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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.
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.
How Much Electricity Do I Need for My Home?
Learn how to determine the electrical circuit load capacity for your home.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Why Are Electrical Wires and Terminal Screws...
Learn what color wire goes where on switch and outlets terminals and why.
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 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.
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.
Make Pigtail Wire Connections Easily with These...
Learn how to properly connect two or more wires by connecting a pigtail 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.
Great Tips for Determining Proper Wire Gauge,...
Here are some great tips for determining the proper wire gauge, ampacity, and the maximum wattage allowed.
Electrical Wire And Cable Conductors Types
Learn what the five different types of electrical wires are and what they are used for.
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.
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.
How to Safely Remove and Install a Circuit...
Learn how to safely remove and install a circuit breaker in an electrical panel.
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.
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.
The Correct Way to Bend Conduit
This is the first step in bending conduit.
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.
8 Reasons Why Your Light Bulbs May Be Burning...
Find out what can cause light bulbs to burn out early in your home.
Why Do Fuses Blow?
You've heard the term blown fuses, but what is this exactly?
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.
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.
How To Install Ceiling Fans
Learn how to hang the ceiling fan, make the electrical connections and secure the housing. Page 9.
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.
What Is Electrical Circuit Overload?
Learn what electrical circuit overloads are and how that can effect your home's electrical wiring.
What Are Double-pole Circuit Breakers?
Double-pole breakers use two spaces in your electric panel versus one space by a single-pole breaker.
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.
Electrical Circuits Needed When Remodeling A...
If you are remodeling your kitchen, you will need to be sure these ciruits are in place.
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 test an electric dryer receptacle. By using a multimeter, you'll know whether the receptacle has the right voltage and is properly connected. Page 6.
6 Ways You Can Prevent Electrical Shock
This is a sensible look at preventing electrical shock. These tips will help keep you safe.
What Do the Letters on My Thermostat Mean?
Learn what the letters on the terminals of a thermostat mean and what connects to each.
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!
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 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.
Safe Clearances For Overhead Power Lines
Overhead power lines have some strict guidelines for height clearances over streets, sidewalks, alleys, roads, and driveways.
Troubleshooting Common Electric Water Heater...
Electric water heaters often encounter problems and these troubleshooting tips will help you diagnose the problems.
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.
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.
What is a Main Breaker?
Learn what the phrase main breaker means in this article.
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.
Change a Single Pole Switch
Electrical tips on how to replace a single pole switch.
Are Breakers Interchangeable?
When you need to change a breaker, learn why brands are not interchangeable.
Electrical Inspector Checkpoints
Here's a quick look at what an electrical inspector may require you to do.
Tips and Tricks for Eliminating Ceiling Fan Noise
If your ceiling fan is making a lot of noise lately, this article is for you.
Have You Ever Wondered What the Letters on...
Ever wonder what the letters on electrical wire mean? Find out in this informative article.
Why You Should Use Conduit for Your Electrical...
Learn the locations that conduit is designed to be used in.
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.
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.
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 Test for Continuity with Multi-testers
Learn how to test continuity with a multi-tester.
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.
Circuit Breakers With Different Faces
Here's a look at the differences and similarities between tandem and double-pole circuit breakers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to Properly Wire a 4-Prong Dryer Outlet
Learn how easy it is to install and wire a 4-prong dryer outlet.
7 Electrical Projects and How Much They Will...
Find out what the average cost is for common electrical projects.
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.
Electrical Subpanel Loads Explained
The subpanel wiring sizes can be determined after finding the appropriate sized circuit breaker.
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.
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!
Where to Place Smoke Detectors in Your Home
Learn where to place smoke detectors in your home.
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.
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 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.
How Much Does Solar Power Cost?
Solar power can be a great alternative to paying for power from the utility company, but what are the costs?
Coaxial F-Connector Connections
Learn how to install an F-Connector crimp ring onto coaxial cable.
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.
6 Steps for Changing the Bake Element in Your...
Learn how to change an bake element in a electric oven.
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.
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.
What are Wire Connectors?
Learn what the the term wire connectors means and what they are also known as.
Install Ground Fault Circuit Interupter Outlets...
Learn the basics of how to install ground fault circuit interrupter outlets.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to Reset a Circuit Breaker
Learn how to reset a circuit breaker that has tripped.
How to Wire a New Telephone Jack
Learn how to wire the telephone jack connections. Page 4.
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.
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.
Electrical Basics 101
The electrical service connection is the first place that power comes from the utility company. Page 2.
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.
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.
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.
Electrical Wire Sizes
Electrical wire sizes differ depending upon the installation and amperage needed for operating lighting, and appliances in a home.
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.
What is an Underwriter's Knot
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.
How to Calculate Safe Branch Circuit Loads
Learn how to calculate safe circuit loads on home wiring circuits.
Wire Electrical Disconnects
Learn which wires go where in the how-to article about wiring an electrical disconnect.
T-type Fluorescent Light Bulbs
There are three distinctive fluorescent light bulbs: T12, T8, T5. Here are the differences between them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Top Ten Quick Safety Tips for Working Safely...
Electrical safety is for everyone, no matter how experienced you are working with electricity. When working with electricity, you must respect its power and the dangers associated with it. If the power is on, it is not safe or smart to work on an electrical circuit. That’s why you’ll hear me preach time and again to turn off the power to the circuit that you are working on! Even experienced electricians have felt electricity’s wrath at one time or another, no matter how careful they are.
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.
National Electrical Code Regulations - Dwelling...
Find out what the national electrical Code states about ground-fault circuit-interrupters in dwellings.
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.
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.
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.
Choosing the Right Sized Air Conditioner
The heat is back across most of the country and now is a great time to get out there and purchase an air conditioner just right for your home's rooms or for the entire home. But how does one know what size is right for the space it will be required to cool? Let's take a look at how to determine just that!
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.
How to Protect Your Thermal Electric Motor
Electric motors incorporate thermal protection to protect the motor from burning up, find out why.
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.
Is My Old House Wiring Safe?
If you ever wondered about whether your wiring in your house was safe, here's a few things to consider.
Nonmetallic Cable Sheathing Color
Just as color codes mean something on individual electrical wires, so too is color-coding for nonmetallic cable.
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.
Electrical Codes For Boxes and Cables Identified
Installing electrical boxes and electrical cables are made easy by following these recommended electrical installation codes.
Electrical Wiring
Electrical wiring comes in many different voltage ratings, colors, and uses. It may be used for feeder wiring, low-voltage wiring, branch circuitry throughout your home, or eve grounding. The size and style of the wire that you're using dictates its usefulness on the project that you're trying to accomplish. Understanding electrical wiring is essential to a successful and safe installation in your home. Here are some great electrical wiring tips at a glance.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
What are Sub-panels?
Learn what sub-panels are and what role they play in the scheme of electrical systems in your home.
Amperage Not Voltage Kills
There are many dangers associated with electricity. The real danger with electrical shock is amperage, not voltage.
Top Electrical Safety Tips
Electrical safety is everyone's responsibility. Here are some tips to keep you safe when working with something connected to an electrical circuit.
How to Cut in an Electrical Box
Learn how to bend Madison straps and fasten them to a box.
The Top 3 Different Types of Space Heaters
Space heaters are best used as supplemental heaters and are usually one of three types.
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.
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.

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