House electrical wiring is a way of connecting wires to related devices like switches, circuit breakers, sockets, distribution boards, and then linking them to a utility pole, for power supply.
A licensed electrician who understands electrical diagrams and safety standards does this.
During installations, he considers the loads, operating voltage, and national electrical code requirements before choosing the suitable wire size.
Types of electrical wiring
There are five types of electrical house wiring, They include:
- Cleat wiring
- Batten wiring
- Wood casing and capping
- Lead Sheathed Wiring
- Conduit wiring.
1. Cleat wiring
Cleat wiring is one of the easiest and cheapest methods of wiring. The installation is easy and requires PVC insulated wires held on the walls with porcelain cleats.
However, the wiring system is only good for temporal use, making it unsuitable for residential or domestic houses.
2. Batten wiring
In this type of wiring, a single or group of wires are laid under a wooden batten, and then held with a screw or clip.
3. Wood casing and capping wiring
This type of wiring was common before the popularity of conduit wiring. It requires PVC insulated wires and a wooden casing enclosure to lay the cables.
4. Lead Sheathed Wiring
Lead sheathed wiring requires a VIR insulated conductors wrapped with an outer sheath of lead aluminum alloy and 95% lead. The metal sheath protects the cables from moisture, mechanical damage, and atmospheric corrosion.
This is a professional way of wiring a building, using PVC conduit pipes. Conduit wiring is of two types:
- Surface conduit wiring: This is the installation of PVC conduits on the wall or roof using a 2 hole strap and base clip. Electrical wires are laid inside the conduit pipes.
- Concealed conduit wiring: This is when a conduit pipe is laid inside a chiseled brick wall. Electrical wires are then laid inside the pipe using fishing tape.
Advantages of Concealed Conduit Wiring System
- It is reliable
- No risk of electrical shock
- Easy to renovate since you can easily replace the wires
- No risk of fire outbreaks or damaged cables
- Safe from external factors such as chemical effects, and others.
- It is aesthetically appealing
- It is more expensive than surface conduit wiring
- Changing the location of switches or appliances can be hard
- Installation is complex
- Hard to troubleshoot electrical faults
How to connect electrical wires
When wiring a building, take your time to identify the wires, colours, and sizes, plus where to use each of them.
Electrical cables come with rubber insulators that have different colours. Some are red, black, green, blue, and white. The insulator also has a stamp, showing the gauge of wire inside.
Electrical wire colour code and where to use them.
- Black wires: Black or hot wires carry electricity from the service panel to outlets and light bulbs.
- Red wires: these serve as secondary hot wires and are mostly used when installing ceiling fans where there is a light switch.
- White and gray wires: These are neutral wires, but can sometimes carry currents when there is an unbalanced current load. Neutral wires carry the current back to the service panel.
- Green wires: These are earth wires that connect the earth terminals of all the outlets to the ground, so that whenever there is a short circuit or power surge, it flows through it to the ground.
- White wires wrapped in black or red tape: These are also hot wires. The tape is to tell you that the white wire which used to be neutral is doing the work of hot wires in the installation.
- Bare copper wire: Grounding wires
- Blue and yellow wires: These wires are sometimes used as hot wires in conduit wiring even though they are not found in non-metallic cables.
Non-metallic sheathed cable
The non-metallic sheathed cable with the brand name “Romex” is one of the most common wires used for interior wiring in residential homes.
The cable comes with three, or more wires wrapped inside a flexible sheath. You can always use this product for all your installations both in the kitchen, garage, and industrial rooms. But always calculate the load first to determine the size of the electrical cable to use.
Tools for Electrical Installations
As an electrician, you know that quality tools lead to neat work. Below are the tools required to install an electrical system.
- Wire tester: To test if the power is ON or OFF.
- Screwdriver: For loosening and tightening of screws.
- Hammer: To drive in nails, and for other purposes
- Multimeter: To measure current or voltage
- Wire stripper: Removing of wire insulators
- Power drill: To drive in screws
- Utility knife: To remove insulators
- Tape measure: For measurement and in making estimate and quotation
- Fish tape: To draw cables in conduit wiring
- Plier: For cutting and twisting of wires
- Plumb: To make sure your work is level
- Allen wrench: To tighten Allen headed screw in your electrical panel
- Flashlights, and others. Helps when working in dark areas.
For more details on electrical tools, read electrical tools, uses and how to maintain them.