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How to Draw Home Electrical Plans

Updated April 17, 2017

Just as you can draw your home floor plan, you can draw an electrical plan that shows the electrical details of your home. This includes the outlets, wires, and circuit panels your home uses or will use. The National Electrical Code is a system used throughout the United States that insures every home meets certain requirements. If your home doesn't meet those requirements, you'll be unable to get home insurance or assume residency. After you've finished your drawing, it's important to get an electrician to look it over.

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  1. Draw your home's floor plan onto a piece of graph paper. A floor plan is essentially a bird's eye view of your home. You will need to measure your existing house, or get the correct measurements of the house you're planning to build before drawing a floor plan. When you draw your floor plan, use a 1/4 inch scale, where every foot in your house is equal to 1/4 inch on graph paper. This gives you a lot of room to work with, while keeping the entire drawing on one large piece of paper. Each floor of your house requires a separate floor plan.

  2. Draw in all electrical sockets. Keep in mind that certain rules exist for outlet placement. For instance, every wall two feet or longer must have at least one outlet. Hallways that stretch longer than 10 feet need at least one outlet. The maximum interval between outlets is twelve feet in a straight line.

  3. Sketch in any receptacles that will be used for wall or ceiling lights, then sketch in the corresponding light switches.

  4. Draw and label all special outlets. These are outlets that you use or will use for your large kitchen and laundry appliances, such as your fridge or washing machine. Draw in special outlets for any large appliance you have that doesn't use a normal outlet.

  5. Draw in the kitchen counter outlets. According to NEC Article 210.52(C)(1), each wall with a length greater than two feet must have at least one outlet.

  6. Draw in the circuit panel. A circuit panel is where all of your wires connect, and is usually found in your basement or storage area. A circuit panel may also be known as a circuit box or fuse box.

  7. Draw in wires connecting all of your outlets. Use solid lines to represent wires that are hidden by the walls and ceiling. Use lines made up of long and short dashes for wires that go under the floor. Use dotted lines for any wiring that is exposed. The walls of your floor plan should be to scale, so the drawing may seem cramped in places. If the electrical plan is just for you, consider using a different colour for each type of wire to minimise confusion.

  8. Warning

    Do not attempt to wire your home yourself if you have no electrical experience.

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Things You'll Need

  • 1/4 inch grid graph paper
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape

About the Author

Alex Zang has been freelance writing since 2004, specializing in sports and technology. His work has appeared in "The Calgary Herald" and "Western Canadian Condos & Resorts," as well as online. Zang studied film production and screenwriting at Mount Royal College.

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