About wiring diagrams

Written by michael arcand
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About wiring diagrams
(CC by Zach Hoeken (hoeken) on Flickr.com)

A wiring diagram is a drawing explaining how electrical circuits are to be arranged and connected. This picture shows the arrangement and the points of interconnections of the conductors and other components of an electrical device to be installed. It maps out the route the electrical wiring should take during the installation or construction process.


A wiring diagram is used in the construction of homes to show where all the wires and circuits will be located. With home construction, a wiring diagram is drawn out and planned prior to running electrical wires and circuits. Construction teams need this information to know where to locate power jacks throughout the home, where to drill holes, and to know how much and exactly what types of equipment and tools will be required to complete the project. The wiring diagram is used by the electrician to properly configure the fuses that control the flow of electrical current in a home. This is a safety issue because if current is sent through a fuse to a portion of the home's wiring that is not designed to handle voltage flow, it can lead to blown fuses, or worse, a fire hazard.


There is more than one type of wiring diagram (also called an electronic schematic or circuit diagram). There are electronic schematics needed for the building of homes. An electrician is the person depended upon to create a safe schematic that is both safe and cost efficient. In many states, only licensed electricians can legally do commercial or private electrical wiring in homes and office buildings. The electrician's work is then inspected by a local or state official before the home or office can be cleared for occupancy. If you were to replace your automobile's sound system, a wiring diagram will come with the car speakers and subwoofers marking step by step details designed so that a novice can be able to connect the system.


A wiring diagram is used when there is a problem and troubleshooting is needed. Having the original schematic showing how the wiring is connected can make it easier to find the problem and repair or replace any defective elements. Without a wiring diagram you can be forced to replace the entire wiring system when the problem could have been as simple as a broken or short-circuited wire.


Depending on the nature or complexity of the job, a wiring diagram can be as small as connecting one set of wires to a single source. In large, more complex diagrams, such as in the construction of buildings or homes, the diagram can connect a hundred or more circuits and relays. The size of the job can be large or small, but the function of the wiring diagram remains the same, which is to make the job of running wires as simple and uncomplicated as possible.


The importance of a proper wiring diagram is for safety as well as cost control in the construction of the home. In the case of an electronic device, a circuit diagram can be needed to ensure wires flowing with electrical current do not come in contact with moving parts that can damage or even short circuit the flow of electricity, preventing the device from functioning.

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