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Electrical: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
How to Find the Right-Sized Electrical Wire
Learn the appropriate wire size for the amperage of the circuit that you are using. The wire gauge is the size of the wire.
The 10 Best Ways You Can Use Solar Energy in...
In the world of renewable and sustainable alternative power supplies, solar energy is free for the taking. These are my top ten solar energy uses in a home.
Safe and Easy Way to Update a 3-Prong Dryer Cord
Newer homes are now being equipped with 4-prong dryer cord plugs. This is the new standard and is required under Article 550.16(A)(2) of the National Electrical Code (NEC) 2008. Connections of electrical clothes dryers shall be made with a 4-conductor cord and 3-pole, 4-wire, grounding-type plugs or by Type AC cable.
The 16 Tools You Need for Electrical Projects
Electrical work requires many different tools. Here's a look at the top sixteen electrical tools.
How to Convert You Electric Clothes Dryer Cord...
Newer homes are now being equipped with 4-prong dryer cord plugs, but if you are moving into an older home, you may need to convert your dryer cord to a 3-prong configuration.
How Much Electricity Do I Need for My Home?
Learn how to determine the electrical circuit load capacity for your home.
Deciphering the Colors of Electrical Wiring
Find out what the electrical wire color coding is when working on electrical projects. Learn which wires are used as hot, neutral, and ground wires.
Line and Load Connections: Learn the Difference...
Learn what line and load connections are and what connects to each.
What is Grounding in Electrical Work?
Grounding and electricity go hand in hand. In fact, to safely use electrical devices, equipment, appliances, and tools, make sure that your connection is grounded properly. Here's why grounding is important.
Learn About GFCI Connections and Wiring with...
When it comes to ground fault circuit interrupter outlets, commonly known as GFCI outlets, there is always a question as to how to connect the wires to them. In this article, I'll give you the information you need to connect them properly.
The Top 5 Electrical Wiring Tips
Electrical wiring can be as simple as following these tips. This tutorial will make wiring a breeze, whether you're wiring an electrical service, the branch circuits, or the devices connected to them.
Visual Guide to Outlet Installation
If you want to learn how to wire and install outlets, follow these simple steps. These steps include stripping the wire, making proper connections, and wire placement on the outlet. Outlet installation is made easy and safe in this tutorial.
Your Step-by-Step Guide to Wiring an Electrical...
Learn how to wire an electrical panel with these simple step-by-step instructions. Knowing where to make the connections in a breaker panel is explained in detail.
How to Keep Your Whole House Safe from a Fire
Learn how to install hardwired smoke detectors with battery backup in your home. These detectors are wired so that if any detector goes off, they will all sound.
Why Are Electrical Wires and Terminal Screws...
Learn what color wire goes where on switch and outlets terminals and why.
5 Most Common Types of Home Electrical Wiring
A look at triplex, main feeder, panel feed, non-metallic sheathed wire (NM), and single strand wire.
Everything You Need to Know about 3- and 4-Wire...
If you need to know how to wire a dryer outlet, or convert the wiring from a three-wire system to a four wire system, or just the opposite, here's a great source for information.
How to Wire an Electric Meter
Learn how to make the electrical connections to an electric meter. Electric meters have two hot connections, and a center neutral/ground connection.
What Height Do I Install Switches?
If you've ever wondered what the typical height of a switch is, this article gives you some insight to installing switches in your home.
What Are the Fill Capacities for Different...
Metal and PVC conduit both have a maximum number of allowable electrical wire fill. This article will tell you these amounts.
DIY Wiring, Repair, and Energy-Saving Guides
These simple step-by-step instructions will guide you through a range cord installation. Just follow the instructions and you'll be cooking with bacon in no time!
Guidelines for Safe Electrical Installation in...
A room by room look at common electrical code requirements in the home.
Is Your Problem Caused by a Short Circuit or a...
