This post will help you to understand wiring diagrams , including how important it is to use wiring diagrams, all the proper terminology relating to electrical wiring diagrams, and how to find the correct wiring diagram(s) on my website.
Follow these instructions and we’ll have you wiring a switch, wiring a 3-way switch, a 4-way switch, wiring a receptacle and more. My goal is to help you to complete your home electrical wiring projects with ease!
What is a Wiring Diagram?
An electrical wiring diagram is essentially a schematic representation of an electrical circuit. It can be anything from a crude diagram scrawled out on a piece of cardboard, or a napkin, to a sophisticated electronically produced wiring diagram. In your home electrical projects, it is very important to use wiring diagrams. They can assist you by providing a road map for planning and completing your home electrical wiring projects, saving you both time, money, and frustration.
When do we Need a Wiring Diagram?
The two most common applications for using a wiring diagram in relation to your home electrical projects would be:
1. To help you understand what connections need to be made after running your cables, and how to make those connections.
2. To capture how connections and splices are in an existing installation, so you can replace a defective device, or repair a poor connection or splice. A good example of this would be replacing a 3-way switch. Diagram how the connections are before you disconnect the old 3-way switch, especially noting what wire is connected to the common terminal, then wiring the new 3-way switch will be simple!
What is a Wiring Device?
The most common wiring device that you may need a wiring diagram for is a receptacle. Wiring a receptacle is very easy if you have a wiring diagram for making the proper connections. One common mistake people make is referring to a receptacle as a plug. They will ask me how to wire a plug or a plug-in, when they should be asking how to wire a receptacle. A plug is what goes into a receptacle. Remember it this way: At the end of my lamp cord is a plug, and I will insert that plug into the receptacle.
Here is a basic diagram for wiring a receptacle.
The Single-Pole Switch
Another useful wiring diagram is how to wire switch. Wiring a switch is really quite simple and easy to understand. A single-pole switch is very common in the home, and is used for controlling a light or lights, or a switched receptacle from one location. A switch simply interrupts the flow of electricity to complete or break the circuit to a light or a lamp.
Here is a basic diagram for wiring a switch
The 3-way Switch
The three way switch is another common device within the home. It is used to control a light or lights, or a receptacle for a lamp, from two locations, like at either end of a hallway, the top and bottom of a stairwe...
Video: Can 120 Volts Hurt You?
Can 120 volts hurt you? You better believe it! In this powerful video demonstration, the Internet Electrician shows the effects of 120 volts on a hot dog weiner, and draws a parallel betwe...
Electrical Outlet Doesn’t Work and Breaker isn’t Tripped
Electrical outlet is not working, yet the breaker is not tripped? What is the likely cause, and why this can be a dangerous situation. Continue reading →...
Electrical Outlet or Electrical Receptacle
Is it a receptacle or is it an electrical outlet? These terms are really interchangeable, but are often confused by the DIYer. This article reviews the basics of the electrical receptacle ...
Video: Basic Electrical Theory and DIY Wiring Safety Tips
A review of basic electrical theory, including an explanation of volts, amps, current and resistance is covered in this video. Terry Peterman, the Internet Electrician, also reviews practic...
Video: Fluorescent Light Fixture Repair
Fluorescent light fixture repair needs to occur when the light fixture begins to make buzzing sounds or flicker, or you notice the ballast leaking a tar-like substance. Learn how to replace...
Outdoor wiring projects can be completed by the DIYer if proper safety precautions, material use and instructions are followed. Learn how. Continue reading →...
Video: Christmas Home Electrical Safety Tips
Christmas home electrical safety practices are especially important during the holiday season. Using a ladder, getting up on your roof, and adding additional loads from Christmas lights to ...
Replacing a Three-Way Switch in the Kitchen
When replacing a switch in in an existing 3-way circuit, you must replace it with another 3-way switch or the circuit will not function correctly. This article and detailed wiring diagram ...