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Electrical: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 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.
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.
How to a Wire Receptacle for Your Electric Range
Learn how to wire electric range receptacles with this easy step-by-step guide.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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 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.
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 Much Electricity Do I Need for My Home?
Learn how to determine the electrical circuit load capacity for your 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.
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.
Line and Load Connections: Learn the Difference...
Learn what line and load connections are and what connects to each.
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.
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.
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.
The Correct Way to Bend Conduit
A tutorial that teaches the easy way to bend conduit with confidence.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Why Are Electrical Wires and Terminal Screws...
Learn what color wire goes where on switch and outlets terminals and why.
Coaxial F-Connector Connections
Learn how to install an F-Connector on coaxial cable.
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.
Electrical Basics 101
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.
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.
Guidelines for Safe Electrical Installation in...
A room by room look at common electrical code requirements in the home.
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.
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.
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.
Tips and Tricks for Eliminating Ceiling Fan Noise
If your ceiling fan is making a lot of noise lately, this article is for you.
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.
Make Pigtail Wire Connections Easily with These...
Learn how to properly connect two or more wires by connecting a pigtail connection.
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.
Garbage Disposer Connections Made Easy
Find out how to make the electrical connection to a garbage disposal. This tutorial comes with step-by-step instructions and photos to make this an easy, do-it-yourself project.
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.
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.
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.
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 is a Main Breaker?
Learn what the phrase main breaker means in this article.
Why Do Fuses Blow?
You've heard the term blown fuses, but what is this exactly?
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.
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.
How to Replace Extension Cord Plugs
Learn how to replace extension cord plugs that have become unsafe. All cord plugs need a ground connection.
How to Cut in an Electrical Box
Find out how to easily install an electrical cut-in box into drywall.
Safe Clearances For Overhead Power Lines
Overhead power lines have some strict guidelines for height clearances over streets, sidewalks, alleys, roads, and driveways.
Why Window Air Conditioners Freeze Up
A look at why window air conditioners often freeze up.
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.
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.
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.
Circuit Breakers With Different Faces
Here's a look at the differences and similarities between tandem and double-pole circuit breakers.
Are Breakers Interchangeable?
When you need to change a breaker, learn why brands are not interchangeable.
Air Conditioning Chart
Air conditioners cool your home and sizing the air conditioner to the room size is essential for proper efficiency and cooling capacity. Air conditioners are rated in BTU's and the BTU rating determines the cooling capacity in square footage of the living area to be cooled.This air conditioning chart will help you choose the air conditioner to best cool your room.
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.
Electrical Circuits Needed When Remodeling A...
If you are remodeling your kitchen, you will need to be sure these ciruits are in place.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
How to Reset a Circuit Breaker
Learn how to reset a circuit breaker that has tripped.
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!
Change a Single Pole Switch
Electrical tips on how to replace a single pole switch.
Troubleshooting Common Electric Water Heater...
Electric water heaters often encounter problems and these troubleshooting tips will help you diagnose the problems.
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.
Electrical Inspector Checkpoints
Here's a quick look at what an electrical inspector may require you to do.
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.
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.
Have You Ever Wondered What the Letters on...
Ever wonder what the letters on electrical wire mean? Find out in this informative article.
What Are Central Air Conditioners And How Do...
You've heard the term central air conditioner, but do you know what makes up a central air conditioner and what the parts of the central air conditioner are?
6 Ways You Can Prevent Electrical Shock
This is a sensible look at preventing electrical shock. These tips will help keep you safe.
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.
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.
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.
Why You Should Use Conduit for Your Electrical...
Learn the locations that conduit is designed to be used in.
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 Test for Continuity with Multi-testers
Learn how to test continuity with a multi-tester.
8 Reasons Why Your Light Bulbs May Be Burning...
Find out what can cause light bulbs to burn out early in your home.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How To Turn On a Circuit Breaker
Learn how simple it s to turn on a circuit breaker.
Wire Electrical Disconnects
Learn which wires go where in the how-to article about wiring an electrical disconnect.
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.
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.
The Dangers Of Metal Roofing
Many people today are installing metal roofs to replace the conventional singles they once had. But what are the dangers associated with metal roofs?
T-type Fluorescent Light Bulbs
There are three distinctive fluorescent light bulbs: T12, T8, T5. Here are the differences between them.
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.
How to Protect Your Thermal Electric Motor
Electric motors incorporate thermal protection to protect the motor from burning up, find out why.
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.
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
Time Switches - How to Wire a Time Switch
First of five pages on how to wire a time switch and connect the wires to the appropriate terminals.
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.
What are Wire Connectors?
Learn what the the term wire connectors means and what they are also known as.
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.
Install Ground Fault Circuit Interupter Outlets...
Learn the basics of how to install ground fault circuit interrupter outlets.
Energy Saving Window Air Conditioners
To increase energy savings, newer window air conditioners have an energy saver setting that turns the unit off and on while cooling the room. This saves you money on your electric bill.
Lubricating The Fan Motor On Central Air...
Leran how lubricating the central air conditioner's fan can add to its life.
Electrical Wire Sizes
Electrical wire sizes differ depending upon the installation and amperage needed for operating lighting, and appliances in a home.
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.
Which Way Should A Ceiling Fan Turn?
Since the 1800's, the great debate has been on about which way a ceiling fan should turn to either cool in the summer or warm in the winter. I've heard many people argue until they are blue in the face over who is right and who is wrong. Before we have anymore Hatfields and McCoys battles, let me set the records straight.
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.
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.
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.
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.
6 Steps for Changing the Bake Element in Your...
Learn how to change an bake element in a electric oven.
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 Calculate Safe Branch Circuit Loads
Learn how to calculate safe circuit loads on home wiring circuits.
7 Electrical Projects and How Much They Will...
Find out what the average cost is for common electrical projects.
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 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.
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.
Unplugging From the Utility Company
With this solar power system you can literally disconnect from the utility company and produce your own power!
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 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.
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.
Where to Place Smoke Detectors in Your Home
Learn where to place smoke detectors in your home.
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.
Electrical Wire Insulation And Its Labeling
Individual electrical wires come wrapped in different types of insulation, different colors, and are rated for different amperages. Find out what they all mean.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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