How to Save Money by Installing Your Own Electrical Wiring

How to Save Money by Installing Your Own Electrical Wiring

Installing your own electrical wiring can seem daunting, but with proper planning and adherence to electrical codes, it can be a great way to save money on home improvement projects. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to safely install electrical wiring in your home.

Gather Tools and Materials

Before starting any electrical project, you need to acquire the proper tools and materials. Here is a list of what you will need:

You may also need a drill, stud finder, ladder, and other basic DIY tools. Acquire all materials before starting.

Study Electrical Codes

The National Electrical Code (NEC) outlines standards and best practices for safe electrical installations. Read through the NEC before any wiring project, as improperly installed wiring can cause fires or shocks. Pay attention to rules concerning:

Check with your local permitting office about required inspections. Doing your homework will make for an inspection-ready project.

Turn Off Power

Before touching any electrical wiring, the power must be turned off. Follow these precautions:

Working on live wires can cause severe shocks or death. Verify the power is off with multiple tests before handling any wires.

Plan the Wiring Route

Decide where you want new outlets, switches and lighting fixtures placed. Consider:

Draft a basic diagram of the planned circuit wiring. Map out how the wires will route from the panel to each device. This will serve as your guide as you install the wiring.

Feed and Secure Cables

Based on your wiring plan, cut NM cables to length. Use cable staples to secure cables running through joists or studs every 4.5 feet. Follow these guidelines:

Take care when feeding cables to avoid damage that could lead to shorts or fires. Leave some slack in the line for mistakes.

Install Electrical Boxes

Mount new electrical boxes where devices and fixtures will go. Boxes come in plastic or metal and in different volume sizes.

Follow minimum clearance requirements between boxes. Check codes for the proper mounting heights for various box types.

Connect Switches and Outlets

Make black hot wire connections to switches and outlets and white neutral wire connections as well. Wrap clockwise around terminal screws or push all the way into quick connect holes.

Consult diagrams to wire multi-switch and split receptacle circuits. Take care to connect the hot feed wire to the common terminal.

Connect Fixtures and Devices

Light fixtures, appliances, and specialty devices all connect a little differently. Consult manufacturer instructions for specifics. Some guidelines:

Do not exceed fixture wattage limits. Overloaded fixtures can overheat and start fires. Verify you purchased the right bulbs.

Inspect and Test Circuits

Before completing a wiring project, thoroughly test your work. Double check that:

Consult inspection checklists and use a voltage tester pen. Fix any issues before considering the wiring complete. Thorough inspection prevents safety hazards.

Safety Tips

Take your time and focus completely on the electrical work. Rushing leads to dangerous mistakes. Following basic guidelines makes DIY electrical work completely safe for homeowners.