Category: Electrical


5 Types of Electrical Conduits for Safe Wiring


The electrical conduits are a type of fiber, metal, or plastic sleeve that holds and protects wiring in the home or office space. The installation of the conduit is subject to specific wiring regulations. So, for this reason, it is essential to install the right one to match the needs.

Types of conduits

The placement of the electrical conduit will become a deciding factor on the chosen material. The majority of the conduits are placed on exposed wall surfaces, and the material is either rigid or flexible. The most common materials include liquid-tight/seal-tight, PVC-coated, EMT, PVC, rigid steel and IMC.

There are a variety of factors that are considered in the process of choosing the type of conduit system, such as the material of the sleeve, mechanical stiffness and wall thickness. The particular material is chosen based on the installation costs, its ability to resist corrosion, and its mechanical protection.

Rigid Steel

The thickest and heaviest choice for the electrical conduits is rigid steel which gives significantly more protection compared to the light, flexible versions. Popular materials include aluminum, coated steel and stainless steel. Plus, the different materials are given a special coating to increase the ability to resist corrosion. Rigid steel is useful in a wide range of applications including outside areas such as service feed installations and under driveways.

Intermediate metal

A lighter type of conduit includes those manufactured with intermediate metal and is a practical choice for protecting cables and insulating electrical conductors. This is a useful choice for exposed walls (basements, garages, etc.) and outdoor applications.

Electrical metallic tubing

The electrical metallic tubing is a lightweight material and relatively easy to install on indoor applications. It is typically made of aluminum or steel and a popular choice for industrial and commercial buildings.

PVC

The PVC conduit is the most cost-effective option for installing in industrial, commercial, or utility applications. Even though it is preferred for indoor use, it is still able to give sufficient protection against corrosion, moisture and sunlight. Also, it is an acceptable option for underground applications, but great care needs to be taken throughout the installation process.

Liquid-tight/Seal-tight

The liquid-tight/seal-tight has the ability to offer great mechanical strength and is finished with several types of coatings. It is great for commercial and industrial applications with the ability to accept a maximum rating of 75° C. Plus, this is a flexible type of material that is great for areas that experience a lot of flexing or vibrations.

6 Tips for Your Home Wiring


Are you looking for some simple tips for wiring up your home? If so, we suggest that you be careful while using our tips. Usually, electricity wiring is a task that involves a lot of danger. Therefore, you should be careful. You can do the wiring on your own or you can hire a professional, which is the safest option.

Tip 1: Size of the Enclosure

Choosing an enclosure with plenty of room is recommended. As a matter of fact, this enclosure will be the center of the installation. Generally, we recommend that you have 20% of additional space for future expansions.

Moreover, if your house is newly built, you may want to have sub distribution boards as well.

Tip 2: Terminals Should be Used

Ideally, you should go for quality terminal blocks for your enclosure. The benefit of these terminal blocks is that they help you keep the wiring organized. Aside from this, you may want to use label holders and separators as well. Another benefit of using them is that you won’t have to stuff many cables into a single spot.

Tip 3: Layout of the Enclosure

It’s a good idea to plan the layout of the termination of your cable, equipment and circuit protection in the distribution board. Ideally, we suggest that the circuit board should be kept towards the downside of the enclosure with the power supplies.

For cable routing, you should leave some space on the both sides of the same enclosure. The low voltage cables should be on the left side of the box and the high voltage cable should be on the right side.

Tip 4: Finger Trunking

For better organization of the wiring, you should use finger trunking. You can place the trunking between the DIN rails. Keep in mind that the outer trunking has to be twice as big as the other trunking.

Tip 5: Pick The Right Cable

Don’t try to save money on the cables as cables are the backbone of the electricity system in any house or office. Ideally, you may want to buy CAT7 cables. It’s a twisted pair cable with a strong shield around it. It boasts lower voltage drop and can carry more power. These cables are better in any perspective. That’s the reason most professionals recommend these cabling for home or office wiring.

Tip 6: Documentation is Necessary

Often, most homeowners don’t understand the importance of putting labels on their input and output cables. Labeling will make it easier for you to set up the configuration. Your electrical system will remain flexible and easy to modify and expand down the road. Moreover, the access to the enclosure will also be a lot easier down the road.

So, these are some easy tips that you can use when doing the electricity wiring in your home. You will be more careful throughout the process. However, if you have never done any wiring chores before, we highly recommend that you hire a qualified electrician to do the work. This will keep you on the safe side.


