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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.
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.
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.
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 16 Tools You Need for Electrical Projects
Electrical work requires many different tools. Here's a look at the top sixteen electrical tools.
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.
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.
How Much Electricity Do I Need for My Home?
Learn how to determine the electrical circuit load capacity for your home.
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.
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.
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.
Line and Load Connections: Learn the Difference...
Learn what line and load connections are and what connects to each.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Wire a Dryer...
Learn how to connect the wires to the terminals of a dryer outlet.
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.
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 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 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.
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 Determine the Proper Electrical Wire...
When considering the appropriate wire size for a circuit, don't forget to take the circuit length into consideration.
The Correct Way to Bend Conduit
This is the first step in bending conduit.
What Is Electrical Circuit Overload?
Learn what electrical circuit overloads are and how that can effect your home's electrical wiring.
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.
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.
8 Reasons Why Your Light Bulbs May Be Burning...
Find out what can cause light bulbs to burn out early in your home.
Guidelines for Safe Electrical Installation in...
A room by room look at common electrical code requirements in the home.
How to Safely Remove and Install a Circuit...
Learn how to safely remove and install a circuit breaker in an electrical panel.
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.
Make Pigtail Wire Connections Easily with These...
Learn how to properly connect two or more wires by connecting a pigtail connection.
Electrical Wire And Cable Conductors Types
Learn what the five different types of electrical wires are and what they are used for.
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!
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?
6 Ways You Can Prevent Electrical Shock
This is a sensible look at preventing electrical shock. These tips will help keep you safe.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What Do the Letters on My Thermostat Mean?
Learn what the letters on the terminals of a thermostat mean and what connects to each.
Why Are Electrical Wires and Terminal Screws...
Learn what color wire goes where on switch and outlets terminals and why.
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.
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.
The Top 3 Different Types of Space Heaters
Space heaters are best used as supplemental heaters and are usually one of three types.
Great Tips for Determining Proper Wire Gauge,...
Here are some great tips for determining the proper wire gauge, ampacity, and the maximum wattage allowed.
How to Test for Continuity with Multi-testers
Learn how to test continuity with a multi-tester.
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.
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!
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.
Change a Single Pole Switch
Electrical tips on how to replace a single pole switch.
Safe Clearances For Overhead Power Lines
Overhead power lines have some strict guidelines for height clearances over streets, sidewalks, alleys, roads, and driveways.
Ceiling Fans - How To Install Ceiling Fans
Learn how to hang the ceiling fan, make the electrical connections and secure the housing. Page 9.
How to Properly Wire a 4-Prong Dryer Outlet
Learn how easy it is to install and wire a 4-prong dryer outlet.
Why You Should Use Conduit for Your Electrical...
Learn the locations that conduit is designed to be used in.
How to a Wire Receptacle for Your Electric Range
Learn how to wire electric range receptacles with this easy step-by-step guide.
Electrical Circuits Needed When Remodeling A...
If you are remodeling your kitchen, you will need to be sure these ciruits are in place.
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.
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.
Tips and Tricks for Eliminating Ceiling Fan Noise
If your ceiling fan is making a lot of noise lately, this article is for you.
What is a Main Breaker?
Learn what the phrase main breaker means in this article.
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 Double-pole Circuit Breakers?
Double-pole breakers use two spaces in your electric panel versus one space by a single-pole breaker.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Troubleshooting Common Electric Water Heater...
Electric water heaters often encounter problems and these troubleshooting tips will help you diagnose the 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Are Breakers Interchangeable?
When you need to change a breaker, learn why brands are not interchangeable.
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.
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.
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
Where to Place Smoke Detectors in Your Home
Learn where to place smoke detectors in your home.
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 Inspector Checkpoints
Here's a quick look at what an electrical inspector may require you to do.
Electrical Subpanel Loads Explained
The subpanel wiring sizes can be determined after finding the appropriate sized circuit breaker.
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.
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 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 to Install F-Connectors
Learn how to install an F-Connector crimp ring onto coaxial cable.
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.
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.
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.
Circuit Breakers With Different Faces
Here's a look at the differences and similarities between tandem and double-pole circuit breakers.
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.
Wire Electrical Disconnects
Learn which wires go where in the how-to article about wiring an electrical disconnect.
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.
T-type Fluorescent Light Bulbs
There are three distinctive fluorescent light bulbs: T12, T8, T5. Here are the differences between them.
How to Protect Your Thermal Electric Motor
Electric motors incorporate thermal protection to protect the motor from burning up, find out why.
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!
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.
Install Ground Fault Circuit Interupter Outlets...
Learn the basics of how to install ground fault circuit interrupter outlets.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to Wire a New Telephone Jack
Learn how to wire the telephone jack connections. Page 4.
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.
How to Calculate Safe Branch Circuit Loads
Learn how to calculate safe circuit loads on home wiring circuits.
Amperage Not Voltage Kills
There are many dangers associated with electricity. The real danger with electrical shock is amperage, not voltage.
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 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.
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.
Spa and Hot Tub Outdoor Wiring
Spas and hot tubs require special electrical connections. Here are some guidelines to ensure these units are connected properly.
How to Reset a Circuit Breaker
Learn how to reset a circuit breaker that has tripped.
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.
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.
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 Basics 101
This tutorial will make you aware of the different parts of a home's electrical system.
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.
Fishing Electrical Wires Through Walls From The...
If you've ever had to add a new wire, for an outlet or switch, in an existing wall, this tip will surely help.
What are Wire Connectors?
Learn what the the term wire connectors means and what they are also known as.
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.
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.
National Electrical Code Regulations - Dwelling...
Find out what the national electrical Code states about ground-fault circuit-interrupters in dwellings.
Light Bulb Failure...And Here's Why!
If your home suffers from frequent light bulb failure, there is probably a reason for early burnout.
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.
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.
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.
Garbage Disposer Connections Made Easy
Find out how to install a wire clamp.
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.
How To Turn On a Circuit Breaker
Learn how simple it s to turn on a circuit breaker.
Why Window Air Conditioners Freeze Up
A look at why window air conditioners often freeze up.
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.
What is a Weatherhead?
Do you know what a weatherhead is and what it is used for on your electrical service?
Connecting Electrical Wires To Terminals
When connecting electrical wires to switches and outlets, the way you strip, bend, and tighten the wire on the terminal will determine how good the connection really is.
How to Cut in an Electrical Box
Learn how to support a cut-in electrical box by installing Madison straps. Page 5.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Testing Receptacles For Grounding
It is important in this day and age to have a ground on the receptacles in your home. You likely have one of two types of receptacle, a polarized or a three-slot receptacle. In order to perform this test, you’ll need some type of electrical tester. This could be a neon tester, a receptacle tester, a voltage tester, a receptacle tester, or a multi-meter.
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.
Nonmetallic Cable Sheathing Color
Just as color codes mean something on individual electrical wires, so too is color-coding for nonmetallic cable.
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 is a Split Outlet?
Find out what split outlets are and what electrical installation that they are used for.
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.
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