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2014

Basic house wiring

basic household circuit
Maximum 12 boxes per circuit
Illustrated above is typical single-phase circuit found in homes and business
Notice the white neutral wire runs continuously throughout the circuit... neutral wire is never connected to a switch
Notice the bare copper ground wire connects to each device and to each metal box... ground runs continuously through circuit
Notice the Black Hot wire is connected to each switch... each box has 1 Hot wire that can be traced from box to box back to circuit breaker
Each box has a Hot wire from 1 breaker ... by code, a box cannot have Hot wire from another breaker


How to find ground fault in household electric circuit

Troubleshoot loose wire, ground fault, or short

Each 120 volt electric circuit can have maximum 12 boxes.
The 14-2 or 12-2 with/ground cable has black-white-and bare copper wires. Black wire connects to the circuit breaker, White wire to the neutral busbar, and ground wire to the ground busbar.
See-inside-main-breaker-box.html

How the circuit is wired:
The 14-2 or 12-2 cable leaves breaker box and travels to a junction box. For example the ceiling box in the nearest room is normally used as the first junction box.
From the ceiling junction box, the cable splits off, and travels to each of the other boxes in the circuit.
Any box can be a junction box where the circuit splits and carries power to another box.
So a junction box can have several cables.
The first junction box will usually be nearest to the breaker box.
For example, if first junction box is bedroom ceiling box, there will be cables that travel to other boxes, and one cable might travel to next bedroom ceiling box. And so the next bedroom also has a ceiling junction box.
But each box in the circuit will have only 1 cable that connects back to breaker box.
When the cable arrives inside a duplex outlet box for example, another wire will leave the outlet box and travel to the next outlet box, and then travel to next outlet box or next switch box, until the last box is reached.
So each box will have 1 or more cables, and the last box will have just 1 cable.
However, each box has only 1 hot wire, and 1 neutral, and 1 ground that connect back to breaker box.

Troubleshoot steps:
Turn off circuit breaker and identify which boxes are connected to that breaker.
Select one of the outlet boxes with more than one cable. Identify which cable has the Hot and Neutral. Disconnect the other cable so boxes farther from breaker are disconnected from the circuit. Turn power ON, and see if fault is still present.
If fault is still present, then choose another live box that has two or more cables that is closer to breaker box, and repeat test.
Process of elimination will narrow the search.
The test might reveal that fault is inside a light fixture.
Disconnect that light fixture and repeat test.

Troubleshoot-household-electricity.html

Microwave oven must be on a dedicated circuit

One breaker supplies power to outlet where microwave plugs inDedicated breaker for microwave oven
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Orange 10 gauge 30 amp


Orange/ #10 gauge for for 30 amp circuits including water heater
Buy:
10-2 gauge/ 30 amp
10-3/ 30 amp

NMB is house wiring
UF is underground

Yellow 12 gauge 20 amp


Yellow/ #12 gauge wire for 20 amp
Buy:
12-2 gauge/ 20 amp
12-3/ 20 amp

NMB is house wiring
UF is underground
White 14 gauge 15 amp


White/ #14 gauge wire for 15 amp
Buy:
14-2 gauge/ 15 amp
14-3/ 15 amp

NMB is house wiring
UF is underground
Circuit breaker boxmain breaker box
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Circuit breaker box

Buy:
Basic electric book at Amazon
Basic electric book

Resource:
See inside main breaker box
How to replace circuit breaker
Choose correct breaker and wire size
How to add subpanel

basic electric wiring
Larger image
Basic household electric wiring
Larger image
Switch boxes are 50" from floor
Outlet boxes are 16" from floor
Basic household electric Run wire down center of 2x4 to avoid nails
Apply cable staples to secure wire to 2x4

Set switch or outlet box out from 2x4 to match thickness or drywall




Nail staple down snug against wire.
Make sure the staple does not cut into the wire.
The wire should not be able to move after staple is applied.
Staple is not nailed down hard... just snug.