How To Install Portable Hot Tub Electrical Wiring


Installing electrical to a new or used hot tub can be a daunting thought. The need to access 220 Volt power scares most do-it-yourselfers away from the task, but for those willing to give up a weekend or two the cost savings and self-accomplishment can we worth the task. Below are the major steps and lessons I learned when I recently installing new electrical wiring to my hot tub.

1. Plan Your Project:

Code Review: Reviewing the National Electrical Code (NEC) and any state or local jurisdictional codes should be your first step. You can find excerpts from the NEC on-line. Wiring swimming pools, spas and hot tubs is in section 680 of the NEC. If you do a search on any of the major search engines you will find the national code requirements. The highlights of the NEC include requirement of an electrical disconnect and a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). The disconnect panel needs to be within sight of the hot tub but greater than 5 feet away from the water surface. The GFCI can be part of the disconnect switch or installed in the main house panel breaker.

You should also check with your local planning and zoning department to determine where you can find any local state or city code requirements. Many times the local jurisdictions will reference the NEC for hot tub electrical wiring, but it is good to check.

Drawings: Create a scaled plan view drawing of the layout of your new electrical system. The layout should be to correct scale so you can use it to determine the linear feet of conduit, wire, and other materials you will need. You should also create any elevation drawings for conduit that goes up and down walls. This will help you when determining the number of fittings, elbows and conduit lengths needed.

Bill of Materials: Once you have created your drawings, the next step is to calculate the quantity of materials you will need. The materials should consist of conduit (size and length), wires (length and gauge), elbows, junction boxes, conduit C-clamps, screws, disconnect panel and breaker with GFCI, disconnect breaker for the main house panel, and other materials. Once you have calculated all the materials create a Bill of Materials or material schedule with the appropriate number of parts and pieces.

Research Cost: If you do not have an unlimited budget then you should research the cost to purchase all the materials prior to purchasing. You can research costs on-line by going to the major box stores like Home Depot or Lowes, or you can make a trip to the store and determine how much each of the items will cost.

Budget: After determining the cost of each item, multiply the cost of each item by the number of those items needed. Then add all the item summary costs together and this will give you an approximate cost of materials. I would recommend adding 10-percent to the cost for contingency materials that you don’t know you need now but will once starting your projects. The materials cost for approximately 100 linear feet of distance between the main houses disconnect and the hot tub cost me approximately $550. Most of the cost was the number 6 copper wire. Each wire cost approximately $95. All of my conduit was routed above ground. I receive quotes from electricians over the phone that said they would charge material costs plus $3-$5 per linear foot to install. You should also keep in mind that contractors will often increase the material cost by 10-percent when selling to you.

Tools for the project: Below is the list of tools that I needed to install and connect the electrical to my hot tub: (hammer, Philips screwdriver, flat-head screwdriver, measuring tape, PVC conduit cutter, drill, drill bits including large diameter ones to cut holes through walls, screws for securing conduit to the walls, wire pulling lubrication, fish tape for pulling the wire through the conduit, box cutting knife for cutting any sheetrock).

2. Purchase Materials:

Once you have created your budget and assembled all the tools for your project it is time to go to the store and purchase your materials. I purchased my materials from Home Depot because it was close to my house, but you may have an electrical materials store close to your house. If you do have once close you should purchase your materials from there. Typically they will sell you materials for less cost than you would pay at a big box store. They will also have a larger verity of electrical panels, breakers, and other materials. Remember than you can and should purchase more materials than what you think you will need. You can return any unused materials after your project is complete. This will save you time by not having to stop in the middle of your project to go to the store to purchase materials that you did not know you would need.

3. Install Materials:

After purchasing the materials and assembling any tools you will need it is time to install the wiring and electrical equipment. There is no defined process for installing the equipment but I would recommend you start with the easy installation first. Drill your major holes through walls that align with your desired location. Mount your disconnect box in the location you want and start to route wire from the hot tub to the main house panel. You can do almost all the installation without ever having to worry about the 220 Volt electrical connection.

When you have routed all your conduit it is time to pull your electrical wire. If you followed some of the helpful hints provided at the bottom of this article then pulling your wire should not be too much of an effort. When it comes to installing the breaker in your main house panel, turn off your main house disconnect. This will remove power to all your breakers, thus allowing you to install the new breaker in the panel. Remember this will disable all the power to your house, so choose a time when no one is home or you don’t need power, preferably during the day so you don’t need your lights.

To get the conduit and wire to your main house disconnect you will need to cut the sheetrock below your main panel. This will allow you to route the conduit inside the wall and go up through the bottom of the existing panel. When cutting the sheetrock you should cut on the middle of each stud which should be 16-inches away from one another. This will allow you to re-install the sheetrock after routing the conduit and wire.

