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on video Basic of electrical wiring.

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Electrical work, like everything else in life, can run the gamut from very basic to extremely complex. It is helpful for every DIY-minded homeowner to have at least a basic understanding of electrical work. This article will attempt to reveal some of the mystery surrounding the maze of wiring that runs throughout your home and that makes everything in it work with the flick of a switch.

Electricity enters every home by running through a power meter supplied by the local utility company, then, in most cases, through a master 200-amp circuit breaker, and then to the home's breaker box, often still referred to as a fuse box .From the breaker box, this flow of electricity is spread over numerous circuits to different parts of the home by first passing through individual circuit breakers which serve as a safety mechanism to keep the system from being overloaded. A home's electrical system is designed to work off 120 volts with the exception of certain major appliances, such as an electric clothes dryer, which runs off 240 volts.
Household Wire Gauge
Electrical wiring comes in different gauges, or sizes. The gauge the gauge, i.e., the thicker the copper wire, the more electrical current it can carry without overheating. Electrical wire and circuit breakers are designed to work in tandem with one another, and each must be of a proper corresponding size. For example, 14/2 gauge electrical wire is rated to a maximum of 15 amps and should not be used with any circuit breaker larger than 15 amps. These two size wires are the standard that are used in homes today for most lighting and wall outlets. Again, gauges heavier and higher amp circuit breakers must be used for certain appliances that use more electricity and as dictated by local and state building codes.

Electrical wire is gauged like shot for a shotgun. The smaller the number the heavier gauge the wire. Twelve-gauge wire is heavier and will carry more of a load than 14-gauge wire but is smaller than 10-gauge wire and will carry less of a load than the 10 gauge.

If the improper gauge wire is used with the wrong size circuit breaker, it can easily result in a fire or a malfunctioning electrical circuit. For example, if a wire of too small gauge is used with a high amp break, then the wire can overheat and catch fire long before the circuit breaker ever trips. On the other hand, if a too large of a gauge wire is used with a low amp breaker then the breaker may continuously trip, disrupting the circuit before the wire ever reaches its maximum electrical load.

It is imperative to know exactly what gauge wire and what amp breaker have to be used for any given application. This is not an area to guess-timate. The result of such guesswork can be a house fire or someone being electrocuted. Also, there are limits under the applicable building codes to how many outlets and/or lights, etc., that a particular circuit can have on them, and even where they can be placed or not placed. Be sure to consult your local and state building codes before beginning any electrical work.
Types of Household Wires
Typical electrical wire for home use comes in an insulated sleeve and consists of three wires. A black wire carries the electrical current and is therefore commonly known as the “hot” wire. There is a white wire that is the “neutral,” and, finally, a bare copper wire that is the ground wire. When electrical wires are joined together the black wires must be hooked together, the white wires must be hooked to the white wires, and the ground wires must be hooked together. Otherwise, the circuit will not work, and will result in an electrical “short.”

Three-conductor electrical wire is available for use with applications that require an additional “hot” wire, such as with a three-way switch. A total of four wires are found in three-conductor wiring: A white neutral wire, a bare copper ground wire, a black “hot” wire and a red wire for a second “hot” wire.


 



Electrical work, like everything else in life, can run the gamut from very basic to extremely complex. It is helpful for every DIY-minded homeowner to have at least a basic understanding of electrical work. This article will attempt to reveal some of the mystery surrounding the maze of wiring that runs throughout your home and that makes everything in it work with the flick of a switch.

Electricity enters every home by running through a power meter supplied by the local utility company, then, in most cases, through a master 200-amp circuit breaker, and then to the home's breaker box, often still referred to as a fuse box .From the breaker box, this flow of electricity is spread over numerous circuits to different parts of the home by first passing through individual circuit breakers which serve as a safety mechanism to keep the system from being overloaded. A home's electrical system is designed to work off 120 volts with the exception of certain major appliances, such as an electric clothes dryer, which runs off 240 volts.
Household Wire Gauge
Electrical wiring comes in different gauges, or sizes. The gauge the gauge, i.e., the thicker the copper wire, the more electrical current it can carry without overheating. Electrical wire and circuit breakers are designed to work in tandem with one another, and each must be of a proper corresponding size. For example, 14/2 gauge electrical wire is rated to a maximum of 15 amps and should not be used with any circuit breaker larger than 15 amps. These two size wires are the standard that are used in homes today for most lighting and wall outlets. Again, gauges heavier and higher amp circuit breakers must be used for certain appliances that use more electricity and as dictated by local and state building codes.

Electrical wire is gauged like shot for a shotgun. The smaller the number the heavier gauge the wire. Twelve-gauge wire is heavier and will carry more of a load than 14-gauge wire but is smaller than 10-gauge wire and will carry less of a load than the 10 gauge.

If the improper gauge wire is used with the wrong size circuit breaker, it can easily result in a fire or a malfunctioning electrical circuit. For example, if a wire of too small gauge is used with a high amp break, then the wire can overheat and catch fire long before the circuit breaker ever trips. On the other hand, if a too large of a gauge wire is used with a low amp breaker then the breaker may continuously trip, disrupting the circuit before the wire ever reaches its maximum electrical load.

It is imperative to know exactly what gauge wire and what amp breaker have to be used for any given application. This is not an area to guess-timate. The result of such guesswork can be a house fire or someone being electrocuted. Also, there are limits under the applicable building codes to how many outlets and/or lights, etc., that a particular circuit can have on them, and even where they can be placed or not placed. Be sure to consult your local and state building codes before beginning any electrical work.
Types of Household Wires
Typical electrical wire for home use comes in an insulated sleeve and consists of three wires. A black wire carries the electrical current and is therefore commonly known as the “hot” wire. There is a white wire that is the “neutral,” and, finally, a bare copper wire that is the ground wire. When electrical wires are joined together the black wires must be hooked together, the white wires must be hooked to the white wires, and the ground wires must be hooked together. Otherwise, the circuit will not work, and will result in an electrical “short.”

Three-conductor electrical wire is available for use with applications that require an additional “hot” wire, such as with a three-way switch. A total of four wires are found in three-conductor wiring: A white neutral wire, a bare copper ground wire, a black “hot” wire and a red wire for a second “hot” wire.


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