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Want to learn more about wiring
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: September 22, 2019 12:22PM
The electrical kind. What’s a good source to start? I understand it enough to make simple changes but that’s just kind of unplugging one wire and plugging in a different wire. As long as everything matches you’re good. I just want a little more know how.




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Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity
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Re: Want to learn more about wiring
Posted by: sekker
Date: September 22, 2019 12:25PM
Quote
bazookaman
The electrical kind. What’s a good source to start? I understand it enough to make simple changes but that’s just kind of unplugging one wire and plugging in a different wire. As long as everything matches you’re good. I just want a little more know how.

Start with your circuit breakers, THEN learn about new wiring!
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Re: Want to learn more about wiring
Posted by: mattkime
Date: September 22, 2019 12:42PM
I'd like to do some rewiring of my home, I'm interested as well.



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Re: Want to learn more about wiring
Posted by: btfc
Date: September 22, 2019 12:51PM
I'd first learn about designing/planning circuits.


[www.electrical-online.com]

[ask-the-electrician.com]

[www.wiringsimplified.com]
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Re: Want to learn more about wiring
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: September 22, 2019 02:20PM
Well. what do you want to do?

Replacing outlets/switches is easy enough...done more than a few of those.

Pulling new circuits...I hire that out.
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Re: Want to learn more about wiring
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: September 22, 2019 02:23PM
Wiring is not a hobby. Just thought i'd get that out of the way...
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Re: Want to learn more about wiring
Posted by: testcase
Date: September 22, 2019 02:30PM
I believe both Time-Life and ReadersDigest both offered "how to" books on DIY wiring (and MANY other topics) years ago. The "basics" haven't changed much (other that use of 14ga wire for "lighting circuits"). Stick with copper 12ga wiring, appropriate circuit breakers, outlets, switches and, with the basic instructions the above mentioned resources, and you should be fine.
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Re: Want to learn more about wiring
Posted by: Cary
Date: September 22, 2019 02:33PM
Are you talking about house wiring (110v)? Car wiring (generally 12v)? Network wiring ( cat 5, 6, etc)?

What are you looking for do?
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Re: Want to learn more about wiring
Posted by: Carm
Date: September 22, 2019 02:34PM
It’s hard to help if you don’t list what you want to do.
Circuit design is a good place to start.

That said, I’m currently in the process of fishing Cat6a Ethernet from fios drop outside to old telephone line connection. Attics suck. Going to add an network switch in closet near alarm panel since there is power there already. Then slowly add Ethernet to two rooms (sons room and master bedroom) . Adding an LED light to pantry
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Re: Want to learn more about wiring
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: September 22, 2019 02:50PM
I guess I just want to UNDERSTAND it better. I've switched out tons of outlets, switches, light fixtures, fans, etc over the years. But like I said, unwire one switch, wire in another. It's not rocket surgery. I don't think I'm interested in switching out breakers. Just understanding them. And electricity in general.




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Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity
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Re: Want to learn more about wiring
Posted by: mattkime
Date: September 22, 2019 03:15PM
As for me, I'd like to reorganize some circuits and upgrade a number of outlets to three prong. The original wiring in my house was done in 1927 and various items have been added since. Sometimes things make sense but sometimes they don't. You can have two outlets in the same room and next to each other but on different circuits - WHICH IS FINE IF IT WAS LABELED THAT WAY.



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Re: Want to learn more about wiring
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: September 22, 2019 05:48PM
The first question is, how mechanically inclined are you? If you're not, wiring or rewiring a home is probably not a good idea.

If you've never done it before, see if your local high school or trade school offers a course. I learned a lot taking a basic electricity class in 9th grade. Learned enough to be able to pull an electrical permit to wire my parent's basement. Code guy was impressed with my understanding and wiring diagrams. Point is, if you understand the basics, it's not that challenging. If you don't know the basics, it can be downright dangerous.

The other item of concern is pulling a permit and getting a final inspection. I rewired the majority of my house, including upgrading to 200 amp service. And had a final inspection. It's one thing to replace switches, outlets and fixtures. Rewiring without a permit can have serious consequences. If you have an electrical fire, insurance may not pay. Go to sell your house, at the very least, you may have to have an electrical inspection. Worst case, you might have to have a licensed electrician redo your work.
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Re: Want to learn more about wiring
Posted by: Cary
Date: September 22, 2019 07:38PM
The Time-Life and Readers Digest books mentioned earlier should give you what you want. They have large, easy to understand diagrams, and they cover wiring basics, including different setups for 2 and 3 way switches with power coming in at different points in the circuit.
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Re: Want to learn more about wiring
Posted by: Bernie
Date: September 22, 2019 07:46PM

Older 2nd edition hardcover is $13.44 or less.

