One of the most important components of residential planning is the wiring layout. A good wiring plan takes into account current and future electrical needs. A professional electrical engineer can be employed to create a residential wiring plan at great expense to a homeowner. However, homeowners can save money by designing the initial wiring plan themselves.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Local building codes
- Graph paper
Determine current and future electrical needs. Individuals purchase homes with the future in mind. An extra bedroom may become a nursery at some point in the future. If a family member is going to start a home-based business, any potential electrical needs should be considered in the plan. As a family grows, so do their electrical needs.
Acquire local building codes. Knowing these codes is absolutely necessary. When wiring is installed, it is checked by a building inspector to ensure it is up to code. A building inspector will approve the work only if all local and state codes are met. To acquire a copy of your local building codes, go online to your state's Building Standards Commission. On the website will be a link for the state's electrical codes. Click on the link and download the codes.
Draw a layout of the structure. Create a drawing and include doors and windows. Use graph paper to draw the structure to scale. Each square on a sheet of graph paper is ¼ inch in length and width. Using the graph paper will allow each ¼-inch square to equal a 1-foot square. If a room is 10 feet long, it will be represented by 10 ¼-inch squares or a line 2½ inches long.
Determine the electrical needs of each room. Each room has different uses, which means differences in power usage and socket types. A laundry room uses 240 rather than 120 voltage. In a laundry room, the wall sockets need to be designed for use with a washer and dryer. In a room that serves as the multimedia centre, additional wall sockets will be needed to accommodate electronics equipment.
Incorporate structural issues into the design. If a room has a fireplace, any wiring in that room needs to be kept away from the fireplace. The same holds true for plumbing and masonry. Work around structural issues.
Place the circuit breaker panel in an easy-to-access location. When the power goes out, it usually means a breaker has been tripped. Place the circuit breaker in a location that is easy to reach in case of an emergency.
Calculate the number of electrical devices being used in the structure. Make a list of all the equipment being used. If a room is going to be used as a home office, include a DSL line and an extra wall outlet.
Tips and warnings
- If using specialised heating and cooling systems, include them in the overall design.
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