The Basics of Household Wiring. The Electrical System A to Z
4.3 (1,348 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
5,878 students enrolled

The Basics of Household Wiring. The Electrical System A to Z

Everything Electricity, from your Circuit (Breaker) Panel, Outlets, Switches, Receptacles, Light Fixtures, Cable, Wire..
Bestseller
4.3 (1,348 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
5,878 students enrolled
Created by Terry Peterman
Last updated 2/2018
English
Current price: $69.99 Original price: $99.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 1 article
  • 13 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Understand how electricity works, how it is generated, transmitted to, and distributed throughout your home.
  • Wire a receptacle (regular, switched, GFCI), a single-pole switch (3 and 4-way), a light fixture, and more!
  • Have the knowledge and skills to safely and competently complete most home electrical projects and repairs.
Requirements
  • No materials or special software required.
  • A desire to learn, and a healthy respect for, and an interest in electricity.
  • Basic math skills and some mechanical inclination would be an asset.
Description

After completing this course, students will have a solid knowledge of the fundamentals of electricity and how it functions within the home, including how electricity is generated, transmitted to, transformed, and how it enters the home through the power meter, the main breaker, and the branch circuit breaker panel. 

From there we cover in detail all types of receptacles, switches, and light fixtures, and how to correctly wire them.   Safe practices are covered in detail, including the use of circuit testers.  The course includes an in-depth look at rough-in wiring, and explains the role, use and importance of ground fault circuit and arc fault circuit protection.

At the end of the course the student will know how to take on most small electrical projects and repairs around the home, both safely and competently.

Who this course is for:
  • Homeowners with an interest in learning how to complete small electrical projects and repairs throughout the home.
  • Anyone that may be looking towards a career as an electrician would also benefit from this knowledge base.
  • Anyone with a general interest in, or curiosity of how electricity works, and how it is put in use in the home.
Course content
Expand all 29 lectures 01:49:20
+ Introduction to Learn the Basics of Household Wiring.
1 lecture 00:57

Welcome, and thank you for enrolling in my course!  We're going to learn a lot, have some fun, and by the time you have finished, you will be a skilled and competent Weekend Wiring Warrior! Before we get started you need to download and read the Universal Disclaimer Document! Pause the course and do this now, or promise me you will read and understand it after this section is complete. 

My core course material is structured around a program called "The Basics of Household Wiring", a comprehensive compilation of verbal descriptions, complemented by pictures, graphics, and animations.  We start with a brief explanation about electricity.  Throughout the sections and lectures, I will provide supplemental information and additional material such as videos, or actual demonstrations that will help you grasp the concepts or skills that are discussed in each lecture. Let's get started!  

Preview 00:57
+ Safety First!
2 lectures 05:10

All DIYers must have a healthy respect for electricity.  Taking the proper precautions BEFORE starting an electrical project will ensure that you avoid accidents and injury.  

In this section we will discuss the importance of turning off the power to a circuit, and the proper steps to ensure the power is off through the use of testing equipment such as voltage meters or voltage testers.

At the end of this lecture the student should be able to:

  • Explain the dangers associated with working around electricity
  • Safely turn the power off to a circuit
  • Understand how to use a voltage meter or voltage tester to check for power at a circuit
Preview 02:48

In this lecture we will review the governing bodies of electrical code and the importance of adhering to these codes as they apply to your specific jurisdiction.  At the end of this lecture the student should understand:

  • Why you must check with your home insurance policy to see if it permits any DIY electrical work
  • DIY electrical work may require a permit, and how/where to check for this and apply as required in your local area.
  • The role of the NEC (National Electrical Code) and the CEC (Canadian Electrical Code) and why it is important to adhere to their specific set of rules
  • That code rules may vary in different jurisdictions and this must be checked before beginning any electrical work.
  • The role of the electrical inspector
Preview 02:22

What have you learned about working around electricity

Safety First Quiz
5 questions
+ The Basics of Electricity
2 lectures 03:01

In this Lecture we examine the fundamentals of the flow of electricity and review the components of a basic electrical circuit.  At the end of this lecture the student should be able to identify and understand:

  • The components of a basic electrical circuit
  • The function of the "hot" wire
  • The function of the "neutral" wire
  • The function of the "ground" wire
  • What is a complete circuit
Preview 01:51

In this lecture we learn how electricity is generated, delivered, and transformed to become usable power in the home.  At the end of this lecture students should have a knowledge of:

  • The steps electricity takes to move from power station through to its use in the household
Preview 01:10

What did we learn in Section 3?

