simple electric circuits

Installing simple electric circuits is quite easy once you understand how electricity works. Remember that all electricity in the home has at least one hot wire, a neutral wire and a ground wire. These wiring diagrams really help to understand home wiring circuitry. Sometimes it takes a little concentration to figure it out though.

light switch wiring

Let's start out by putting in electric boxes wherever we want a light switch, a light, a phone jack, a data port, and an outlet.

You will need to find out from your local Electrical inspector if plastic boxes are allowed. There are still a few areas that require metal boxes.

outlet box

Here are some outlet boxes for light switches, outlets, and phone jacks.

electrical light box

Lights will have a special box. If the light is going to be really heavy or if it's a fan light combination, then you will need a reinforced light box to handle the weight of the fixture.

All boxes have a calibration on the side so they compensate for the width of the sheetrock. That's why when you nail them in place, they will protrude about 1/2-inch beyond the wall framing.

electrical boxes

electrical code for boxes

The outlet boxes and light switch boxes need to be a certain height and there are a minimum number of each per wall space, but this is at the disgression of the local electrical inspector.

OK, for simplicity sake, let's say our first circuit has two outlets. These can be in any order. So after we nail all the boxes in place, we'll run our cable through the walls. Run the 12-2 romex from each box on to the next box.

Let's first run a cable from the breaker box to the first outlet box.

electrical outlet diagram

See how the wires come from the source, connect to the first outlet in a continuous way, then go to the next outlet. The second outlet can pass the power on to another outlet or light switch, but in this example, it ends here.

Now, let's run another circuit with just one light.

wiring a light

Here another way to wire a light switch with the light before the switch in an electric circuit for residential wiring.

At this point, I need to talk about a simple process called "pigtailing". This is a handy way of wiring switches and outlets so that when one outlet trips, the other outlets behind it don't go out.


Here's a quick example of a simple light switch that runs a dimmer switch.

dimmer switch installation

bathroom accent lighting

accent light

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