Keep wire in middle of 2x4 wall.
Staple wire every 3 feet or so.

protect electric wires Protect electric wires from nails

Apply metal plates over places where wire passes through 2x4

Drill hole through middle of 2x4
Test wires electric tester
How to test for Hot and Neutral wire:

Turn power off
Separate all wires for testing except ground wires.
Turn power on.
Tape tester leads to wood sticks for safety.
Keep hands away from power.
Test each wire to bare ground wire.
Tester lights up on Hot wire.
Hot wire should be black (except 3-way switches)
Test Hot wire to all other wires except ground
Tester lights up on Neutral wire.
Buy:

Voltage neon testers at Amazon
Electric testers at Amazon
Outlet polarity on outlets
Hot and Neutral must be correct on outlet
Hot wire connects to brass-colored screw
Neutral wire connects to silver-colored screw
Ground wire connects to green screw

Resources:

How to add a switch
How to add outlet
Remove cable staple
Use end cutting pliers to remove staple & nails
Good tool for electric work and construction
front cutting pliers
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Crescent-brand end cutting nipper at Amazon
End cutting nippers at Amazon
strip wire Carefully slice through coating on wire
Cut down middle of cable over the ground wire
Use sharp blade
Utility knife
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Wire stripper
Terminal crimp tool



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Wire strippers at Amazon

Resources:
Color code for wire
circuit breaker

Circuit breakers

Water heater is tripping breaker
How to replace circuit breaker
How to wire gfci
Can AC breaker be used for DC breaker
How to reset circuit breaker
Not enough space for circuit breakers
Circuit breakers
How to install subpanel
Why you need ground wire
Match breaker and wire size
How to wire subpanel
See inside breaker box
How to wire safety switch
How to wire whole house surge protector
circuit breakers are warm

Water heater blowing breaker

Move wires to different same-size breaker and see if problem continues Resources:
Water-heater-is-blowing-breaker

Stress test breaker panel
How to replace circuit breaker
Bond solar panel to ground rod

Ground wire

All phone, satellite, pool equipment, solar systems and electric pnaels must be grounded. Check local electric codes.
What does this mean? Drive ground rod 8-10 feet into soil. Bond #6-8 bare copper wire to ground rod and to solar panels and pipes on roof.
Do NOT ground electric system to water pipes. Ground must be connected to ground rod. Stray current corrosion can cause pipes to deteriorate. Uncertain bond to ground because of plastic pipes.

Buy:  
Ground rod and clamps at Amazon
Bonding lugs

Bond all ground wires together to help prevent surge & lightning damage

Bonding all grounds together will help prevent damage from lightning strikes beyond 100' away...
Strong lightning strikes within 100 feet must be handled by lightning rod
Local code requires bonding: this includes all ground rods for satellite, TV, phone, solar, electric panel, subpanels (within 100 feet) etc must be connected together and bonded to main electric panel ground rod driven into soil at correct depth to meet local code. Consult local electrician.
Codes for grounding depth vary: loose rocky dry soils are less conductive than dense wet soils
No system other than lightning rods will protect against direct lightning strike or strike within 100 feet.
Move indoors and do not stay on roof, or move metal ladders, or touch anything made of metal when lightning is within 1 mile or can be heard or seen.
Resource
Why ground wire is needed
Linesman pliers Linesman pliers
Use to twist wire
Use to cut wire
linesman pliers
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Linesman pliers

Resources:
How to twist wire
wire nut assortment Wire nuts are used to join wires
Make sure all copper is covered
Make sure wire nut cannot come off


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Wire nut assortment at Amazon

Resource
How to select and install right wire nut
Push on wire connectors Push on wire connectors
Push on wire connectors
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Push on wire connectors at Amazon
Red 3P connector (shown) for 10-14 gauge wire
Resource
Electric safety when wiring timer
30 amp safety cut off
Safety switch
Fusable pull out
Fusable pull-out

Pull-out disconnect -or- Non-fusable Safety cut off 

for outdoor installation:

Locate cut-off next to electric equipment ... or short reach away... within sight of appliance.
Purpose to protect anyone working on electricity ... so person knows power is OFF, and power cannot accidently be turned ON.

Resource
How to wire safety switch

Residential information: varies by state and locale
Non-fusable safety switch required on outdoor installations, and high-voltage indoor applications such as 90 amp tankless electric water heater where breaker box not in plain sight of equipment.
Fusable vrs non-fusable: Non-fusable means there is no breaker or fuse inside the cut-off box. Non fusable is manually-operated on-off switch for safety.
Fusable means there is a fuse or breaker that trips when detecting high heat.

