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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. Page 6.
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 list of common types of electrical wiring used to feed a home.
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.
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.
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.
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 Much Electricity Do I Need for My Home?
Learn how to determine the electrical circuit load capacity for your home.
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.
Line or Load…A GFCI Connection Choice
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.
Line and Load Connections: Learn the Difference...
Learn what line and load connections are and what connects to each.
The 16 Tools You Need for Electrical Projects
Electrical work requires many different tools. Here's a look at the top sixteen electrical tools.
Guidelines for Safe Electrical Installation in...
A room by room look at common electrical code requirements in the home.
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 Use Ohm's Law to Calculate Safe...
In order to determine the safe capacity of a circuit, you'll need to consider the voltage, amperage and wattage of a circuit, then take that times 80% for the safe capacity.
How to 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 Convert Electric Clothes Dryer Cords...
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.
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.
Color Coding of Electric Wires and Terminal...
Learn what color wire goes where on switch and outlets terminals and why.
National Electrical Code Outdoor Electrical...
The National Electrical Code has some very specific rules and regulations about underground wiring methods and points of asttachment. This is a look at the highlights of the outdoor sections of the code.
How to Safely Remove and Install a Circuit...
Learn how to safely remove and install a circuit breaker in an electrical panel.
Electrical Circuits Needed When Remodeling A...
If you are remodeling your kitchen, you will need to be sure these ciruits are in place.
Make Pigtail Wire Connections
Learn how to properly connect two or more wires by connecting a pigtail connection.
Electric Water Heater Problems Diagnosed
Electric water heaters often encounter problems and these troubleshooting tips will help you diagnose the problems.
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.
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 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.
Determining Proper Electrical Wire Size For...
When considering the appropriate wire size for a circuit, don't forget to take the circuit length into consideration.
8 Reasons Why Your Light Bulbs May Be Burning...
Find out what can cause light bulbs to burn out early 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.
Why Use Conduit ?
Learn the locations that conduit is designed to be used in.
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 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.
Electrical Project Costs
Find out what the average cost is for common electrical projects.
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.
Understanding Electrical Wire Lettering
Ever wonder what the letters on electrical wire mean? Find out in this informative article.
What is Direct Burial Cable?
Some cables are meant to be run indoors, while others are meant for weathered areas and underground like direct burial cable.
How To Wire And Install Single-pole Switches
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 Wire A Dryer Outlet
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.
How to Test for Continuity with Multi-testers
Learn how to test continuity with a multi-tester.
Series and Parallel Circuits – The Basics
A look at the basics of series and parallel circuits. Find out what the likenesses and differences are.
6 Ways You Can Prevent Electrical Shock
This is a sensible look at preventing electrical shock. These tips will help keep you safe.
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.
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.
Why Do Fuses Blow?
You've heard the term blown fuses, but what is this exactly?
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.
How to Add 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.
Kitchen Wiring Circuits
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
Electrical Wire Gauge, Ampacity, and Wattage Load
Here are some great tips for determining the proper wire gauge, ampacity, and the maximum wattage allowed.
Wire a 4-Prong Dryer Outlet
Learn how easy it is to install and wire a 4-prong dryer outlet.
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 Bend Conduit with Confidence
A tutorial that teaches the easy way to bend conduit with confidence.
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.
National Electrical Codes For Bathrooms
The National Electrical Code was written to provide a set of rules and regulations to keep the use of electricity in your home safe. Here are the top bathrooms codes you need to live by to remain safe and keep your electrical devices working properly.
What is a Circuit Breaker Panel?
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.
Are Breakers Interchangeable?
When you need to change a breaker, learn why brands are not interchangeable.
Install Dishwashers
Learn how to correctly install dishwashers in your home. By following these steps, your dishes will be clean and shiny in no time.
Wire Electrical Disconnects
Learn which wires go where in the how-to article about wiring an electrical disconnect.
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.
How to Wire Electric Range Receptacles
Learn how to wire electric range receptacles with this easy step-by-step guide.
How to Change a Bake Element in an Electric Oven
Learn how to change an bake element in a electric oven.
What is an Electrical Circuit Overload?
Learn what electrical circuit overloads are and how that can effect your home's electrical wiring.
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 Install Junction Boxes
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.
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.
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.
Testing Fuses
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.
What Are Branch Circuits?
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.
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. Page 4.
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 Main Breaker?
Learn what the phrase main breaker means in this article.
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.
Ceiling Fans - How To Install Ceiling Fans
Learn how to hang the ceiling fan, make the electrical connections and secure the housing. Page 9.
Top Electrical Connections In and Around The Home
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.
Troubleshooting Telephone Problems
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 Install a Dryer Cord
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.
Replace a Light Socket
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.
Electric Water Heaters
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.
How To Wire a Baseboard Heater Thermostat
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!
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 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 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 Connect a Range Cord
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!
Where to Place Smoke Detectors in Your Home
Learn where to place smoke detectors in your home.
Electrical Inspector Checkpoints
Here's a quick look at what an electrical inspector may require you to do.
Amperage Not Voltage Kills
There are many dangers associated with electricity. The real danger with electrical shock is amperage, not voltage.
Install Ground Fault Circuit Interupter Outlets...