Quiz
3 questions
+ The Distribution Panel
2 lectures 05:54

This Section will give the student a good understanding of the main service panel and components.  At the end of this lecture students should have an understanding of:

  • Who can perform work in a service panel
  • What is the "heart" of a home's electrical system
  • The role of the main breaker
  • The role of "hot cables"
  • The role of the "neutral" cable
  • The role of the "hot" buss bars
  • Locations where the main service panel may be located within a home
Preview 02:35

In this lecture we learn about the main components of the distribution panel.  At the end of this lecture students should understand:

  • How 120 volt and 240 volt breakers are attached to the buss bar
  • How circuit breakers operate within the main panel
  • The role of the "neutral" buss
  • The role of the 'ground" buss
  • Where in the service panel the neutral buss and the grounding buss should be bonded together
  • The role of the main ground cable
  • The different methods used to connect a main ground cable to your home's electrical system
  • Why every circuit in the home must be grounded
Branch Circuit Breakers, Neutral Buss Bar, Grounding and Bonding
03:19

Section 4

Quiz
4 questions
+ Breakers Explained
1 lecture 02:02

This lecture describes the function of circuit breakers, what caused them to trip, and how to properly reset a tripped breaker.  At the end of the lecture the student know:

  • The role and function of a circuit breaker
  • The different amperages of circuit breakers and what that means
  • What is a "tripped" breaker and what causes a circuit breaker to trip
  • Why it is critical to have the appropriate amount of current for each circuit
  • What are the different breaker positions
  • What you should do before resetting a tripped breaker
  • How to reset a tripped breaker
Branch Circuit Breakers and Resetting a Tripped Breaker
02:02

Circuit Breakers

Quiz
4 questions
+ Wires and Cables
3 lectures 05:03

The student will gain a better understanding of wire color.  At the end of this lecture students will know:

  • What material most wires or conductors are composed of and why
  • Why there are differences in wire colors
  • What the role of a black wire is
  • What the role of a white wire is
  • What the role of a green or bare copper wire is
  • What the role of a red or blue wire is
Wire Colors
00:43

In this lecture we talk about the different types, conductor size, and jacket color of various cables that may be used in the home's electrical system.  At the end of this lecture students will understand:

  • The components of common house wiring cables
  • How wires are measured
  • The different common household wiring gauges
  • How to interpret wire size by the wire jacket color
Cable, types, number of conductors, sizes, jacket colors.
02:02

This lecture discusses the importance of proper sizing of breakers to protect the wire and cable.  At the end of this lecture students will understand:

  • That amperage limit of circuit breakers
  • The importance of choosing the correct gauge wire for a circuit
  • What is a short circuit and why it is dangerous
  • What two conditions can lead to or cause a short circuit
  • The differences between an overloaded circuit and a short circuit
Breakers and How They Protect Cables and Wires
02:18

Section 6

Quiz
4 questions
+ Electrical Theory
2 lectures 04:00

In this section we delve into electrical theory and the relationship between amps, volts and watts.  At the end of this lectures students will understand:

  • The relationship between amps, volts and watts
  • What amps measure
  • What volts measure
  • What watts measure
  • How electrical power is calculated
  • The formula to calculate watts
  • The practical application of using volts, amps and watts to calculate power to a circuit in the home
  • How to measure total capacity of a breaker
  • What power factor correction is
Amps, Volts, and Watts
02:46

In this section we learn about the rated capacity vs. the safe capacity of a circuit.  At the end of this lecture students will understand:

  • The meaning of the term "safe capacity"
  • What is the formula to calculate the safe capacity for a circuit
  • How the electrical code ensures safe capacity is not exceeded in a household circuit
The Safe Capacity of Circuit
01:14

Volts, Amps, Watts.

