Learning how to install a light switch to a ceiling fixture can be done in a matter of hours. The biggest challenge is planning the cable route and running it from the fixture to the new wall switch position. If the wall is heavily insulated, push conduit through the insulation and then feed wires or cable through the conduit. This project guide will walk you through how to connect a light switch, including wiring both the switch and the fan. See the video above for more detailed instruction on how to install a light switch.
It sure would be nice to have cable TV in that spare bedroom you've converted into an office.
This guide highlights the steps for installing a coaxial TV cable, including splitting the entry cable and running new cable to the cable TV jack.
An arc-fault circuit-interrupter, or AFCI breaker, prevents fires by sensing when an electrical arc is about to occur and instantly disconnecting the damaged circuit before the arc builds enough heat to catch fire. Standard circuit breakers don’t always trip in these instances because standard breakers are designed to respond to a sustained amount of heat, not a quick surge.
The 2008 National Electrical Code (NEC) requires AFCI breakers in nearly all new construction. In 2017, the requirement was updated to require AFCI protection in virtually every room in a home. They will not interfere with the operation of ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets, so it’s safe to install AFCIs on circuits that include GFCI outlets.
This project guide will show you how to replace a standard circuit breaker by installing an AFCI breaker.
Safety: When working within the breaker panel, always shut off the main circuit breaker. Remember that the wires leading into the breaker panel are always energized, even with the main breaker turned off. When working on the breaker panel, wear rubber-soled shoes, use tools with rubber-insulated handles and never stand on a damp floor.
It’s light's out, and you've already determined that a burned-out bulb isn't the culprit. And just to be thorough, you've also checked the main service panel for a tripped breaker or a blown fuse. What do you do next? Well, first you need to find out if power is actually getting to the light socket. Assuming it is, your next step is to verify that the light socket itself is at fault. Here's how to do both.
This project guide shows how to do both by highlighting the steps for checking to see if power is getting to the socket and that it is in good working order.
Instead of running an extension cord outside, install an outdoor outlet. Outdoor outlets are a much more convenient way to plug in your outdoor tools and lighting, and you can install one in a single day.
Outdoor electrical outlets differ from indoor outlets because they have watertight covers that protect the outlet even with a cord plugged in. Plus, the National Electrical Code requires all outdoor outlets to be GFCI outlets (ground fault circuit interrupter outlets). GFCI outlets trip and turn off automatically when there’s a current leakage or short circuit, which helps prevent fires and accidental shocks.
This guide will show you the step-by-step process of how to install an outdoor outlet to your home by tapping an indoor outlet for power. It’s also possible to run power directly to a new breaker in the panel box, though this method should be done by a licensed electrician.
Tip: As with all electrical projects, check local codes before doing any electrical work to ensure compliance.
For a safe and long-lasting solution to electrical wiring, you can install PVC (non-metallic) conduit. Conduit is PVC pipe designed to safely contain electrical wiring. Cutting and cementing conduit is a project you can easily do and save yourself some money.
This project guide will explain how. Be sure to follow any instructions that come with your cement or conduit.
Before you get started:
You’ve probably seen cable TV installations where the bare coaxial cable simply enters a room via a crude hole drilled through the floor or a baseboard or maybe you've seen them in your own house. They're functional but not too decorative. For a more finished and permanent installation, do the job right, and install a bona-fide wall jack.
This guide highlights the procedures for adding a new cable TV jack in the wall.
Electrical raceway, often called surface-mounted wiring, is a track of metal tubing that carries wiring across a wall surface, allowing you to use an existing electrical receptacle to power a new ceiling fan. When you use raceway to add a new fixture to a circuit, you don’t have to cut into your walls.
Wiremold’s heavy-duty, metal-component raceway system is an excellent solution for adding wiring for additional outlets, light fixtures or ceiling fans in a garage, workshop or basement. Your project can be made easier by using our Project Planner PDF to map out your project. After installation, the raceway can be painted with latex paint to match your décor.
This project guide will walk you step by step through a metallic raceway wiring installation for an additional electrical outlet. Before beginning your installation, measure from the location of the new outlet to the closest existing outlet to determine how much raceway you’ll need. Be sure to purchase 10 percent extra to ensure you have enough for the job.
Instead of merely turning lights on or off, get a wide range of light by installing a dimmer switch. Most dimmers are designed to fit a standard wall box opening, which makes it easy to replace the switch for any incandescent or halogen light with a dimmer. This guide will show you how to install a dimmer switch by yourself, in a relatively short amount of time.
Safety Tip: Always cut the power to the dimmable switch at your circuit breaker box or fuse box before installation.
A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet is a special type of circuit breaker that can automatically shut off power directly at the outlet when it detects an electrical fault. GFCI outlets should be installed in any potentially wet or damp areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, outdoors, basements, garages and workshops. Damp areas can make you prone to dangerous electric shock but using a GFCI outlet can greatly reduce your risk of injury.
This guide will teach you how to wire a GFCI outlet and how to install GFCI outlets safely.
Before replacing any 3-way switches that are broken, turn off the power at the breaker box. A 3-way wall switch controls a common light or set of lights from two separate switch locations. Two, 3-way switches are required in any 3-way application.
