Household wiring





#1
I am sure O(h)mslaw will chime in to add anything I leave out.
Ever wonder how your household electrical power is delivered? Well to keep this focused we won't cover how it is generated or transmitted via High Voltage and transformed down to 120VAC 60Hz.

You have a cable that meets your electric meter. This provides a closed circuit (closed means connected in electrical terms open means not connected or no power). There is a shunt (metal bar usually copper or mild steel) to ground in the mix somewhere on your property so that any surges or lightning strikes have a place to dump to earth.
Beyond the meter is your fuse box or circuit breaker. This functions as an enclosure to expand the series parallel circuits into the house's various room circuits.
Series arrangement is when the wires feed one side of a resistor (ie lightbulb or toaster) and exit to feed another item in a daisy chain. So if a lightbulb were to burn out in this arrangement you would have no others receiving power.
Parallel arrangement is when the wires cross all loads in an uninterrupted (bus) fashion so that if the bulb goes out you can still power items beyond it.
Series-Parallel is a combination of the two and illustrates how an electrical switch (light switch or potentiometer/rheostat/dimmer is wired).
The circuits accomodated in the circuit breaker box are then routed via a bus cable to the various rooms in the building.
Then all of the outlets and lighting fixtures are arranged in a parallel fashion with the switches controlling things in a series parallel arrangement. That is the jist of it.
 

Un-Caged

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#2
...and don't forget the joys of ac current, where the black lead is hot and white neutral, unlike your car. That way, when you dumb azz out and turn off the wrong breaker before changing out a switch or outlet, you don't touch the wrong wire and experience that oh so soothing feeling that your elbow is being yanked out through your wrist. Nah, I've never done it...:blush:
 
#3
I hate household wiring. I don't know how many times I've been told that red is 'usually hot' or 'black is usually ground' and that it depends on who did the wiring. And what's with the 3-ways? I always heard 3-ways were fun.
 

Revlis

Re-Recycled, Busa-Less...
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#5
Projekt I appreciate the elementary beginning here, I do. I understand the Concept of electricity and parallel VS series. Where things start falling down for me is at the individual fused circuit and the application of the parallel circuits in the home.

So, I have breaker 1. Breaker 1 controls the lights to the living and dinning room. I have oh say 6 120 outlets, about 4 recessed lights, and one big light fixture all controlled by four switches.

Two of the outlets are switched, and the cans and the one fixture are each on their own. So Far by my count I have 15 devices on one fused circuit. I am talking about hard wired devices, switches, outlets, and light.

So it's this layout that gets me, I have forgotten what I learned in grade school about how parallel wiring works, and how to add an outlet or another light fixture or a Fan.

All I have been doing with electricity the last few years is shocking the hell outta myself. Last time was with a 220 water heater and I tasted metal for an entire evening. Wife said I actually made noise that time.
laugh.gif


I know household wiring cannot be that difficult, but I also know if you don't know what you're doing DON'T.
 
#7
Projekt I appreciate the elementary beginning here, I do.  I understand the Concept of electricity and parallel VS series.  Where things start falling down for me is at the individual fused circuit and the application of the parallel circuits in the home.

So, I have breaker 1.  Breaker 1 controls the lights to the living and dinning room.  I have oh say 6 120 outlets, about 4 recessed lights, and one big light fixture all controlled by four switches.  

Two of the outlets are switched, and the cans and the one fixture are each on their own.  So Far by my count I have 15 devices on one fused circuit.  I am talking about hard wired devices, switches, outlets, and light.

So it's this layout that gets me, I have forgotten what I learned in grade school about how parallel wiring works, and how to add an outlet or another light fixture or a Fan.

All I have been doing with electricity the last few years is shocking the hell outta myself.  Last time was with a 220 water heater and I tasted metal for an entire evening.  Wife said I actually made noise that time.  
laugh.gif


I know household wiring cannot be that difficult, but I also know if you don't know what you're doing DON'T.
I see, well, all you have to do in order to add an outlet is to locate the nearest one to the desired location. Then you switch the breaker to the OFF setting or whatever color indicates an OPEN condition.  Then, you pull the face off the outlet and undo the screws holding the solid strand copper onto the outlet body. Using the correct awg power cable for the new additional parallel circuit, strip back the insulation on the three wires and wire nut them to their counterparts on the existing bus cable that is supplied via the breaker you mentioned. If you have wires coming out of the outlet then you can just wire nut them together with the corresponding
one on the cable. There are various connectors that will allow you to add circuits onto the main supply cable without splicing it but simply clamping contacts onto it. You may want to add a switch or dimmer or have a fan kick on via some other electro-mechanical control. Home Depot has some good books that cover everything you need to know so that you can renovate a house. All this stuff is off the top of my head having been jammed in there some 12 years ago by Air Force instructors.
 

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