Quiz
2 questions
+ Rough Wiring
3 lectures 08:11

This Section describes and demonstrates the process of the practical portion of rough-wiring electrical circuits.  At the end of this section students will understand:

  • When in the construction process the rough-in wiring phase takes place
  • The steps involved in the rough-in wiring phase
  • When electrical boxes should be installed
  • The two types of electrical boxes that can be used
  • Why all cable splices must take place within an electrical box
  • The guidelines and codes for properly mounting electrical boxes
  • The guidelines for the minimum number of electrical outlets for an installation
Planning and Guidelines
02:24

In this section we review proper protocol for pulling cable, stapling cable and drilling holes through studs as part of the rough-in phase of new construction or a remodel.  At the end of this lecture students will have a knowledge of:

  • Guidelines for pulling cable
  • Proper procedures for drilling holes through wooden studs
  • When to use a nail plate on a stud
  • The recommended auger bit size for drilling holes through wooden studs
  • Recommendations for leaving cable slack into and within an electrical box
  • Why you must use caution when pounding staples for securing cable
Pulling Cable, Stapling, and Drilling Holes
03:06

Learning the methods of installing the cables into the outlet boxes, a process known as "cutting in" the cables.  At the end of this lectures students will have an understanding of:

  • Guidelines for installing cable into an electrical box
  • The proper method for stripping wires
Electrical Outlet Boxes, Installing Cables, Removing Sheath and Stripping Wires
02:41

Section 8

Quiz
2 questions
+ Electrical Outlets, Receptacles
5 lectures 36:20

This section teaches some actual wiring methods for connecting receptacles, explains Ground Fault circuits, both GFCI receptacles and breakers.  In this lecture we will examine the workings of a standard receptacle and recommended wiring procedures.  At the end of this lecture students will understand:

  • The components of a standard receptacle
  • How receptacles function
  • The two placements where receptacles are typically placed within a circuit
  • How an end-of-the-run receptacle is wired
  • What the strip gauge is on the back of a receptacle
  • The drawbacks of using a push in connection on a receptacle and proper techniques for connecting
Receptacles, Terminals, Tabs, and Various Wiring Methods
06:21

In this lecture we review the proper methods for stripping wire and preparing the wire for termination.  At the end of this lecture students will understand:

  • The proper techniques for using a wire stripper
  • The difference types of wire stripper and how to use them
  • The importance of ensuring that wires are not damaged when preparing them for termination
  • The method of using a wire stripper to make the bend in your wire
Preparation for Cable and Wire Termination
01:13

More emphasis on safety and the repair and replacement of outlet devices.  This lecture reviews the process of using testers to check for voltage and power to a circuit when replacing a receptacle.  At the end of this lectures students will understand:

  • Steps for replacing a receptacle
  • How to ensure power is off to a circuit through the use of a circuit tester
  • How to use a receptacle tester
  • Receptacle installation preferences
Testing for the Presence of Voltage
05:32

In this lecture we examine the proper methods to wiring a middle of run receptacle and introduce the concept of the use of a pigtail connection.  At the end of this lecture students will understand:

  • The two methods for wiring a middle-of-run receptacle
  • What a pigtail connection is and when it is used
  • What is a wire connector and how to properly use them
  • Why metal boxes must be grounded and when plastic boxes must be grounded
  • The use of a lineman plier vs needlenose plier for twisting wire
  • The proper order of wire connections
Middle of Run Receptacles - Two Methods Plus Device Box Grounding
08:05

In this lecture we examine in detail the important role of the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) and the proper wiring of a GFCI receptacle.  At the end of this lecture students will understand:

  • The code requirements for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI)
  • What two types of Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters are commonly used
  • What protection a GFCI provides
  • What is a ground fault
  • What causes a ground fault
  • What GFCIs detect
  • How sensitive GFCIs are
  • Where GFCIs are required to be installed in the home
  • Different methods for installing GFCIs
  • How GFCIs differ from standard receptacles
  • How to wire a middle of the run GFCI for single location protection
  • How to wire a middle of the run GFCI for multiple location protection
  • How to wire an end of the run location GFCI for single location protection
  • In what wiring configuration are GFCIs most effective
  • What is phantom tripping or nuisance tripping
  • How to replace a standard receptacle with a GFCI receptacle
  • How and why to test your GFCI
  • How to use a plug in GFCI tester
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) Receptacles
15:09

Section 9

Quiz
11 questions
+ Arc-fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) Breakers
1 lecture 03:25

Arc-fault protection is explained in detail.  At the end of this section students will understand:

  • What Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI) protect you from
  • What is an arc fault and what causes it
  • What does a combination AFCI monitor
  • What does a combination AFCI protect you from
  • Where in the home does code require the installation of AFCI protection
  • What is the difference between an AFCI and GFCI
Arc-fault Breakers Explained
03:25

Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters 

Section 10
1 question