home handymen will do some of their own electrical work. This article covers 10 of the most common electrical wiring mistakes made.
If you are planning on finishing a basement or adding an addition to your home one of the requirements to consider is what items will need electrical service.
When the approval agencies in the early 60's approved the use of aluminum wiring in homes, they did it without a lot of thought or testing.
A new electrical safety device for homes, called an arc fault circuit interrupter or AFCI, is expected to provide enhanced protection from fires resulting from these unsafe home wiring conditions.
Armored cable has been around for a number of years, initially it gained a bad reputation, however manufacturing improvements have made armored cable or as it is known in the trade
AC cable an acceptable alternative in most jurisdictions.
Have you ever wished that a light in an attic, closet or other area would turn on automatically if a door was opened or if you entered a room?
To understand how to wire a new ceiling fan and or ceiling fan light combo unit in your home you must first understand the basics of how the fans and lights are powered.
Christmas season is upon us and as we commence to decorate our homes with lights it is important to remember that overloading electrical circuits is a common occurrence at this time of year.
A circuit breaker will trip (turn itself off) for one of two reasons: Learn the causes of a tripping breaker and how to troubleshoot and replace one if necessary.
PVC electrical conduit is an easy product to work with. A hacksaw, or a conduit cutter, if you are planning on doing a lot of conduit work, and a tape measure are the only tools required.
Many homeowners have become aware that their monthly electric bill is continually increasing. At the same time, we are all aware that the cost of each kilowatt of electricity is going up. But the increase in our electrical costs is not just related to the costs of the electricity it is also driven by our consumption of electrical power.
Contactors - Using & Understanding
Electrical contactors are switches that are turned
OFF with electrical power rather than with the direct push of a button or flipping a toggle switch.
You have decided to replace a wall light switch with a light dimmer. Whether it is for room ambience or to save energy, replacing a switch with a dimmer is not as simple as it may sound at the outset.
When remodeling a kitchen, attic, basement or other room in your home you may have to add electrical wires to an electrical box. There is a limit to how many wires you can safely place in a specific size of electrical box.
Working with electricity, to make an electrical device such as a light go on or off is very simple if you follow some basic guidelines and absorb the basic principles.
One of the most common mistakes that is made during any home improvement or construction project is using the wrong size extension cord to supply electricity to power tools. This mistake is made be contractors and home handymen alike.
With walls and ceilings finished getting a new electrical circuit, the continuation of an older electrical circuit, cable, satellite feeds or speaker wires from point A to point B generally requires a lot of thought and ingenuity.
Installing your flat panel plasma or LCD television on the wall is not a difficult task and should easily be accomplished by any handyman. There are however, a number of considerations.
Electrical distribution fuse panels (load centers) have become obsolete and in many jurisdictions a homeowner cannot get home insurance if they have a fuse panel installed.
The GFCI is designed to protect people from severe or fatal electric shocks Because a GFCI detects ground faults, it can also prevent some electrical fires and reduce the severity of others by interrupting the flow of electric current.
IP ratings are used where water is present near the light source. IP ratings (
Ingress Protection) are also used in conjunction with zones
Most electrical appliances are rated in kilowatts and there should be a label on the back or side of the appliance stating how many kilowatts the appliance consumes when operating. But, what are kilowatt hours?
The kitchen area requires more power than any other area in a home. If you have an older home, you may face the problem of not having enough additional or spare circuits available to properly supply power to your new and updated kitchen.
Knob and tube wiring has not been used in homes since the 1950's and the question that must be asked, is how has it been maintained and upgraded.
If you have a need to provide power in your landscaping project for lighting and motors such as pond pumps, there are some things that you should consider.
With the latest technology you can easily install a sensor that will turn lights on when someone enters a room and turn the lights off when the room is unoccupied.
A motion detector is an automatic switch. Many outdoor light fixtures have built in or integral motion detectors. However in many cases it is desirable to have the motion detector separate from the light fixture.
Generally the most convenient method of adding the electrical box that will house the new receptacle is to use what is known as a
remodel electrical box or an
old work electrical box.
Most individuals require power in all buildings on their property, and if that building is not physically connected to the house, you will need to run the power from the home to the outbuilding.
The vast majority of home electrical outlets (receptacles) fall into 5 categories (the style of the outlet (receptacle), standard or decorator, does not change how it is installed.
The National Electrical Code (NEC) provides maximum distances from walls and other obstructions and between individual electrical outlets (receptacles). This is called the 6 / 12 rule.
Your home’s electricity is delivered to your home through overhead wires or an underground feed. This feed is connected to your electrical meter socket.
