Electrical Installation - How to - 1 Valuable Skill to Have 1

Electrical Installation – How to – 1 Valuable Skill to Have

Electrical Installation in my She Shed

Many moons ago, I designed and built a massive addition to our little home (at the time) – Literally more than doubled the size of it. I was working with a shoe string budget and on my own for almost all of it. It became necessary for me to dig in and learn a few things that were outside my wheelhouse at the time.

I bought a couple of very comprehensive electrical installation books and studied very carefully. I studied every aspect of it until I felt comfortable enough to design the electrical and install the whole thing. Since that point I’ve done quite a bit more electrical installation, so I am typically the go-to electrician of the house.

Safety First

Just a little note on safety. If this is not something you are comfortable with, don’t do it. Electricity can kill if you are not careful. It can also burn your house down, so just be cautious and don’t work outside your ability.

1. How to Wire in a Sub-panel

If you have followed my She Shed build, then you know that one of the first things I started with was putting in wiring where I knew that I would need it. (You can watch Part 1 and Part 2 here and catch up!)My sons and I got in there and laid in the basic wire along the lines of the circuits that I had designed.

I knew where I wanted everything, and knew approximately what kind of draw that I was going to have. That allowed me to plan my circuits. That part is fairly easy, as there is no electricity involved at that point. Electricity comes in when you actually tie in to power. That was my next step.

We brought power over from the main load center on our home into a sub-panel inside my She Shed. That is what you will find in the first video. How to wire in a sub-panel.

2. How to Install an Electrical Outlet

Once your wire is in place you can move forward with the outlet portion of your electrical installation. This is honestly pretty straight forward and can be handled by most people. There are typically instructions that come with the outlets you purchase or diagrams are easy to find on line.

The gist of it is that power comes in through your line and either connects to the outlet and stops if it is the end run of a line or another wire leaves the outlet to continue power to the next receptacle or switch. The tools and supplies that you need for basic electrical installation are;

  • An Electrician’s tool – Wire strippers/cutters. This tool is my go to. I like to always have it in my tool bag. It’s basically a multi-tool. It accomplishes most of the tasks that you have when performing electrical installation.
  • Box knife (or other sharp, precise blade – This is for cutting away the excess wire housing, like in romex wire.
  • Wire nuts – These are the little pieces that bind the wires together safely.
  • Electrical tape – This is for extra safety. I use wire nuts and then tape the nuts to the wire. A loose connection will cause problems that you don’t want.

3. How to Install Multiple Light Switches with One Power Source

When it comes to switches there are a multitude of different scenarios. I’ll give you an idea of the basic electrical installation for light switches…the way I like to do it.

Basically, power comes in to the switch via your hot wire (the wire coming to the switch from power). On a basic installation, a wire will then leave the switch, heading to whatever it will power (light fixture). The switch, clearly, acts as a service interrupter, open and closing the circuit.

The video below talks about a different installation, with one power source coming in and jumping from switch to switch, powering a variety of lights.

A Great Skill to Have

Having the knowledge to be able to handle at least basic electrical installation, can be so handy for your family. Hiring an electrician is not cheap! If you are capable of doing some of these tasks yourself, it will benefit you greatly. There are so many resources for learning how to DIY some of these tasks, books, videos… check some out if you feel comfortable.


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