When a fuse blows or a circuit breaker trips, was it a short circuit or a ground fault that caused it? Find out what the differenceis in this article.
How to Install a Dryer Cord in 4 Easy Steps
Learn how to properly install a dryer cord on an electric dryer. Dryer cords are connected to the rear side of the dryer inside an adjoined electrical box.
Look and Listen for These Warning Signs of...
Learn some of the warning signs of defective switches so that you can identify them before they cause problems.
Make Pigtail Wire Connections Easily with These...
Learn how to properly connect two or more wires by connecting a pigtail connection.
Great Tips for Determining Proper Wire Gauge,...
Here are some great tips for determining the proper wire gauge, ampacity, and the maximum wattage allowed.
What Do the Letters on My Thermostat Mean?
Learn what the letters on the terminals of a thermostat mean and what connects to each.
What Is Electrical Circuit Overload?
Learn what electrical circuit overloads are and how that can effect your home's electrical wiring.
Electrical Wire And Cable Conductors Types
Learn what the five different types of electrical wires are and what they are used for.
Six Ways You Can Prevent Electrical Shock
This is a sensible look at preventing electrical shock. These tips will help keep you safe.
Three-way Switches
You've heard the term three-way switches, but what are they and what do they do? Find out in this article.
How to a Wire Receptacle for Your Electric Range
Learn how to wire electric range receptacles with this easy step-by-step guide.
All About Electrical Wiring
If you are in the need to wire your home, want to know how to run the wiring or how to connect it to devices, this is a detailed list of tuorials for you.
Why Do Fuses Blow?
You've heard the term blown fuses, but what is this exactly?
Electrical Circuits Needed When Remodeling A...
If you are remodeling your kitchen, you will need to be sure these ciruits are in place.
How an Electrical System Works
Knowing how the power flows into your home, how it’s connected and how it is distributed can help you isolate any problems that occur.
An Easy Step-by-Step Tutorial for Installing a...
Junction boxes must be used to make connection within walls. Learn how to install junction boxes where wires are to be spliced together where they have none.
Why Are My Switches Making Buzzing Sounds?
I'm often asked why switches make sizzling, popping, or crackling sounds when they are turned on and off. The answer is they are probably defective and/or worn out.
Should I Install a GFCI Receptacle or a GFCI...
The question is often asked, whether it is better to install a GFCI receptacle or a GFCI breaker.
Troubleshooting Common Electric Water Heater...
Electric water heaters often encounter problems and these troubleshooting tips will help you diagnose the problems.
A Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Wire a Dryer...
Follow these simple step-by-step instructions in order to wire a dryer outlet. They take you from stripping the wire to making the electrical connections.
The Correct Way to Bend Conduit
A tutorial that teaches the easy way to bend conduit with confidence.
Circuit Breakers With Different Faces
Here's a look at the differences and similarities between tandem and double-pole circuit breakers.
Tips and Tricks for Eliminating Ceiling Fan Noise
If your ceiling fan is making a lot of noise lately, this article is for you.
Wire Size
My readers often ask what the proper sized wire is for installations in a home. Here's a look at the common sizes.
Analyzing the Possible Problems with Your Light...
Light fixture problems often leave you in the dark. Find out what the problem may be in this insightful article.
National Electrical Codes For Bathrooms
The National Electrical Code was written to provide a set of rules and regulations to keep the use of electricity in your home safe. Here are the top bathrooms codes you need to live by to remain safe and keep your electrical devices working properly.
What is a Main Breaker?
Learn what the phrase main breaker means in this article.
Wrong Light Bulb Wattage
Light bulbs can burn out from time to time and should always be replaced with the right wattage light bulb for the light fixture that you are installing it in.
The National Electric Code's Underground Wiring...
The National Electrical Code has some very specific rules and regulations about underground wiring methods and points of attachment. This is a look at the highlights of the outdoor sections of the code.
How to Safely Remove and Install a Circuit...
