Electrical History & Basics

1-25 of 25
GFCI outlet with light
How to Read GFCI Status Lights

They're only useful if you know what they mean.

Copper wire with the insulation clipped back.
How to Remove Corrosion from Copper Wiring

Oxidization of wires can impair their conductivity.

electrician measuring currents in a circuit breaker panel with a multimiter
How Do I Become an Electrician?

Is it a good fit for your electric personality?

receptacle tester with diagram of light meanings
What Does a Hot Ground Reverse Reading Mean?

Receptacle testers tell you what's going on with an outlet.

What's Going On With Your Electrical Panel?

You know where it is, and maybe sort of what it does.

DIY Logo
Wiring and Fuses in Older Homes

A friend asked me the other day to take a look at the wiring in the farmhouse he purchased.

DIY Logo
Electrical Circuits: What Happens in a Short Circuit?

A short circuit can occur for a variety of reasons. When one happens, it should be attended quickly,

DIY Logo
How to Convert Polarized Plug to a Nonpolarized Outlet

A polarized plug will work with most connections unless you are connecting it to a non-polarized outlet.

a hand unplugging a cord from an outlet
How Does a Polarized Plug Work?

Polarized plugs work as a safety mechanism to prevent shock.

electrical boxes mounted to a brick wall
How to Install Electrical Junction Boxes

An essential component of your home's wiring.

A close up on wires.
Ohm's Law for Circuit Wiring

Ohm's Law for circuit wiring is named after a German physicist.

A man checks a circuit breaker.
How to Read Your Circuit Breaker Panel

A circuit breaker panel is a box of switches.

DIY Logo
How to Use Liquid Electrical Tape

In case the insulation of any electrical wire is broken, liquid tape can be the answer.

A motion sensor light mounted to a brick wall
How to Install an Automatic Light Sensor

Light sensors are a valuable safety and convenience feature.

double light switch mounted to a wall frame
How to Wire a 2-Conductor Switch Leg

Send power in two directions with the same switch.

aluminum and copper wiring
Is it Safe to Connect Aluminum and Copper Wiring?

There is risk with connecting copper and aluminum wiring.

A ceiling fan with the wiring shown.
Red, Black, White, Blue: What Each Ceiling Fan Wire Means

Understanding your wiring color codes is critical.

Many different colored rolls of electrical tape sit against a white background.
6 Tips for Using Electrical Tape

Electrical tape is a handy tool, but only when it’s used correctly. Have you been using the right way all this time?

Exposed copper wires stick out of a cable shielding.
4 Differences Between UF and Romex Cable

They're not interchangeable.

A dual wall outlet set into a wood paneled wall.
How to Wire a Double Outlet

Get twice as much out of an outlet by installing a double.

Cables on a grey background.
Working with Armored Cable: Dos and Don'ts

Armored cable is an electrical wiring solution.

armored cable with wires exposed
How to Cut Armored Cable

Armored cables are well protected, but hard to cut.

surge arrester
How Does a Surge Arrester Work?

A surge arrester protects electrical power systems.

Cables on a black background.
NM Cable vs Armored Cable

Both types of cable are very popular with DIYers.

A handyman works on wiring in a home.
Electric Wire Color Code

Electrical wiring can be tricky, but knowing your wiring color codes can take a lot of the guesswork out of your next project.