You have purchased a new set of pendant light fixtures that you are going to place over a bar or counter and now you face the age old question; what is the optimum height of a pendant light fixture?
The purpose of a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel is to generate electricity. These solar panels are made up of a number of photovoltaic cells wired together to obtain a usable amount of current and voltage to provide power for your home.
Working with plastic electrical boxes is somewhat different than using metal boxes.
There is a big difference between electrical plugs and sockets. Each plug and socket is designed to meet a specific electrical requirement and the number and configuration of the prongs on the end of a plug or the number of slots and their configuration on the end of a socket is only a small part of the overall specifications of the plug or socket.
If you are adding an addition, finishing a basement or performing any major home improvement that involves the addition of electrical outlets (receptacles) and / or switches you should consider their height and location.
There are so many beautiful flooring materials for bathrooms, kitchens, and family rooms, yet many of them have a major drawback. They are cool and sometimes very cold to the touch.
Have you ever wanted the luxury of being able to turn lamps, heaters, fans, air filters, appliances and other electrical devices
Off by remote control, but didn't want to invest in major systems or redo your home wiring.
Anytime one considers opening up a wall for a pass-through, doorway or as a combining of two rooms, you face the possibility of finding cables and wires running through the area that you want to remove.
Sconces are wall mounted light fixtures that can be added to any room in a home and are an excellent choice of lighting for hallways and stairs. Wall sconces provide a level of elegance whether they are placed in a formal dining room, a bathroom or to provide subdued lighting in a family room.
Smart grid technologies or as it is sometimes termed, smart meters, are utilized by utilities to reduce the demand for electrical power, during what has become the peak demand periods of the week. Homeowners that utilize the benefits of smart meter technology can save hundreds of dollars a year on their electrical bills.
Having two wires or circuits on a breaker generally occurs because the home has required additional electrical outlets (receptacles) or lighting.
Stand-by generators provide security and a level of comfort in the event of a utility power failure. They can maintain indoor climate, provide lighting, keep food from spoiling and allow a family to function.
Structured wiring is the term used to describe a relatively new method of providing service throughout your home for all of your low voltage requirements.
An electrical sub-panel provides you with additional electrical circuits. It does not change the amount of power available to the home.
Having a surge protector or surge suppression in your home or business is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity. Electronic devices such as flat screen televisions, computers, DVD players and recorders and appliances are delicate and cannot withstand electrical surges.
A suspended ceiling has one major drawback. It is not designed to support the weight of lights, fans and/or ventilators.
Lights with pull cords are a common occurrence in basements and closets and as most are not overly aesthetic many homeowners wish to change them to a standard light fixture with a switch.
The 2011 NEC code has made changes to the common method of wiring a switch loop. A switch loop is created when power is fed to a light fixture and the hot wire is broken and extended to a light switch.
The most common and least expensive is the toggle on/off switch. This switch controls the power running in an electrical circuit. With the switch in the off position the continuity of the circuit is broken with the switch in the on position the circuit continuity is completed.
If you are building a new home, adding an addition or performing a major remodel you should understand and use the accepted electrical symbols to designate items and their locations on the plans.
Installing a new telephone jack in your home is not a complex project. The greatest amount of difficult is to get the cable from any currently live telephone jack or open piece of wire to the location of the new telephone jack.
With the cost of energy increasing monthly, a small investment in controls to automatically turn electrical devices off when no longer needed can save you really dollars.
Track lighting is one of the most versatile lighting styles on the market today. Often a staple of many offices and art studios, track lighting combines the perfect mix of everyday task lighting and directional lighting - making it more and more popular in homes.
Nothing is more frustrating in a home than having lights that blink or work sometimes and not others. Troubleshooting a flickering light electrical circuit can take hours, but with a little patience and planning you can find the problem and correct it.
A common problem faced by many homeowners when doing renovations that involve the addition of electrical circuits is calculating the size of the circuit necessary to carry enough power to the electrical devices being used.
Most of us grew up with the concept of buying light bulbs based on their wattage. Incandescent light bulbs, florescent light bulbs and other varieties of light bulbs are still labeled and sold based on their wattage. Now we must be re-educted and buy light bulbs based on lumens.
Many homeowners are considering the use of the energy in wind to augment the power that they currently receive from the electrical grid.
If you are undertaking any electrical project it is important that you follow some basic rules when it comes to stripping and terminating electrical wire.
Residential electrical wiring can be confusing at the best of times. Learn the right size wire gauges to use from the electrical service entering your home to receptacles, lighting and appliances.
Any DIY home handyman who as undertaken any electrical work has used wire nuts. A wire nut is a device that aids in the connection of a group of electrical wires. It not only holds the joint secure, but provides insulation for the mechanical wire joint.