This book is still being used at our local vocational school. I used it when I attended. old fogey smiley

This is an Industrial Electrician primer type book. Motors will help you understand why you replace a ten dollar cap on your AC before you call the HVAC people to fix your AC.

Apply the time delay and logic circuits to understand your motion detection lights.

Okay $6.24 and free shipping from one seller.

Lots of pictures and diagrams.

PS

My parents had/have the Time life series. How to NAIL sheetrock. Really show their age.




Staunton, Virginia



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/22/2019 07:50PM by Bernie.
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Re: Want to learn more about wiring
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: September 22, 2019 08:04PM
Quote
mattkime
As for me, I'd like to reorganize some circuits and upgrade a number of outlets to three prong. The original wiring in my house was done in 1927 and various items have been added since. Sometimes things make sense but sometimes they don't. You can have two outlets in the same room and next to each other but on different circuits - WHICH IS FINE IF IT WAS LABELED THAT WAY.

It is a little bit more common on commercial jobs to have labeling on the outlets, but residential NEVER does. Laziness and aesthetics mostly. No one wants labels all over their outlets and it is too much work to label the inside.

I'm in the midst of rewiring, starting with the easiest and working my way to the hardest spots. Sometimes it is easier to abandon old wires and routes and start new. Especially if you are changing the way it is wired.



C(-)ris
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Throwback Thursday Signature:
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Re: Want to learn more about wiring
Posted by: testcase
Date: September 22, 2019 09:11PM
"and upgrade a number of outlets to three prong"

Be VERY CAREFUL that you or even an elecrtician does not do a "Bootleg Ground". The life you save may be your's (or a family member).


[duckduckgo.com]
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Re: Want to learn more about wiring
Posted by: mattkime
Date: September 22, 2019 09:30PM
Quote
testcase
"and upgrade a number of outlets to three prong"

Be VERY CAREFUL that you or even an elecrtician does not do a "Bootleg Ground". The life you save may be your's (or a family member).


[duckduckgo.com]

I think I need to repeat what I just read to make sure I understand it -

A bootleg ground is when the ground on a receptacle is wired to the work box.



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Re: Want to learn more about wiring
Posted by: pdq
Date: September 22, 2019 11:06PM
Quote
testcase
"and upgrade a number of outlets to three prong"

Be VERY CAREFUL that you or even an elecrtician does not do a "Bootleg Ground". The life you save may be your's (or a family member).


[duckduckgo.com]

A number of years ago, my son wanted wanted to add a grounded outlet to the kitchen in their 60s era house, I think so they could plug in a dishwasher. I said it would be a significant job- someone would have to run some 3 conductor romex, lots of fishing in walls to get the romex back to the box, etc. Later on, I heard they got an electrician to do it in an afternoon.

Really?? - well, turns out the guy just ran a copper ground wire from an existing box to a clamp on the copper piping of the sink plumbing. I was doubtful that was code, and surprised a licensed electrician would do so.

But that was Indiana, maybe 6 years ago. I had helped him install a modern breaker panel in this place, sank a proper ground stake outside - we even pulled a permit and had the inspector come out and tweak a few things. I also added some GFI breakers, since he had a lot of unprotected two wire outlets. When they went to sell the house, the electrician at that point said that because we used GFI breakers, only the first outlet in the circuit was protected. (?!?).

I dunno. I get the impression that electricians develop their shortcuts, and their beliefs and practices, and discover when they can get away with @#$%&.
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Re: Want to learn more about wiring
Posted by: BernDog
Date: September 22, 2019 11:08PM
Start with building codes and permits. Don’t mess around with stuff that is beyond what is allowed locally for homeowners to do.
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Re: Want to learn more about wiring
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: September 23, 2019 10:37AM
B'man...
It's a great idea. I would definitely start with a book of some sort. I had the Time Life book as a youth, learned a lot, then got the HOme Despot book 25 years ago and learned more from that.

