Have you ever had a problem with your property, be it electrical or plumbing and had to call out a trade professional. How frustrating is it when they come in, screw in a tiny bit of pipe or flick a switch on the circuit board then walk off with the better part of 100 pounds? This article will give you a basic overview of domestic wiring, it does not qualify you to start dismantling electrical appliances or put yourself in any dangerous situations.
Most houses work from a basis of circuits. It is in theory possible to power an entire property from one continuous power cable running throughout the house. This however is impractical because the cable would need to carry the entire current and therefore be extremely large. The expense and impracticable size of the wire renders this practice obsolete in domestic wiring.
Standard practice in domestic wiring is the use of circuits. These are circuits of electrical wiring that run from the mains and power certain parts of your home. The circuits generally try to use the smallest possible cable that is safe to carry the current that is sufficient to power the circuit, this is because the smaller cables are easy to work with and cost-effective.
In domestic wiring you generally find that all circuits fall into three categories. Power outlet circuits are standard three pin power points that we plug appliances into. Lighting circuits are to operate lights via switches and single appliance circuits power appliances that require their own circuits, such as refrigerators and ovens that draw large currents. The lights are the most complicated to wire because they have to have many switches.
Power outlet circuits all have switches in them and are therefore not required to have one installed by the domestic wiring technician. In domestic wiring all mains circuits have to be earthed even if it is not required for practical use, as you never know whether future occupiers of the property might use metal fittings which could be potentially hazardous if the circuit is not earthed.
The two most common types of domestic wiring for power outlet circuits are ring and radial. The difference is that the ring circuits come back to the original power supply. In theory the wiring of both is simply all the live connections of power outlets throughout the circuit are connected together, in turn all the neutral and earth connections are connected together. There is no regulatory requirement to supply domestic wiring power outlets from a ring circuit.
Sometimes you will require to install an additional power outlet onto an already existing circuit and this is referred to as a spur. This involves running a connection from the power outlet circuit to the new outlet however it was not factored when installing the initial circuit. The crucial thing to remember is that it is not safe to run a spur from another spur. It is recommended that only one spur is used per power outlet in domestic wiring.
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