Your home’s electrical system is a complex system and knowing how it works will help you be a more “empowered homeowner”. Some areas do not allow an unlicensed homeowner to wire his own house because of the risk of an electrical fire from faulty wiring. However, one can still do so under the direction of a licensed electrician. In other areas, especially in rural locations, you are free to wire your house.
The following are the proper steps to follow when wiring your house.
Design a writing diagram
Design a wiring diagram which shows the location of the breaker box and the path of the wires to each outlet.
Start by running the longest wires first to avoid wastage conduits in walls even if you don’t anticipate using them right away. Start each wire upstairs and pull it through to the basement. This way, you do not use a ladder to push the wire up between floors.
You should also leave at least one foot of extra wire at each end just in case you need to move things around later.
Know outlet count
Determine how many outlets and switches will run on one circuit. Normally, six outlets per a 110-voltage circuit are advisable in a living area, while as few as two per circuit are the standard in a kitchen, where appliances use more wattage.
Drill wire holes
Before drilling any holes, make sure you know what is on the other side of the wall/floor to avoid drilling through any electrical wires, ductwork, or water pipes. Proceed by drilling holes with a 1-inch bit in the middle of the studs where your wires will travel. The more outlets you have, the safer your home.
Set a breaker
Set your breaker box where you can easily access it in the future. A location in a basement or a utility room is desirable.
Pull the wires to the outlets
Place the roll of wire next to the breaker box and pull the wire according to your diagram to the closest outlet or switch for each circuit. You can also run the wires straight through the box. Any wires sticking out of the box may just get drywalled over or could get cut from the electrical box.
Use wire strippers to remove the outer plastic coating from the ends of the wires and attach them, according to the instructions on the box, at each outlet, fixture or switch.
Install the circuits
Install individual circuits for each wiring set. The circuits must match the amperage of the wire and the intended purpose of the outlet.