Learn how to safely remove and install a circuit breaker in an electrical panel.
Safe Clearances For Overhead Power Lines
Overhead power lines have some strict guidelines for height clearances over streets, sidewalks, alleys, roads, and driveways.
Reasons To Install A Subpanel In Your Home
There are many reasons to add a subpanel to your home. when you main panel is short of adaquate space or many things are powered from another location in your home or garage, a subpanel may be for you. learn how to size the subpanel before you install it.
What Are Double-pole Circuit Breakers?
Double-pole breakers use two spaces in your electric panel versus one space by a single-pole breaker.
Balancing Electrical Loads
There are many benefits to balancing the loads of the two legs of power in your electrical panel and here's why.
What Is a Circuit Breaker Panel and How Is it...
Have you heard the term circuit breaker panel and really never knew too much about them and what they do? In this article, I explain what a circuit breaker panel is.
14 Steps for Adding an Outlet to an Existing Wall
Adding an outlet to an existing wall are made easy in these steps that will allow you to add an outlet to an existing wall without damaging it.
Two Ways to Test Single-Pole Switches
Here's a simple couple of ways to test a single-pole switch in and out of the circuit.
Why You Should Use Conduit for Your Electrical...
Learn the locations that conduit is designed to be used in.
How to Determine the Proper Electrical Wire...
When considering the appropriate wire size for a circuit, don't forget to take the circuit length into consideration.
Learn Which Circuits are Needed for a Typical...
Learn how to wire electrical circuits to feed the kitchen area of your home. This list shows you the circuits you may need to power the kitchen effectively
How To Install Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are used extensively in homes today. This step-by-step tutorial will teach you how to install ceiling fans. This detailed article covers the installation of ceiling fans from start to finish.
Electrical Inspector Checkpoints
Here's a quick look at what an electrical inspector may require you to do.
The Anatomy of a Three-Way Switch
A three-way switch may put fear in the eyes of homeowners who attempt do-it-yourself projects. By knowing what each part of the switch is, what wire to use, and how to connect it, the mystery of hooking up three-way switches disappears.
Are Breakers Interchangeable?
When you need to change a breaker, learn why brands are not interchangeable.
How to Replace a Light Socket (It's Easier Than...
Have you ever walked into a room and turned on a light switch only to hear a pop? You look at the light fixture and one of the bulbs isn't working. Under further investigation, you see that one of the sockets has outlived it's usefulness. The socket is discolored and one of its wires is burnt to a crisp. Learn how to replace the socket here.
All About Branch Circuits-The Electrical Wires...
A home's electrical system has feeder wires that supply power to the panel and branch circuits that leave the panel to power devices. Find out what these branch circuits are used for.
Size Matters...For Air Conditioners That Is
If you've ever wondered how to size air conditioners for your home, look at this article on air conditioner sizing.
Electrical Subpanel Loads Explained
A step-by-step process on learning how to calculate subpanel loads. On this page we discuss the basics of what you need to know first.
Do You Know How Old Your Wiring Is?
Wiring methods have changed over the years from knob and tube to flexible armored cable (Greenfield) to nonmetallic cable (NM), conduit (EMT), and underground feeder (UF) cable. From about 1890 to the present, wiring methods have become much safer due to the installation types of wiring and the addition of ground wires.
What Is Direct Burial Cable?
Some cables are meant to be run indoors, while others are meant for weathered areas and underground like direct burial cable.
How To Wire Split Outlets
Learn the first important step in wiring split outlets that control lamps that plug into an outlet in a room of your home.
Electrical Basics 101...DIY Tips
Electrical basics will examine what your electrical system is made of. This tutorial will make you aware of the different parts of a home's electrical system.
Have You Ever Wondered What the Letters on...
Ever wonder what the letters on electrical wire mean? Find out in this informative article.
How to Install a Ground Fault Circuit Breaker
Ground fault circuit breakers are used to protect humans from electrical shock hazards. These breakers are connected in the electrical panel and protect branch circuits in and around the home.
