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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.
Safe and Easy Way to Update a 3-Prong Dryer Cord
Installing a 4-prong electric dryer cord when replacing a 3-prong electric dryer cord is easy when you follow thee directions.
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.
What to Check When the Christmas Lights Go Out
Don't be a Grinch at Christmas, keep your Christmas lights shining! Learn what to do when a set of Christmas lights go out.
How to Convert You Electric Clothes Dryer Cord...
Learn how to install a 3-prong dryer cord. Some electric dryers comes with 4-prong cords that have a ground connection. Older wiring setups may only have a 3-prong outlet, so you will have to add a 3-prong cord to fit the outlet and here's how. Page 5.
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.
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.
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.
The 16 Tools You Need for Electrical Projects
Electrical work requires many different tools. Here's a look at the top sixteen electrical tools.
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.
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.
How Much Electricity Do I Need for My Home?
Learn how to determine the electrical circuit load capacity for your home.
Line and Load Connections: Learn the Difference...
Learn what line and load connections are and what connects to each.
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.
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.
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.
The Anatomy of a Three-Way Switch
Three-way switch wiring is made easy with this diagram. With this labeled diagram, you'll be able to see where each of the wires connect to the switch terminals.
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.
A Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Wire a Dryer...
Learn how to connect the wires to the terminals of a dryer outlet.
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.
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.
8 Reasons Why Your Light Bulbs May Be Burning...
Find out what can cause light bulbs to burn out early in your home.
The Top 3 Different Types of Space Heaters
Space heaters are best used as supplemental heaters and are usually one of three types.
What Do the Letters on My Thermostat Mean?
Learn what the letters on the terminals of a thermostat mean and what connects to each.
How to Safely Remove and Install a Circuit...
Learn how to safely remove and install a circuit breaker in an electrical panel.
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 Are Electrical Wires and Terminal Screws...
Learn what color wire goes where on switch and outlets terminals and why.
The Correct Way to Bend Conduit
This is the first step in bending conduit.
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.
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 Do Fuses Blow?
You've heard the term blown fuses, but what is this exactly?
Troubleshooting Common Electric Water Heater...
Electric water heaters often encounter problems and these troubleshooting tips will help you diagnose the problems.
How To Wire Split Outlets
Learn how to make a regular outlet into a split outlet to have it be controlled by a switch. By breaking the center tab out of the hot side of the outlet, the outlet can serve two different purposes. Page 6.
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.
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.
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.
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!
How to a Wire Receptacle for Your Electric Range
An electric range requires the proper range receptacle to feed the electric range. Learn how to connect the wires to the terminals of an electric range receptacle.
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.
Electrical Wire And Cable Conductors Types
Learn what the five different types of electrical wires are and what they are used for.
What Is Electrical Circuit Overload?
Learn what electrical circuit overloads are and how that can effect your home's electrical wiring.
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.
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!
An Easy Step-by-Step Tutorial for Installing a...
Learn how to connect the wires together in a junction box by using wire nuts in this step by step tutorial.
6 Steps for Changing the Bake Element in Your...
Learn how to change an bake element in a electric oven.
Change a Single Pole Switch
Electrical tips on how to replace a single pole switch.
Great Tips for Determining Proper Wire Gauge,...
Here are some great tips for determining the proper wire gauge, ampacity, and the maximum wattage allowed.
Why Do My Fuses Blow Or My Circuit Breakers Trip?
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.
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.
What is a Main Breaker?
Learn what the phrase main breaker means in this article.
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.
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.
Electrical Circuits Needed When Remodeling A...
If you are remodeling your kitchen, you will need to be sure these ciruits are in place.
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.
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.
How to Properly Wire a 4-Prong Dryer Outlet
Learn how easy it is to install and wire a 4-prong dryer outlet.
How to Install a Dryer Cord in 4 Easy Steps
Learn how to insert a dryer cord in order to connect it to an electric dryer.
How to Calculate What Size Air Conditioner You...
If you've ever wondered how to size air conditioners for your home, look at this article on air conditioner sizing.
How to Test for Continuity with Multi-testers
Learn how to test continuity with a multi-tester.
How To Install a Baseboard Heater
Wiring baseboard heaters is as simple as adding a 20-amp circuit. Simply pull a 12-2 non-metallic sheathed wire from the electrical panel to the area of the wall you want to place the baseboard heater. Since baseboard heaters have a built-in junction box, you won't have to cut in a junction box to feed it.
Ceiling Fans - How To Install Ceiling Fans
Learn how to hang the ceiling fan, make the electrical connections and secure the housing. Page 9.
Are Breakers Interchangeable?
When you need to change a breaker, learn why brands are not interchangeable.
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.
Circuit Breakers With Different Faces
Here's a look at the differences and similarities between tandem and double-pole circuit breakers.
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.
Have You Ever Wondered What the Letters on...
Ever wonder what the letters on electrical wire mean? Find out in this informative article.
Electrical Subpanel Loads Explained
The subpanel wiring sizes can be determined after finding the appropriate sized circuit breaker.
What Are Double-pole Circuit Breakers?
Double-pole breakers use two spaces in your electric panel versus one space by a single-pole breaker.
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 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.
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!
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.
6 Ways You Can Prevent Electrical Shock
This is a sensible look at preventing electrical shock. These tips will help keep you safe.
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
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.
