Residential Electrical Wiring Software?

Old 12-15-14, 04:54 PM
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Residential Electrical Wiring Software?

Im curious if anyone has come across a program that will assist in the design of circuits for a residence. If the homeowner has a sense of the number of outlets, switches, lights, etc. it seems like it wouldnt be unreasonable for a "TurboTax"-ish application to keep track of circuits, measure load, and basic wiring guidelines.

I realize that building codes differ by location, but if there are guidebooks written for home electrical, then i would think the basics are uniform enough for a program like that to work.

To be clear, I dont think a computer program could replace an experienced electrician. Just something that would help guide the thinking process of planning out a remodel or addition.

Old 12-16-14, 08:52 AM
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There are programs out there that do circuit inventories, demand load calculations, conduit fill, box fill, and various other calculations which can be handy to have automated. I'm not aware of anything which does it all in one step, drag-n-drop friendly UI, etc. I'm not sure it would really be all that helpful considering you need to know the basic rules to place receptacles, switches, lights, etc; and once you know the rules, the job is basically planned. Generally I find a lighting plan helpful as a means to communicate what the builder/homeowner wants because there is an overall look involved, but not so much for other types of outlets. Just a rough sketch with X marks on it is sufficient.
Old 12-16-14, 09:00 AM
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BRoderbund had a drag and drop drawing program with the symbols and let you create a wiring diagram. It did not do load calculations, but would place receptacles to code spacing.
Old 12-17-14, 11:20 AM
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I've used this program quite a bit for some remodels. Home Plan Software | CAD Software | Remodeling Software
It's not expensive, and though a bit quirky, works well for laying out walls, electrical, plumbing, etc. It doesn't help with any of the code issues, but it's easier than graph paper in my opinion.

When working with an architect on a few office design projects the electrical design/layout was strictly in AutoCAD anyway, no other help. In my opinion, it's easy enough to lay out devices as needed, plus, upon installation, it'll probably change a bit based on stud locations, HVAC/plumbing runs, etc.

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