Single-pole Switch Wiring Installs
Installing and wiring a single-pole switch couldn't be easier than with this step-by-step guide from About.com's electrical guide, Timothy Thiele.
Coaxial F-Connector Connections
Learn how to install an F-Connector on coaxial cable.
The Top 3 Different Types of Space Heaters
Space heaters are best used as supplemental heaters and are usually one of three types.
Fuses Blowing and Circuit Breakers Tripping?
Fuses and circuit breakers are used to protect electrical circuits. But when fuses blow or circuit breakers trip, do you know why? Do you know what to do to get the circuit working again? One you can reset while the other needs replacing. Find out why and how to make the circuit work again.
How To Install an Over-The-Range Microwave Oven
This is a complete step-by-step guide to installing an over-the-range microwave oven.
8 Reasons Why Your Light Bulbs May Be Burning...
Find out what can cause light bulbs to burn out early in your home.
Step-by-Step instructions for Wiring Your New...
Baseboard heater thermostat wiring is easily accomplished in this how-to electrical article. Read the steps, wire the thermostat, and heat your room. It's just that simple!
T-type Fluorescent Light Bulbs
There are three distinctive fluorescent light bulbs: T12, T8, T5. Here are the differences between them.
How to Reset a Circuit Breaker
Learn how to reset a circuit breaker that has tripped.
11 Common Electrical Mistakes Made by Homeowners
This is a look at some very common electrical mistakes made by do-it-yourself homeowners. These need-to-know items will ensure proper electrical installations without problems.
Outdoor Lighting and Receptacle Codes
Here are a few outdoor lighting and receptacle codes that you will need to know before wiring your home or making room additions.
How to Properly Wire a 4-Prong Dryer Outlet
Learn how easy it is to install and wire a 4-prong dryer outlet.
Common Receptacle Troubles
Receptacles are a convenient way to plug all types of appliances and lighting into to supply power. However, these convenient devices have their share of problems over the years. Here is a look at the many things that can go wrong.
How Does An Electric Meter Read Power
Have you ever wondered how the utility company knows how much power you used each month? This basic article explains how it all works with an electric meter.
Electrical Wire Sizes
Electrical wire sizes differ depending upon the installation and amperage needed for operating lighting, and appliances in a home.
How to Test for Continuity with Multi-testers
Learn how to test continuity with a multi-tester.
How to Use Ohm's Law to Calculate Safe...
In order to determine the safe capacity of a circuit, you'll need to consider the voltage, amperage and wattage of a circuit, then take that times 80% for the safe capacity.
How to Wire Electrical Receptacle Circuits...
Wiring through receptacles is a method that many people have used for years, but it is not the preferred method according to electricians and the National Electrical Code.
Ladder Safety
When working with electricity or on electrical circuit or equipment, ladder safety should be observed. There are many different types of ladders and they are made of different materials. Metal ladders should never be used when dealing with electricity. Always choose a nonconductive ladder made of wood or fiberglass.
What Are Single-pole Circuit Breakers?
Single-pole breakers are an important part of electrical distribution as a safe way to manage branch circuits from a circuit breaker panel.
Electrical Basics 101
This tutorial will make you aware of the different parts of a home's electrical system.
Electrical Wiring Needed For A Bathroom
Bathrooms are damp and have special needs when wiring them. This article will help you install appropriate electrical wiring to cover lighting, air flow, and safety devices in your bathroom.
How to Diagnose Electric Water Heater Element...
Diagnosing electric water heater problems can be a snap if you know the shortcuts in finding the problems. Why sometimes, it is as easy as turning on a faucet to find the answer.
What are Wire Connectors?
Learn what the the term wire connectors means and what they are also known as.
How To Install a Baseboard Heater
Baseboard heaters are a nice addition to an area of your home that is drafty or colder than the rest of the house.