Learn the basics of how to install ground fault circuit interrupter outlets.
What Are Double-pole Circuit Breakers?
Double-pole breakers use two spaces in your electric panel versus one space by a single-pole breaker.
Two Ways of Testing Single-pole Switches
Here's a simple couple of ways to test a single-pole switch in and out of the circuit.
Eliminating Ceiling Fan Noise
If your ceiling fan is making a lot of noise lately, this article is for you.
Electric Water Heater Element Problems
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 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.
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.
Overhead and Buried Service Entrances
Though most of the older homes have an overhead service connection, underground services are becoming the overall favorite among homeowners. these buried lines are more appealing to the eye and the surrounding landscape area than power poles and overhead lines draped acroos someone's yard. but just like overhead service line feeders, there are rules that must be followed when installing these lines. And unlike overhead lines, underground feeders present their own dangers.<
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.
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.
Circuit Breaker Panel Breakdown
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 Reset a Circuit Breaker
Learn how to reset a circuit breaker that has tripped.
Calculating Subpanel Loads
The subpanel wiring sizes can be determined after finding the appropriate sized circuit breaker. Page 6.
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.
Receptacle Boxes and Cable Installation Code
Installing electrical boxes and electrical cables are made easy by following these recommended electrical installation codes.
Thermal Electric Motor Protection
Electric motors incorporate thermal protection to protect the motor from burning up, find out why.
National Electrical Code Regulations - Dwelling...
Find out what the national electrical Code states about ground-fault circuit-interrupters in dwellings.
Tandem Breakers vs. Double-pole Breakers
Here's a look at the differences and similarities between tandem and double-pole circuit breakers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 Install F-Connectors
Learn how to install an F-Connector on coaxial cable.
Nonmetallic Cable Sheathing Color
Just as color codes mean something on individual electrical wires, so too is color-coding for nonmetallic cable.
How To Turn On a Circuit Breaker
Learn how simple it s to turn on a circuit breaker.
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.
What are Screw-in Plug Fuses, Tamper-proof...
Learn what plug fuses, tamper-proof fuses, and fuse adapters are and what they look like.
Spa and Hot Tub Outdoor Wiring
Spas and hot tubs require some special electrical connections. Given spas and hot tubs come in different shapes and sizes, they may have more than one pump, requiring more power. These units should be connected properly to insure electrical safety guidelines.
Common Household Switches
These common household switches can turn your lights on and off, dim them, and even control them from more than one location in your home.
Why Not to Use Push-in Terminals on Switches...
Learn why the push-in connections are not the best choice for connecting switches and receptacles.
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?
Calculating Safe Circuit Loads
Learn how to calculate safe circuit loads on home wiring circuits.
Outdoor Outlets...Tapping Into an Existing...
When you are in the need of an outlet on the outside of your home, what are you to do? You could run a new circuit from the circuit breaker or fuse panel. Then again, wouldn't it be much simpler to just tap into an interior outlet within the home? Here's how to do just that.
How To Test Ground Fault Interrupter Outlets
So you added a GFCI outlet to your home but you aren't sure that is works. This simple test will put your mind at ease.
Larger Junction Boxes
Junction boxes come in many shapes and sizes. Depending on what sized wire, how many wires are in a given box and the number of wire splices in that box, you may need a little more room than a standard box can give you.
Seven Ways to Save on Your Utility Bill
Find out how these seven tips can save you energy and save on your utility bill.
Change a Single Pole Switch
Electrical tips on how to replace a single pole switch.
Electrical Wire And Cable Conductors Types
Learn what the five different types of electrical wires are and what they are used for.
Electrical Basics 101
This tutorial will make you aware of the different parts of a home's electrical system.
Top Three Types Of Space Heaters
Space heaters are best used as supplemental heaters and are usually one of three types.
Why Your Oven Won't Heat Up
If you turn the oven on and it doesn't heat up, it could be your oven ignitor has gone bad.
Subpanels For Additional Space
We all are aware that our home is powered via an electrical service panel, the electrical distribution point. This panel could be located in the basement, garage or an interior utility room in your home. Sometimes homes are large and strung out and require addition electrical panels to supply power to different areas of the home. This is where a subpanel comes in handy. Subpanels are smaller in amperage size than the main electrical service panel.
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.
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.
Cementing PVC Conduit and Fittings
Working with PVC conduit and its fiitings is easy and with the right right technique, you can have a strong holding bond between the conduit and the fitting by using this great tip on how to glue with PVC glue.
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.
Creating a Circuit Directory
Labeling circuit breakers and fuses is not only a good idea so tha you know the locationand devices they serve, nut also a National Electrical Code requirement.
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.
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 Power for Safe Camping
An electrical power tutorial about camper electrical connections and camping electrical safety.
Service Panel Checklist
Service panels should be inspected periodically for signs of wear, defects, and trouble spots. This service panel checklist will aid your examination.
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.
How To Strip Electrical Wire
Learn the proper way to strip electrical wire and the appropriate tools to make the job easy.
Bathroom Fan Locating Tips
Learn the secret tips to locating the best place for a bath fan in your bathroom.
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 Replace Extension Cord Plugs
Learn how to replace extension cord plugs that have become unsafe. All cord plugs need a ground connection.
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.

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