4. Enjoy Your Hot Tub:

When you have finished installing your electrical wiring to your hot tub it is time to fill your hot tub. Your hot tub should be full of water prior to turning it on so that you don’t burn-up your hot tub heater. After 8 to 12 hours your hot tub will be up to temperature and you can begin to add chemicals to adjust your PH, Alkalinity, and Chlorine levels. If you are installing a used hot tub I would suggest installing a new filter.

Upgrade Your Home’s Electrical Wiring For Safety and Efficiency


New electronic equipment, such as televisions, surround sound systems and computers, are not manufactured to handle old-fashioned electrical systems. Modern appliances such as energy efficient refrigerators, washers, dryers and dishwashers also need to have an adequate electrical supply with up-to-date wiring and proper connectivity with the electrical panel.

Many people who live in homes built prior to 1980 have an electrical system that is capable of providing power to outlets, but completely inadequate for today’s modern appliances and electronics. Furthermore, electrical wiring breaks down over time, and can become a serious and potentially devastating hazard if not remedied by a professional electrician.

When considering an upgrade to your home’s electrical wiring, you must take into account the age of your home and the age of the current wiring that is installed. You must also be able to foresee the type of appliances and electronic equipment that will be drawing power from the system in the future. When you upgrade your home’s electrical wiring, you will want to be certain that the system can handle the loads of modern appliances safely while adhering to strict electrical codes.

A professional electrician or electrical contractor will be able to secure the proper permits and electrical materials needed to complete a re-wiring of home. Old electrical wires and materials must be completely removed and new ones installed. The job of completely updating a home’s electrical wiring can be a long process, as the electrician will need to remove walls and be inside your home for at least a few days or even weeks.

Your family’s safety is the utmost important factor to consider when deciding on whether or not to upgrade your home’s electrical wiring. If you have old, outdated wiring, there is a higher possibility of electrical fire. Furthermore, a new electrical system will significantly increase the value of your home and save you money on your electric bills, as modern and efficient wiring conserves electricity. A professional electrician can install a completely new electrical system or install wiring for computer networks, media centers or for areas that will need to handle heavy electrical loads, like a garage workstation.

To be certain that your new wiring adheres to your local electrical codes, have an experienced electrician or electrical contractor perform the installation of any new wiring. Having your new electrical wiring installed by a professional will guarantee that it is done correctly and meets the highest safety standards.

New electrical wiring will save your family money and stress, as well as give you peace of mind that your electrical system is safe and sound. If you plan on purchasing new electrical equipment or appliances, be certain to upgrade your home’s wiring accordingly to ensure maximum safety and efficiency.

Bathroom Electrical Wiring – Issues and Safety Precautions


According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, tens of thousands of fires happen all over the United States every year that are caused by electrical issues. Besides the millions of property damage that are incurred, there is also the unfortunate loss of life that happens in hundreds of these kinds of cases. There are also hundreds of consumer products that can cause electrocution and death (especially with bathroom electrical wiring), so it is best that the appropriate safety precautions are done in order to prevent any sort of unfortunate incident to happen.

A Volatile and Dangerous Mix

It is a well known fact that water and electricity just do not mix. It is a very deadly combination. So you can just imagine the kinds of dangers you have with bathroom electrical wiring systems. Of course, no one can eliminate entirely the need for bathroom electrical wiring systems – with outlets for dryers, heaters, lights, and all other electrical appliances you use in the bathroom, all you can really do is to observe the proper safety precautions and steps to make sure that the electrical system in your bathroom is safe for you and all who use the bathroom.

Some Safety Tips

1. Have a GFCI device installed.
The National Safety Code requires the installation of a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter or GFCI to be able to deal with cases of having to install outlets in bathrooms. This is to minimize the incidence of electrocution or any other electrical incident that involves the mix of water and bathroom electrical wiring through sockets and outlets. GFCI units are designed to cut off the supply of electricity to an outlet when there is a loss of current in a circuit.

2. Have some exhaust fans installed.
Imagine coming home from a long and hard day’s work to enjoy a relaxing time in the tub, or maybe just taking a long, warm shower. Your body dissipates heat during these times, so leaving a bathroom unventilated will cause moisture and humidity to accumulate inside. This poses danger to your bathroom electrical wiring, so it is best to install an exhaust fan so that air can circulate inside the bathroom space and no steam or moisture will build up inside.

