7 Tips for Easier Home Electrical Wiring You Need To Check Out
No matter how much experience you have in wiring, there’s always something new you can learn. True masters of the trade are always happy to share their little tricks, so we present them to you. Here are some tips that will make home electrical wiring a piece of cake.
Choose The Right Enclosure
If you don’t choose an enclosure that’s the right size for your wiring, things are not going to go as smoothly as you want them to go. Experts advise choosing an enclosure that’s going to leave at least 20% of the space empty after the installation. This spare space will allow you to make changes, expansions and additional extensions in the future.
Make Sure Your Cables Are Straight
Pulling plastic-sheathed cables that are kinky can be a true nightmare, so always make sure they are nice and straight before you start the installation. One neat little trick on how to straighten them is to pick up a couple of coils from the roll and spread them across the floor. Then walk along the cable and straighten it with your hands. This way, your cable will be easier to handle and store.
It’s nearly impossible to identify which wire goes where once they are covered with drywall. So, if you want to save yourself a lot of time and trouble, it’s best if you identify them while installing. You can use either code or labels. Both are practical, but labels can get knocked off or covered in paint, so your best bet is code.
Develop a system that’s easy to understand and write it down, this way you’ll never have to guess which is the line, which is the load and which wires are the travelers for your switch.
Pack Electrical Boxes Neatly
Everyone who has done any wiring knows that sometimes wires can get bulky and it’s nearly impossible to push the switch or outlet into the box from all those tangled wires. The best solution to this problem is to neatly arrange wires, fold them and put them into the box.
You should start by gathering all the bare ground wires with a pigtail and connecting them; fold them into the back of the box and leave the pigtail extended. Then apply the same principal with neutral wires. When it comes to the hot wire, leave it extra long and fold it accordion-style across the bottom of the box.
Also, don’t forget to put a wire connector cap on it for identification. A box that’s packed this way will make plenty of space for switches and outlets, plus the identification will be easier. If you have trouble making sharp folds in the wire, use a wooden shim or a screwdriver handle, just don’t put too much stress on the wire.
Cut Longer Wires
Even though this advice might seem completely crazy and impractical, masters of the trade use it all the time. If you want your wires to better fit into the box, use more wire! When we say to use more wire, we mean to provide a longer section of wire sticking out of the box.
This way, wire folding will be much easier and neater. If you leave at least 6" sticking out, you’ll be able to fold it at least two good times, but you won’t be able to do that with as short wire. Plus, longer wires make connecting the device much easier.
Always Test Wires
Once you’ve done a lot of electrical work, it’s easy to get cocky, but remember to always stay humble when handling electricity. Sometimes you might think the power is off, but what if it isn’t? It’s always best if you check with a non-contact voltage detector. To make sure your tester is working properly, test it on a wire you know is live.
You can get these practical tools at home centers or hardware stores, and they are not that expensive either. These voltage detectors come with all sorts of handy additions and features you can choose from, so don’t hesitate to spend some extra money. Also, if you’re just not sure if you’re doing things the right way don’t be shy to look for professional electrician services which are guaranteed to save you the trouble and worry.
Reduce Sheathing In Your Box
Many people make a mistake of pushing roughed-in cable through the knockout in the box first and strip the sheathing later. However, that’s a hard way to do things. If you remove the sheathing before you push the wires into the box, the whole process will be over much quicker.
All that thick plastic coating only steals space anyway, so removing it is a must. Simply insert the cable in the box, mark the entry point with a marker, remove it, and rip to the length of 1/4". And, as long as your cable isn’t stretched too tight, you’ll have enough “space” for final touch-ups after you’ve inserted the conductors into the box.
Remember that electricity can not only cause shocks, but also serious injury and even home fire, so always be focused when handling wires. And, use these tips and tricks to make your projects easier and faster.