Have you ever had a situation where you need to put in a new electrical circuit, adding it to your home? If you’ve had at least some experience with electrical systems, you can do the work by yourself when done carefully. The reason for this is that you will still need some specialized tools, but if you handle the situation right, you can add the circuit with a step-by-step walk through:
- Cable clamp
- Combination stripper
- Circuit breaker
- Lineman’s pliers
Once you have all of that you can move on to the first step:
- Shut the power off first, as this is a necessary step whenever you’re working on any projects involving electricity. You should do your work during the day if possible, as this will allow you to work with the most efficient conditions. Keep a flashlight handy just in case, making sure you avoid touching the wires coming out of the main breaker, as they will be live and still dangerous.
- The next step is to remove the knockout slug. Look to the side of your service panel cover – there should be a small round indent near the other cables that lead out of the panel box. The indent itself is the knockout slug – remove it with a screwdriver and hammer and install a cable clamp in the hole.
- Clamping the new cable is the next step; you will need to make sure you know how far the wires have to travel to reach the breaker and neutral bus. You should make sure you avoid any tangles on the way and strip at least a foot of insulation sheathing what you believe you may need from the wires. Thread the wires through the cable clamp and secure the cable as you go. Ensure you don’t over tighten the cables or you may end up damaging them instead.
- Once that is done you need to connect the neutral wire. You should first locate it, and then run it toward an open terminal or the neutral terminal bus bar. Bend the wire carefully and make sure it fits behind the panel cover, then cut it to length and strip the insulation as you see fit. You will likely only need to remove about a half inch of insulation to make it work. Put the exposed wire in the bus terminal and tighten the setscrew. Connect the ground wire to the ground bar or the neutral bus if you have no ground bar.
- Connect the new breaker by running the hot wire to the new breaker. If you have to, bend the wire to make sure it fits within the panel cover. Cut the wire to length and remove some insulation to place it into the breaker terminal. If you have any bare wire still visible, remove it from the breaker and trim it as much as you need to. Tighten the setscrew and set the wire in place.
- Test and install the breaker as the last step. Before you install the new breaker, you should make sure you put it in the off position first. Slip one of the sides of the breaker under a tab that may be found on either side of the hot bus bar. Push the opposite side into the bark until you have the new breaker flush with the rest of the breakers, then you should be able to hear a faint snap that puts the breaker in place. You can then restore power to it and turn the breaker on. Test the switches connected to the breaker to see whether power is flowing through.
These are the useful information about adding an electrical circuit to your home. For more information about home décor, home improvement and home maintenance, visit K W Homecare.