Resource
How to wire safety switch
Buy:
Pullout Disconnect at Amazon
Fusable pullout disconnect
2-pole 30 amp fusable safety switch/ power cut-off
2-pole 60 amp non-fusable safety switch


Multimeter

Test for breaks in wire/ Test for voltage
Most appliance require 80% rated voltage to function correctly
Buy:
Multimeters at Amazon
Electric testers at Amazon
Resource:
How to test and replace element
How to test thermocouple
Element tests for 120 volts
How to test wire
Safety when testing wires:
Never touch wet or previously flooded appliance.
Never stand on wet surface when working on electric.
Never stand on bare soil, put down dry boards.
Tape tester leads to wood sticks to keep hands away from power.
Use non-contact voltage tester before touching wires.
Never touch or lean into any made of metal.
Remove metal objects from pockets.
Do not use oxygen or fuel accelerants in same room as electrcial repairs

Resource:
Basic house wiring

Non-contact voltage tester

Test for power without touching wire nuts
NEVER assume power is OFF
Buy:

Non-contact voltage tester Amazon
Electric testers at Amazon

Resource:
How to test electric power is off

Resource:
How to install terminals
Treminals

Terminals

Buy:
Terminal kit
Blue for 16-14 wire
Yellow for 12-10 wire
Read about terminals
wire nut assortment

Wire nut assortments

Do not reuse old wire nuts
Buy

Wire nut assortment at Amazon
Wire nut assortment at Amazon

Resource
How to select and install wire nuts
Weatherproof wire nut

Weatherproof wire nut

Wire nut cavity is full of silicone
Built-in cover keeps silicone in place
Protect from water, dust etc
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Resource
How to select and install wire nuts
Wire nut wrench

Wire nut wrench

Tighten wire nut
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Resources:
How to twist wire
How to select right wire nut
Push on wire connectors

Push-on wire connectors in place of wire nuts

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Push on wire connectors Amazon
Red 3P connector for 10-14 gauge wire
Lever nuts for stranded wire at Amazon
add solder to stranded wire

Turn stranded wire into solid wire

Add solder to 1" length of tightly twisted stranded wire to make into solid wire
Heat wire. Touch solder to wire. Let cool. File away over-solder.
Buy:
soldering guns
Resource

Timer caught fire

linesman pliers
Buy tools:
Wire strippers at Amazon
Linesman pliers
Utility knife at Amazon
End cutting nippers at Amazon

Fire inside timer caused by stranded wire
Keep enclosure door closed at all times

Fire caused by stranded wire

Do not use stranded wire under screw plate

Applies to timers, switches, outlets, pumps etc.
Small devices, with small loads, such as lamp socket, stranded wire is fine
Add solder to 1" length of tightly twisted stranded wire to make into solid wire
Heat wire. Touch solder to wire. Let cool. File away over-solder.
Buy:
soldering guns
Resource

Timer caught fire
Troubleshoot Household electricity
Stress test main breaker and main breaker panel
Basic household wiring
Basic water heater circuit

Figure volts amps watts for electric water heater
Test elements
Replace elements
How to wire tankless electric
How to change water heater temperature using timer
Change water heater from 240Volt to 120Volt
Replace thermostats
How to wire thermostats
How to wire water heater for off peak operation

How to twist wire
How to wire Cooper 277 pilot light switch
How to wire combo switch-outlet
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How to wire 3-way dimmer
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Wire off-delay timer
How to wire pin timers

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Reverse photoeye so it turns on in day
24 Volt photoeye
24 volt programmable timer

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How to add switch
How to add 3-way switch


Timer for 3-way switch
Timer for 4-way switch

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How to wire 3-way switches
How to wire 4-way switches


Troubleshoot Malibu outdoor lights
Terminals
Select and install wire nuts
Select wire size

Electrical formulas
Electricians forum

Electrical pages


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How to wire GFCI
How to wire GFCI combo

Basic water heater circuit
How to wire water heater for 120Volt
Install old work box

How to drop wire from attic
Romex connector

How to wire 240volt outlets
How to install 3-phase timer
How to wire 3-phase outlets
How to wire 3-phase surge protector
What is 3-phase

How to wire whole house surge protector
How to wire under-counter water heater


See inside main breaker box
Replace breaker
Install subpanel

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Contactors
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Whole house surge protector
3-phase surge protection
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Difference between 50Hz and 60Hz
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How to wire water heater thermostat
How to wire water heater with switches and timers

6x6x4 Enclosures
Intermatic timer enclosures

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How to wire DC solar water heater
DC relays for solar water heater
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How many Kwh to heat water
Chart for figuring heating time for electric heater
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Resources:
How to install gas water heater
How to install electric water heater
Troubleshoot gas water heater
Troubleshoot electric water heater
Point of use water heaters
Gas and electric water heaters Industrial electric at Amazon

Industrial supplies at Amazon

Industrial and scientific Amazon
Intermatic control centers Control centers:
+ manuals and parts


All control centers and parts

Including Z-wave
box timers Compare box timers

Control with Z-wave
programmable timer Compare programmable timers

Control water heater with programmable wall timer
Countdown timers Compare countdown timers

Control water heater with countdown timer
Compare power packs

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