Testing Electrical Circuits
Testing electrical circuits is a must when they go on the fritz. Knowing how they work and how to test for power will help you track down the problem.
Wire Electrical Disconnects
Learn which wires go where in the how-to article about wiring an electrical disconnect.
How To Install an Ice Maker
When your refrigerator doesn't come with an ice maker, follow these step-by-step instructions and learn how to install an ice maker.
Install Ground Fault Circuit Interupter Outlets...
Learn the basics of how to install ground fault circuit interrupter outlets.
Change a Single Pole Switch
Electrical tips on how to replace a single pole switch.
Where to Place Smoke Detectors in Your Home
Learn where to place smoke detectors in your home.
How to Protect Your Thermal Electric Motor
Electric motors incorporate thermal protection to protect the motor from burning up, find out why.
7 Electrical Projects and How Much They Will...
Find out what the average cost is for common electrical projects.
6 Steps for Changing the Bake Element in Your...
Learn how to change an bake element in a electric oven.
Electrical Codes For Boxes and Cables Identified
Installing electrical boxes and electrical cables are made easy by following these recommended electrical installation codes.
How to Safely Replace an Electric Water Heater
Electric water heaters are a safe way to provide hot water to your home. However, there are some things you'll need to do before replacing the old one.
The Top Electrical Connections In and Around...
Learn about the top electrical connections in and around the home. Whether it's the service connections that feed the house, the branch circuits that feed the devices, or the devices themselves, this collection of electrical connections will have power flowing through your home safely.
Tips for Troubleshooting Your Telephone System...
Many people still have land-based telephones in their homes and they have their share of problems. This guide will walk you through ways to troubleshoot your telephone system for problems before you call the telephone company or their technition.
Kitchen Wiring Plans
Kitchen electrical wiring can easily be accomplished by first creating a kitchen electrical wiring plan.
How to Calculate Safe Branch Circuit Loads
Learn how to calculate safe circuit loads on home wiring circuits.
Unplugging From the Utility Company
With this solar power system you can literally disconnect from the utility company and produce your own power!
What Size Window Air Conditioner Do I Need?
If it's time for a new window air conditioner, but you don't know what size you need, this chart will be helpful.
How to Wire a New Telephone Jack
Learn how easy it is to wire a telephone jack by following these simple steps and using a few of your favorite electrical tools.
Ballast Gone Ballistic?
Fluorescent lighting is cool, soft lighting that works well in kitchens and utility rooms. If you’ve ever had one of these lights turn itself on and off, you may have a bad ballast. Sometimes it will seep a tar-like substance into the cover of your light. Either way, it is time to change the ballast.
Outdoor Motion-sensor Security Lighting
Outdoor motion-sensor lighting can be your security watchdog and provide much-needed lighting for nighttime entrance to doors into your home. Here's a closer look at why you should get one and how to effectively mount them.
Door Bell Troubleshooting
What do you do when a door bell doesn't ring or chime? This troubleshooting guide will help you find the problem without calling the repair man.
Size Your Extension Cords To Lengths Of The Run
Electrical extension cords are great way to extend circuits to areas that you are working, away from available outlets. Many times, the user doesn't heed the extension cord size compared to th elength of the run.
National Electrical Code Regulations On GFCI's
Find out what the national electrical Code states about ground-fault circuit-interrupters in dwellings.
Easy Bathroom Wiring
Learn the wiring required to wire a bathroom.
What Is IMC Conduit?
Intermediate metal conduit, or IMC for short, is a rigid steel electrical conduit that is lighter in weight than another conduit, but in some cases much stronger.
Portable Generator Do's And Don'ts
To ensure safe operation of a portable generator, here is a list of do's and don'ts.
Switches 101...An E-Course For Beginners
This is an informative look at electrical switches and will give a an insight to many different types of switches, how they are wired, and what they are used for. Just click the link and start your free lesson today!