Safe Clearances For Overhead Power Lines
Overhead power lines have some strict guidelines for height clearances over streets, sidewalks, alleys, roads, and driveways.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Top Seven Ways to Improve Your Home's Value
Have you ever wondered if you can improve the value of your home? Why does one person get more money for their home when they sell it while another gets little or can't sell theirs at all? Why does one person seem to find wealth and prosperity with everything he touches, while another person never succeeds at anything? Could it be luck or is it something he did to his home to make it a more attractive sale?
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to Cut in an Electrical Box
Learn how to bend Madison straps and fasten them to a box.
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.
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.
Why You Should Use Conduit for Your Electrical...
Learn the locations that conduit is designed to be used in.
Wire a Single-Pole Switch
Learn how easy it is to wire a single-pole switch. This simple how-to will have you turning lights on and off in no time.
Tips and Tricks for Eliminating Ceiling Fan Noise
If your ceiling fan is making a lot of noise lately, this article is for you.
How to Reset a Circuit Breaker
Learn how to reset a circuit breaker that has tripped.
Ballast Gone Ballistic?
This step explains how to physically remove a ballast from a fixture.
Electrical Inspector Checkpoints
Here's a quick look at what an electrical inspector may require you to do.
How to Wire a New Telephone Jack
Learn how to wire the telephone jack connections. Page 4.
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.
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.
7 Electrical Projects and How Much They Will...
Find out what the average cost is for common electrical projects.
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.
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.
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.
How to Install F-Connectors
Learn how to attach the coaxial cable shield to F-connectors.
Install Ground Fault Circuit Interupter Outlets...
Learn the basics of how to install ground fault circuit interrupter outlets.
Where to Place Smoke Detectors in Your Home
Learn where to place smoke detectors in your home.
Wire Electrical Disconnects
Learn which wires go where in the how-to article about wiring an electrical disconnect.
How To Install an Over-The-Range Microwave Oven
An over-the-range microwave oven will need an outlet to run it. This outlet should be installed somewhere in the upper cabinet that the microwave will hang from. Page 2.
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 an Electrical System Works
Power that flows from the utility company's power lines feed a service entrance pole. This connects utility wires to the electric meter through a weatherhead. Page 2.
T-type Fluorescent Light Bulbs
There are three distinctive fluorescent light bulbs: T12, T8, T5. Here are the differences between them.
What are Wire Connectors?
Learn what the the term wire connectors means and what they are also known as.
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.
How to Replace Extension Cord Plugs
Learn how to connect the wires to the cord plug so that the wires cannot be pulled out easily.
The Simple Steps for Installing a New Dishwasher
Learn how to correctly install dishwashers in your home. By following these steps, your dishes will be clean and shiny in no time.
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.
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.
What is a Rotary Dimmer Switch?
Have you ever heard the term rotary dimmer switch and wondered, what is that? Obviously it's a switch, but what makes it so special? Find out what it does and what it is used for in the article.
How To Turn On a Circuit Breaker
Learn how simple it s to turn on a circuit breaker.
Electrical Basics 101
This tutorial will make you aware of the different parts of a home's electrical system.
How to Calculate Safe Branch Circuit Loads
Learn how to calculate safe circuit loads on home wiring circuits.
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.
Electrical Wire Sizes
Electrical wire sizes differ depending upon the installation and amperage needed for operating lighting, and appliances in a home.
Change Gas Oven Ignitors
Your gas oven is a modern convenience that cooks your food while you do other things around the house. But what if the oven doesn't heat?
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.
How to Size a Bathroom Exhaust Fan
In order to keep bathrooms free from mold and mildew, bathroom exhaust fans remove moisture and odor quickly and easily. The real secret is getting the right sized exhaust fan for the proper room size.
Light Bulb Failure...And Here's Why!
If your home suffers from frequent light bulb failure, there is probably a reason for early burnout.
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.
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.
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 Protect Your Thermal Electric Motor
Electric motors incorporate thermal protection to protect the motor from burning up, find out why.
Wireless Switch Kits Save Time
When you need to add a second switch on a lighting run in your house, wireless switches may be the way to go.
National Electrical Code Regulations - Dwelling...
Find out what the national electrical Code states about ground-fault circuit-interrupters in dwellings.
Why Not To Use Plug Adapters
Plug adapters make it possible to plug a grounded plug into two-pronged polarized outlets. Find out why they should not be used.
What Is Intermediate Metal Conduit (IMC)?
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.
Amperage Not Voltage Kills
There are many dangers associated with electricity. The real danger with electrical shock is amperage, not voltage.
Whirlpool Duet Front-load Washer
Front-load washers, like the Whirlpool Duet washers, have some advantages over the top load washers. They are commercial grade washers and are much larger than a standard top-load washer. Because of their size and because they have no agitator in the middle of the drum, they can hold more clothes. Can you guess how many pairs of jeans this unit can wash?
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.
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 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.
Door Bell Troubleshooting
Door bell wiring is often the cause of door bell failure. A broken wire interrupts the flow from the transformer to the button or the button to the bell.
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.
Electrical Codes For Boxes and Cables Identified
Installing electrical boxes and electrical cables are made easy by following these recommended electrical installation codes.
What is a Split Outlet?
Find out what split outlets are and what electrical installation that they are used for.
Electric Heating Wattage and Circuit Size for...
Learn what the recommended wattage is for the living area of a room of your home for electric heating.
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.
Why Won't My Oven Heat Up?
If you turn the oven on and it doesn't heat up, it could be your oven ignitor has gone bad.
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.
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