This guide highlights the procedures for replacing a broken 3-way electrical switch. Before proceeding, make sure you are comfortable working with electrical wires and switches. If you are not, consider hiring an electrician and check local building codes to ensure it is safe to complete this project yourself.
Safety: Before doing any electrical work, turn off the power at the breaker box.
Power cord plugs and power cords may wear out over the life of your appliances. Luckily, changing a wall plug is a fix you can make yourself. Repairing the plug on an electrical cord can assure your device works safely and successfully.
This guide will walk you through replacing a non-polarized two-prong plug. You’ll also learn to replace polarized plugs such as terminal screw plugs and three-prong plugs. Fabric cords with vintage plugs need special care.
Note: This information covers plugs and outlets in the United States. Worldwide, there are many different types of electrical outlets and plugs that aren’t included here.
Running electrical wires behind your walls is a great way to add an additional outlet or switch right where you need it. This guide will explain how to wire an outlet as well as walk you through the steps of running basic nonmetallic (NM) electrical wire behind the walls.
Audio cables transmit sound signals between components of a home entertainment system. In order to get full surround-sound performance, the right cables must be utilized.
This guide highlights the different types of audio formats, cable types and connector types that are available.
Using a metal raceway is a great way to keep your unsightly electrical cables and power cords out of sight and out of the way. They are inexpensive and very easy to set up and use, and make living and work areas more attractive and clutter-free. They also help keep small children and pets safe.
This project guide highlights the steps for installing metal raceways in your home. You can also use our project planner PDF to help plan for your raceway installation.
The receptacles, light fixtures, appliances and switches in your home are all part of multiple electrical circuits, which begin and end in your breaker box. All the receptacles in a single room may be part of one circuit, wired to a single breaker. Breaker boxes can go by many names, such as electrical panels, load centers or service panels. A breaker box holds circuit breakers, which exist to protect electrical circuits from damage that may be caused by electrical overloads. Each circuit is protected by a breaker, or a fuse, that will turn off the circuit as soon as an overload is detected.
This guide will teach you how to wire a breaker box for a new circuit breaker, so you can know how to install a circuit breaker whenever you need to wire a new room or appliance.
Besides lighting up a room, some light switches incorporate special features, like motion detectors, to make moving around in your home safer and more convenient. This buying guide will help you understand the types of light switches and dimmers available so you can feel confident you’re selecting the right electrical switch types for any room in your home.
Tip: Before you replace or install a light switch, it’s important to make sure the new switch matches the amperage rating and voltage of where it’s being installed. 15 amp switches should be connected to a 14-gauge wire, which is found in most homes. For commercial or industrial switches, 20 amp switches should be connected to a 12-gauge wire.
Wire connectors are UL Listed fasteners used to make a tight connection with little interference between two or more electrical wires in an electrical box. Made of flame-retardant materials, wire connectors prevent wires from contacting other wires or exposed metal surfaces, which could cause a dangerous fault or short circuit.
This guide will explain the different types of wire connectors, so you can feel confident you’re choosing the right connectors for your project.
Dimmers make it easy to adjust the brightness level and opens up a wide range of lighting moods. They not only provide more flexible lighting options, but they also help save energy and extend the life of your light bulbs. This buying guide highlights the different types of dimmers, light bulbs and control styles that are available.
Electrical panels go by many names: breaker panels, load centers, service panels or breaker boxes. It’s the steel box that holds your home’s circuit breakers. When needed, the circuit breakers turn off or “trip” the circuits that carry power throughout your home.
This guide will explain the types of electrical panels and teach you how to determine the amps and number of circuit breakers you need for your home.
Tip: Before purchasing a breaker panel, check with local authorities and your utility company to be sure you select a panel that conforms to code requirements.
Electrical boxes, also known as junction boxes, enclose wire connections. They help protect against short circuits, which can cause fires. This guide describes the different types of electrical boxes, their materials and their applications. They come in many shapes and sizes to fit wherever you need them. Learn about the differences so you can feel confident that you’re choosing the right box for your project.
IMPORTANT: The National Electrical Code (NEC) and local building codes regulate the types of electrical boxes allowed in certain applications, as well as how they’re installed. Per their requirements, electrical boxes must be covered with matching electrical box covers. You can’t cover them with drywall, paneling or other wall coverings. The box also needs to have enough space for the conductors inside.
Check with your local building inspector before you start any electrical project and obtain the required permits. When you’re done, always have your work inspected for compliance with local codes. This is to ensure that the electrical boxes have been safely installed.
Conduit plays a vital role in protecting your home. It comes in rigid and flexible forms made from metal and other materials for use in different applications, most often for protecting outdoor or exposed wires or cables.
This guide highlights the different types and materials used to make electrical conduit and the accessories often used with conduit.
Video cables carry electronic signals from a video source, such as a DVD player or satellite TV box, to your television. In order to get top-of-the-line picture quality, the right cables must be utilized.
This guide highlights the different types of video cable options, picture quality and the materials used to make them.
Indoors or out, extension cords make sure devices and equipment can perform. Extension cords power a device when its own cord does not reach an electrical outlet. Choosing the best extension cords for the job starts with knowing how an extension cord works. Use this guide to learn about the different extension cord types, amperages and lengths.