Suggestion #1- Get a non-contact voltage sensor. Keep it in your pocket. Test EVERYTHING before you try to work on it.
Suggestion #2- Label the breakers as you research your lines.
Suggestion #3- Label outlets and switches with the box and breaker. You can put the label inside the switch / outlet plate if you don't want people to see it. Pulling a plate is easy and won't shock you.
Suggestion #4 - a nice multimeter is very helpful when you're figuring out what's what.
Suggestion #5- Black is hot, white is not. DO NOT DEVIATE FROM THIS.
Suggestion #6- Never work on live circuits.
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Re: Want to learn more about wiring
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: September 23, 2019 12:08PM
But if you 'HAVE' to (really you don't), only touch things with one hand. Keep the other hand in your pocket. A shock from one hand to the other has a higher chance of killing you than a shock from one hand to a leg. Yes, I've worked on live circuits a few times because I HAD to (Mains breaker would not shut off and calling the power company would have been agonizing and I didn't have the time). And I've been shocked a number of times in my life.

one thing i was told by someone who designed and installed high voltage power systems is to never touch any wire that you suspect may be hot with an open fist; just touch the back of your hand to it, that way your muscles don't contract around the wire when hit by the current, thereby making you a crispy meat snack.
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Re: Want to learn more about wiring
Posted by: TLB
Date: September 23, 2019 12:53PM
Quote
cbelt3
Suggestion #1- Get a non-contact voltage sensor. Keep it in your pocket. Test EVERYTHING before you try to work on it.

Valuable tool! It goes without saying but make sure the batteries are good and test it for function before you start your work.
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Re: Want to learn more about wiring
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: September 23, 2019 01:12PM
Quote
mattkime
Quote
testcase
"and upgrade a number of outlets to three prong"

Be VERY CAREFUL that you or even an elecrtician does not do a "Bootleg Ground". The life you save may be your's (or a family member).


[duckduckgo.com]

I think I need to repeat what I just read to make sure I understand it -

A bootleg ground is when the ground on a receptacle is wired to the work box.

No. A bootleg ground is when the ground connection on a receptacle is connected to the neutral wire. A ground is supposed to be separate from the neutral connection.

All grounds are supposed to go back to the ground bus bar in the main panel. Metal junction boxes may be grounded as is the case when using EMT or BX cable.
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Re: Want to learn more about wiring
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: September 26, 2019 06:33AM
Quote
mrbigstuff
one thing i was told by someone who designed and installed high voltage power systems is to never touch any wire that you suspect may be hot with an open fist; just touch the back of your hand to it, that way your muscles don't contract around the wire when hit by the current, thereby making you a crispy meat snack.

I've heard this too.




__________________________________
Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity
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Re: Want to learn more about wiring
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: September 26, 2019 06:40AM
Quote
cbelt3
B'man...
It's a great idea. I would definitely start with a book of some sort. I had the Time Life book as a youth, learned a lot, then got the HOme Despot book 25 years ago and learned more from that.

Suggestion #1- Get a non-contact voltage sensor. Keep it in your pocket. Test EVERYTHING before you try to work on it.
Suggestion #2- Label the breakers as you research your lines.
Suggestion #3- Label outlets and switches with the box and breaker. You can put the label inside the switch / outlet plate if you don't want people to see it. Pulling a plate is easy and won't shock you.
Suggestion #4 - a nice multimeter is very helpful when you're figuring out what's what.
Suggestion #5- Black is hot, white is not. DO NOT DEVIATE FROM THIS.
Suggestion #6- Never work on live circuits.

I've got all those covered. Labeling the outlets and switches is a good idea. I hadn't thought of that. I do maintain an updated drawing of my panel that lists what each circuit controls. So that's something. It's ever-evolving.

When I was replacing all the outlets in my daughter's room, I shut the power off at the panel and tested an outlet and the switch. All dead. I zipped around the room and replaced all the outlets and the switch. When I went to remove the last outlet, I got a nice little buzz. It was then that I discovered the "front wall" breaker. Such that all the outlets on the front wall of my house, regardless of the room they're in, are on that one breaker.

I'll admit I have worked on a live circuit before. When I was trying to figure out the mess that was my kitchen three-way switch. I gave up running out to the panel and turning the breaker off, running in and changing a wire, running back to the panel to turn the breaker on, and running back in to find that no, that didn't work either. So I left it on and switched the wires hot. I was very careful and only touched the wires with my insulated pliers. Stupid I know. But I was fed up after futzing with it for hours. I ended up putting it back the way it was btw.




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