3. Have moisture-splash proof switches.
There will be times when you need to open a light switch with wet hands, or maybe forget to dry your hands before you touch and turn on the switch. You can also have children who will inevitably splash water on your switches. To avoid the risk for any short circuits and electrocution, it is recommended that you install splash proof switches as part of your bathroom electrical wiring system. This will prevent water from entering the switch and coming into contact with the wiring system.

Even in the bathroom, we need to have bathroom electrical wiring installed. It’s an inescapable fact that we have incorporated the use of electricity even in environments where we use water. Fortunately though, there are steps we can follow and safety precautions we can observe to minimize – if not entirely eliminate – the risk for any electricity related incidents and injuries. And you can’t go wrong with hiring a professional electrician to look over your bathroom electrical wiring.


Wiring a Ceiling Fan


Most ceiling fans come complete with a light, a variable speed motor, and a reverse switch. This seems like a lot to think about when you’re doing all the wiring, but it is really easy. The fan manufacturers take all the guesswork out for you.

The most important thing to remember is that ceiling fans are fairly heavy and they need a strong light box to hold them in place. If you’re building a new home, then you can put a fan light box in the ceiling instead of a regular light box. A fan light box is made of metal and usually extends between two floor joists or rafters for extra strength.

Be sure to turn off the circuit breaker in the breaker box to kill the power. Also make sure to communicate to other members in the house what you are doing so they don’t accidentally turn the breaker on.

When you’re ready to install the ceiling fan, you will need to take apart the fan housing from the canopy. The canopy is the base of the fan that connects to the light box in your ceiling. It will have the wires that you need to connect to the wires in the ceiling light box. The functionality of the fan will determine how many wires it has.

If the ceiling fan has a light, there will most likely be four wires that need to be connected. There will be a black wire for the fan, a blue wire for the light, a white neutral wire, and a green ground wire. The black and blue wires from the fan can both be wired to the black wire from the light box with a wire nut. The white wire from the fan will connect to the white wire from the light box, and the green wire will connect to the copper ground wire from the light box with wire nuts.

Once the electrical connection is finished, the wires should be secured and tucked neatly into the ceiling light box. Now the canopy of the fan can be attached to the mounting screws in the light box. Make sure the screws are tight.

Now you can install the fan housing to the canopy to secure the fan motor. This is done with the housing screws. Make sure these screws are tight also. Once that is finished, you can install the fan blades. Most fans will only allow the blades to fit in one way.

Now, you can turn the breaker on and test the fan to see if it works.

How to Change a Light Switch at Home


You will need insulated, pointed, electricity pliers, a screwdriver, a sharp knife and good quality electric tape. The first and most important step to take is to turn the electric power off to the area or switch you will be changing. Turn the light on, now go to the electric panel and throw the breaker switch to which the lamp is attached. If they are not labeled properly, turn them off one by one checking if the light went off inside. When it goes off, you have found the right breaker switch. If you do not want to do this, throw all the circuit breakers off.

Now using the screwdriver, remove the screws attaching the switch to the electric box in the wall. Pull it out and take a good look at all the wires screwed to the sides of the switch. They should have different colors for proper identification, if they don’t you can still do the job, do not worry. Compare the screws of the new switch to those of the old switch, make sure they are located in the same place and that there is the same number of screws. They will all be the same color with the exception of the ground screw which will be green.

Here I will take a break from the process and explain a little something which is very important. If you are changing a light switch that is the only one used to turn a lamp on and off, any switch will do. When the lamp can be turned on from two or more switches located in different areas of the room, a special switch is needed. If this is the case make sure you tell this to the attendant at the hardware store so he sells you the right kind of switch. This is no big deal; they are just different and have an extra wire connection.

Okay, back to work, the electricity is off and the switch is off the wall too. Take a good look at the wire distribution on the used switch identifying every wire and where it is connected. Loosen the first screw on the used switch, using the pliers take it off the holding screw. Using the pliers straighten the wire out and with the night scrape the end of it so it is shiny and clean again. Make a u shape on the tip and put it around the same screw on the new light switch. Make sure the u is tight against the screw base; tighten the screw until the wire is firmly in place. Do the same for all the other screws. Now take the electric tape and wrap the sides of the switch with a couple of turns covering the screws and the wires. This is a precaution in case that for some reason the screws touch the metal electric box in the wall.

Screw the switch tightly in place and put the cover on. Turn on the circuit breakers in the electric panel and test your new light switch. You have now become an electrician; you are now able to change any light switch in your home, free of charge on your own time. Congratulations you have mastered your fear of electrocution by switch change.


