Understanding and Identifying Electrical Wiring
As with all projects, positively identifying the wiring and understanding the purpose of the circuit in question is the key to knowing what can or cannot be done.
Electrical Question from Edmund about Electrical Wiring
Background: Edmund, a Homeowner from Monroeville, PA
Question: I have a electrical box where I wanted to put an outlet. The box has five incoming wires(each with a white, black and ground). I was wondering which two I should use to connect the outlet and how to take care of the other three wires.
Thanks for your electrical question Edmund.
It depends if all these five pairs of wires are spliced together – color to color or not. If so then it may be as simple as adding a single pig-tail wire to each set that will attach to the proposed outlet, then using the appropriate sized wire splice connector. However, if the wires are not spliced as described then the wiring will need to be identified and understood what their function is. For example, you do not want to install the outlet on a wire that controls a light fixture.
As with all projects, positively identifying the wiring and understanding the purpose of the circuits in question is the key to knowing what can or cannot be done.
The Following links will assist you with your electrical question:
For more information about Electrical Wiring
This link is helpful as a Homeowner
Make sure not to miss these Resources for: Wiring Diagrams
Be Careful and Be Safe – Never Work on Energized Circuits!
For Best Results Consult a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Locate An Electrical Contractor in Your Area
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.
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