Nonmetallic Cable Sheathing Color
Just as color codes mean something on individual electrical wires, so too is color-coding for nonmetallic cable.
Circuit Panels: A Breakdown of Parts and Usage
Take a look at what can be installed in a circuit breaker panel and how each of these things has a specific role to play.
strain reliefs, underwriter's knot, underwriter...
Underwriter's knots take the strain off of cord plug connections if someone pulls a cord from the outlet by grabbing the cord instead of the cord plug. Plugs and cords that have no built-in strain relief need something to keep them from being pulled out of the connection easily.
Choosing The Best Grounding Materials
A grounding system is comprised of a ground rod, wiring to connect it to a service panel, and a ground buss. It is a very important part of your electrical system to ensure electrical safety.
How Do I Find The Electrical Service Size Of My...
If you're thinking about updating your electrical service size but don't know what size you have now, this article will help you locate the answer.
What is a Cartridge Fuse?
If you have a fuse panel, it's likely that sooner or later you'll be needing a cartridge fuse.
What the Heck Is a Fish Tape?
When pulling wires through pipes, an electrician's tool list wouldn't be complete without a fish tape. This coiled spool of thin wire is a must-have tool to make wire pulling an easy job. A fish tape is nimble enough to go around corners and bends in conduit and is strong enough to pull wires through piping without breaking.
How to Test Fuses Using a Multi-Meter
Learn how to test different types of fuses using a multi-meter. By setting the meter to ohms, a measurement of resistance, you can effectively determine if the fuse is good or blown.
Electrical Service Drip Loops
Drip loops are used on electrical wires everyday and serve a very important purpose. Without these there would be all sorts of electrical malfunctions. Find out what they are and what they are used for in this tutorial.
Easy Wire Pulling Options
If you've ever had to add a new wire, for an outlet or switch, in an existing wall, this tip will surely help.
5 Common Fuses and Adapters in a Home Fuse Panel
Learn what plug fuses, tamper-proof fuses, and fuse adapters are and what they look like.
Swimming Pools and Spas Code Requirements
Learn proper electrical do's and don'ts in this code requirement tutorial. Electrical safety around pools and spas must be followed to ensure backyard fun.
What's the Difference Between a Series and a...
A look at the basics of series and parallel circuits. Find out what the likenesses and differences are.
How To Turn Off a Circuit Breaker
Electrical projects often involve taking devices out of boxes and opening up existing circuits. For these reasons, it is imperative to know how to turn a circuit breaker off in order to safely work on a project. Shutting off the circuit that you're working on and then testing the circuit will ensure that you won't be electrocuted. Electrical safety should be your number one concern for the welfare of yourself and your family.
Dangerous Wire Connections and Fixes
Electrical connection problems may be prevalent around your home. Here are some of the most common ones and how to fix them.
Underground or Overhead Service Feeders…...
Overhead or underground? The question is often asked and now I'm answering it for you. Find out which is best for you when installing your electrical service feed.
What is an Arc Fault and What Causes It?
Learn what an arc fault is and what causes it. Find out why it's important to protect against it.
How Does Your Electricity Flow?
In order to understand how electricity flows, you must first understand what the key terms mean. This simple list gives you some of the most commons terms.
24-Volt Thermostat Wiring
Single-stage heat pumps are easy to connect to thermostats if you follow this simple guide.
Subpanels For Additional Space
We all are aware that our home is powered via an electrical service panel, the electrical distribution point. This panel could be located in the basement, garage or an interior utility room in your home. Sometimes homes are large and strung out and require addition electrical panels to supply power to different areas of the home. This is where a subpanel comes in handy. Subpanels are smaller in amperage size than the main electrical service panel.
Light Bulb Failure...And Here's Why!
If your home suffers from frequent light bulb failure, there is probably a reason for early burnout.
Dryer Cord Connections Made Easy
Easily install a dryer cord with these four easy steps.

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