Home Indoor Projects Lighting & Electrical Five steps for Planning a Wiring project

Five steps for Planning a Wiring project


Planning a Wiring projectCareful planning of a wiring project ensures you will have plenty of power for present and future needs. Whether you are adding circuits in a room
addition, wiring a remodeled kitchen, or adding an outdoor circuit , consider all possible ways the space might be used, and plan for enough electrical service to meet peak needs.

For example, when wiring a room addition, remember that the way a room is used can change. In a room used as a spare bedroom, a single 15-amp circuit provides plenty of power, but if you ever choose to convert the same room to a family recreation space, you will need additional circuits.

When wiring a remodeled kitchen, it is a good idea to install circuits for an electric oven and countertop range, even if you do not have these electric appliances. Installing these circuits now makes it easy to convert from gas to electric appliances at a later date .

A large wiring project adds a considerable load to your main electrical service. In about 25 percent of all homes, some type of service upgrade is needed before new wiring can be installed . For example, many homeowners will need to replace an older 60-amp electrical service with a new service rated for 100 amps or more. This is a job for a licensed electrician but is well worth the investment. In other cases, the existing main service provides adequate power, but the main circuit breaker panel is too full to hold any new circuit breakers. In this case it is necessary to install a circuit breaker subpanel to provide room for hooking up added circuits.

I give an easy five-step method for determining your electrical needs and planning new circuits.

Five steps for Planning a Wiring project

main service panelExamine your main service panel. The amp rating of the electrical service and the size of the circuit breaker panel will help you determine if a service upgrade is needed.
National Electrical CodeLearn about codes. The National Electrical Code (NEC), and local electrical codes and building codes, provide guidelines for determining how much power and how many circuits your home needs. Your local electrical inspector can tell you which regulations apply to your job.


for inspectionPrepare for inspection. Remember that your work must be reviewed by your local electrical inspector. When planning your wiring project, always follow the inspector’s guidelines for quality workmanship.
Evaluate electrical loadsEvaluate electrical loads. New circuits put an added load on your electrical service. Make sure that total load of the existing wiring and the planned new circuits does not exceed the main service capacity.


wiring diagramDraw a wiring diagram and get a permit. This wiring plan will help you organize your work.


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