Types of Electrical Conduits for the Home or Office


In the process of installing electrical wires throughout a property, it is essential that the wiring is well protected and safely secured. The use of electrical conduits is a practical solution for running the wires behind or on the surface of walls. Beyond the ability to protect the wiring, the conduits can also help to maintain the aesthetics and keep electric wires out of sight. There are several types of electrical conduits to use in the home or office complex, which varies with the type of cable and local surroundings. It is always essential to use the proper fittings to match the specific application.

Here are a few of the popular types of conduit for the practical installation of wiring:

Flexible Metal

The flexible metal conduit (also referred to as flex or Greenfield) is a practical choice for the installation that takes place in tight or other difficult spaces. The metal conduits are a useful for choice when the wires are being placed on the surface of the wall. Also, it gives greater strength compared PVC and more practical in the basement or garage installation to give protection against pests like mice or rats.

Thin Walled

This type of conduit is built to be rigid and is essentially made up of long and solid pieces of pipe. This type of conduit is more difficult to work with and requires a special tool to cut the pipes to length. But, it is a very dependable choice for a wide range of applications. It is particularly useful when working on projects where aesthetics isn’t much of a concern, such as working in a basement. This type of conduit comes in a wide range of sizes to specifically match the total number of wires that will be passed through. In many situations, it can benefit to use a slightly larger conduit to make it easy to accept the width of the wires.

Rigid non-metallic

The most common choice for a non-metallic conduit is those manufactured in hard-wearing PVC. This is a popular choice for do-it-yourself projects and is appreciated for its ability to give a high degree of resistance against sunlight, heat and fire. Plus, the PVC material is low-cost, light weight, and really easy to work with. But, it is not usable in all applications and may be a prohibited item, so it is necessary to check with local building codes before making use of it. Also, it would be necessary to use a PVC housing box in the installation process.


Properly Maintaining the Electrical Wiring in Your Home


Each year, thousands of homes in the United States are engulfed in fires triggered by faulty electrical wiring. In Home Electrical Fires, a report by the National Fire Protection Association’s Fire Analysis and Research Division published in May 2010, an average of 22,000 home fires between 2003 and 2007 involved electrical distribution (e.g., wiring and related equipment, transformers, power supplies) or lighting equipment (e.g., lamps, light fixtures, light bulbs, cords, plugs). The fires caused over $700 million in direct damages, 350 deaths, and 880 injuries. According to the report, 72% of the fires were caused by some type of electrical failure or malfunction. Most home fires are preventable; homeowners just have to take the time to keep their home’s electrical wiring properly maintained.

Often, electricity-related home fires happen not because homeowners are purposely careless about the maintenance of their home. Many of them are in fact quite responsible in the best way they know how; they just don’t have adequate information when it comes to home electrical wiring safety. When it comes to basement electrical wiring, for instance, not many homeowners realize that keeping their basements clean and free of pests is just as important as making sure the wires are all properly connected at all times.

Even though the wire connections are perfectly installed, the rats, insects, and other pests you may unknowingly be housing in your basement can easily wreak havoc on your electrical wiring, considerably increasing the risk of electricity-related fires in your home. And if you live in an older home, it is important that you check the fuse boxes and the circuit breakers on a regular basis. Even better, consider having the earlier models of these components replaced with modern ones that are better equipped to handle the higher voltages used in today’s appliances.

Ideally, your home’s electrical wiring should be checked every three years to make sure they are in good condition and that they are still perfectly capable of providing the electricity needed for the growing number of appliances you have in your home. This sounds simple enough but the shocking truth is that the average American homeowner has not had his electrical wiring checked for at least 20 years (source: National Fire Protection Association). This is one reason there are so many cases of electricity-related home fires in the United States.

One other reason the incidence of house fires caused by faulty wiring is so high is that many homeowners choose to install and repair their own electrical wiring instead of hiring a professional to do the job. While this decision helps them save money initially, it puts their home and their families in much greater risk of accidents later on. It is best to leave the job of electrical wiring installation and repairs to the professionals as much as possible.

Here’s the good news: Most electricity-related fires can be easily avoided by following a few simple preventive measures. For instance, you should always be watchful of electric hazards around your home. When a fuse box melts or when a plug produces sparks when you try to plug it in to the wall socket, call an electrician right away. Unless you are a qualified electrician yourself, you should never try to tinker with your home’s electrical wiring; your noble efforts might cause even more damage than good. Hiring a professional to do the job will cost you a few extra bucks, but this expense is worth the added protection you can give to your home and your family in the long run.