What is house wiring?

What is house wiring?is a question that a lot of people ask. House wiring is the process of connecting a house to the national electrical grid. This is done by installing electrical cables, conduit pipes, Distribution boards, light fittings and electrical house appliances.

House wiring colours.

When you are installing electrical cables in a house, cables come in different colours. The colour of the cable identifies the purpose or function of the wire in house wiring.

There are three basic wire functions in house wiring. These are:

  1. Carry electric power from the distribution board to all the loads in the house.
  2. Carry electric power from all-electric loads in the house back to the distribution board.
  3. Protect people and electric equipment from electric shock.

The names given to the three wires are LIVE, NEUTRAL AND EARTH. The live is a wire that carries electric current in a house. While a neutral wire is the return path for electric current. Earth wire is a protective conductor.

House wiring colours are different from country to country. In the following sections of this post, I will give you the house wiring colours for a few countries.

Electrical wire colours South Africa.

Colours for electrical wires can be grouped into two. House wiring colour for single-phase and house wiring colour for three-phase.

Below is a chart for electrical wire colours in south Africa.

Electrical wire colours south Africa

Electrical wire colours U.K.

Here is a chart for electrical wire colours for U.K

UK wire colours.

How to test house wiring with multimeter.

What is the purpose of testing your house with a multimeter? A multimeter is an electrical device that consists of more than one measuring instrument.

You can test volt, current and resistance with a multimer. The first test that you can conduct on house wiring is the continuity test.

A continuity test is a test that confirms that the circuit you are testing is complete it is not broken.

The second test you can do on house wiring is to test the voltage. This test tells you whether you have low voltage or normal voltage.

The third test that you can do on house wiring is a current test. This test tells you the actual current that a particular load in your house is drawing.

How to test voltage in a house.

Here are the steps you should take when measuring AC voltage.

  1. You need to power off the circuit. You do this in order to reduce the danger of a short circuit, especially when you are working on a three-phase system.
  2. Put the black probe lead into the socket labelled com on your multimeter
  3. Plug the red probe lead into the socket labelled V.In most multimeters, this socket is also marked with omega and diode symbols.
  4. Make sure your multimeter is connected in parallel with the load that you want to measure voltage.
  5. Touch the black probe against the first point you want to measure.
  6. Then you power the equipment.
  7. Touch the red probe against the second point that you want to measure.
  8. Then take the reading on the LCD display of your multimeter.

Generally, a voltage test is conducted on a live circuit. Why would you want to measure the voltage in a home? or any other electrical installation.

In a home setting, you can measure AC voltage when you notice that in the same home some appliances are working and others are not.

Mostly you want to ascertain, whether the appliance not working is faulty or the power from the supply is not reaching the appliance.

At times you will find that power is reaching the appliance but it is not operating normally. When you are measuring voltage using a multimeter, you want to know the exact voltage being supplied to the appliance.

This test will indicate to you whether there is a low voltage or not. A voltage test is very useful when you want to know the voltage status. It is important to know the voltage being supplied because some electrical and electronics appliances and machines will not operate when you have low voltage.

Understanding house wiring.

The goal to wire a house,is to provide electricity to a house for both lighting and home appliances.

Electricity,first enters a house through the distributions board then it is distributed to all the rooms in a house,using the circuit breaker.

The second thing to note is that all electrical circuits in a house should ensure safety for both people and equipmemts.You achieve this safety requirement by making sure that your house is properly earthed.

Installing cables in house wiring.

For you to understand house wiring,you must know the correct cable sizes for various circuits in a house.

There are cables designed for lighting circuits,sockets outlet circuit,water heater and geyser circuits,cooker units and the service cables.

Electrical house wiring systems.

Before you start wiring a house, you must first decide on the electrical wiring system that you will use.This is important because the system that you choose ,will influence the materials that you will use when wiring your house.

There are basically two common wiring systems.these are concealed wiring and surface wiring.

In concealed wiring you conceal the cables and conduit pipes in walls were as in surface wiring you muont the cable and conduit pipes on the saface of the walls.

Is house wiring series or parallel?

In answering this quetion,it is impotant to know the basic characterics of both series and parallel circuits.I am going to limit the discussion on how voltage and current behaves in the two circuits.

VoltageDivides according to loadRemains the same.
CurrentRemains the sameIt divides arcording to load
Table of how voltage and current behaves in a circuit.

As you can see from the table above,in a series circuit,the current that flows to the connected load is the same.The voltage divide according to each loads requirement.What does this mean in practicle terms?

This mean that when you are using a series circuit,you must divide the voltage according to the voltage rating of your home appliances.You must also buy home appliances with the same current rating and consumption.

In a parallel circuit,the voltage remains the same,this mean that all appliances in that circuit use the same voltage.The current is divided according the appliances requirements.

In short,in house wiring,a house is wired in parallel.That is the reason why some houses are supplied with 120v and others with 220v.

You can recall that I stated that electricity first enters a house through the distribution board.The distribution board is the one that divides the currents in a house.This is done by using circuit brakers.

Is house wiring AC or DC?

For me I am not going to go round,in house wiring the power supply is AC.

Final thought on what is house wiring?

Well house wiring in an act of providing power to a house.This is not any power but electric power.In doing this there are steps to be followed.What do you think is the best way to define house wiring?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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