Electrical wiring is the process of insulating conductors in electrical supplies. It is a preserve of qualified professionals owing to the risks involved. This procedure is always done in conformity with certain rules and guidelines whose object is safety. It is worth noting that the dangers associated with electricity are fatal and include fires and electrical shocks which may lead to death. Various electrical codes and standards have thus been promulgated in order to ensure that both people are protected and property safely guarded. These codes have generally been harmonised owing to globalisation even though some regions have adopted a different coding systems. For example, most European countries have adopted standardized safety codes through the International Electro-technical Commission (IEC). In some counties, the colour codes are either stipulated in domestic legislation or left open for the customs to apply.
Most homes in the United States have two hot wires and one neutral coming into them. Supplying a stated 240/120 volts. The actual voltage received is normally slightly less 230/115 volts. This type of power is commonly called single phased power. Most residential homes have this type of basic house wiring.
The power coming into your home is also called alternating current. There are people in the world that can explain what that means exactly, but none of them are writing this article. Alternating current is used to allow electricity to be transported over long distances. Leave it at that, the guys that can explain it will talk in a language you won’t understand.
The first power plant using alternating current came on line in Niagara Falls, New York in 1894. Nikola Tesla is credited with the development of a system the would allow power to sent long distances. Thus, making it practical.
For easy identification of the types of wires and their functions, codes are distinguished by colours. In European countries, the protective earth wire is insulated with a combination of green and yellow colour. This combination of colours was used to cater for persons who are colour blind and hence avoid confusions. Neutral wires are insulated by brown colour. For a Line in single phase, the colour brown is used. Lines in 3-phase labelled L1, L2 and L3 take the colours brown, black and grey respectively, according to the International Electro-technical Commission.
Knowing the electrical color code that dictates which wire does what is imperative not only in the correct configuration of an electrical system, but it’s also paramount for your safety.
Be aware that all electrical wires, regardless of their function, could carry an electrical current at some point, so treat all wires with equal caution. Also, highly rated electricians note that older homes, built prior to the 1940s, might use different color codes if the wiring has never been upgraded.
Regarding the wiring methods, several factors need to be taken into account. An electrician must consider the size of the building, the environment in which the wiring is to be done, the domestic legislation, the intended use of the property, among other factors.
A clear understanding of how an electrical system works is valuable knowledge when you start doing electrical work. Equally important to know are the techniques required to make safe and secure electrical connections. The skills you need to complete your own projects — cutting and stripping wire and making connections — are the same ones professional electricians use every day. You don’t need to be as fast as a pro, but your work can and should be as safe and reliable.
Why good technique matters
If wires are spliced or connected to fixtures or devices haphazardly, the circuit may function for a while. But there is a good chance a wire will work its way loose, creating a dangerous condition.
Wiring correctly is relatively easy. It takes only an hour or two to learn how to make splices and connections just as solid as those made by professionals. In most cases using the right technique is faster and easier than doing something the wrong way. For example, looping a wire around a terminal screw clockwise keeps it from sliding out from under the screw head as you tighten the screw.