What You Should Know About House Electrical Wiring

Wiring a house can be surface, in which case the cables are laid on the surface of the wall and held by clips; or conduit, where the cables are passed through PVC pipes laid inside the wall. There is also surface trunking, where the trunking PVC pipes are laid on the surface of the wall and through which the wires are passed. Cables used for surface wiring are usually made up of 2 or 3 insulated wires. Cables for conduit wiring on the other hand, are single-wire insulators, to facilitate the easy passage through the PVC pipes. Conduit wiring is recommendation because of the neatness but care must be taken to ensure that a qualified electrician is hired to handle the project and that only quality materials are used. This is because if a fault results in a conduit case, it is usually difficult to trace and may result in fire outbreak.

The insulators which are commonly called wires or cables are made up of difference sizes measured in millimetres and as well, used for different kinds of connection of electrical fittings. There are also the aluminum and copper variants of wires. Because of the former’s greater resistivity and larger requirement of conductors, copper wire is recommended. The following are common sizes of wires and examples of appliances they can be used to connect:

* 1mm – light switches and sockets for electronics

* 1.5mm – bulbs and other lighting devices

* 2.5mm – air conditioners and refrigerators

* 4mm & 6mm – air conditioners, refrigerators and other heavy-duty appliances

* 16mm – used to connect the house to public source of power (PHCN).


Change Over: This is used to switch between different sources of power, for instance, between private power generating set and public power source. It can be manual in which you manually change over to alternative source in case of power failure or fault, as the case may be. There is also the automatic type of change over which is configured to automatically switch between sources of power.

Circuit Breakers: This functions like a fuse, in that it breaks a circuit path when a predetermined amount of current is passed. Some breakers are self resetting while others require manual resetting. The manual type is strongly recommended so that one can watch for any problems when the circuit path is restored.

Control Switch: This is also known as load control switch. It is placed on home appliances that consumes large amount of electricity, such as air conditioner and deep freezers.

Switchgear: In wiring, this refers to the combination of electrical disconnects, fuses, and/or circuit breakers used to isolate electrical equipment. In other words, it is used to cut power from a particular section of the building to allow work to be done to clear faults.

Junction Box: This is a container for electrical connections, intended to conceal them from sight and hence prevent damage from unauthorized hands. This forms an integral part of circuit protection system.

Switch: This is an electrical component used to break an electrical circuit, interrupting the current or diverting it from one conductor to another. That is, it is used to control power flow in a circuit, example is a light switch.

Lamp holder: This is used to suspend bulbs and other lighting devices. This is usually attached to the wall or ceiling.

Thunder Arrestor and Earth Wire: Thunder arrestor is important to control the effect of thunderstorm on appliances, in that it reduces the electro-magnetic interferences resulting from thunderstorms, which can cause damage to electrical devices. On the other hand, earth wire is used to earth (connect) the thunder arrestor to the ground. It is also used to connect electrical circuits as a standard procedure in wiring.