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Tips for Easier Electrical Wiring

Whether you have years of wiring experience under your belt, or you’re a novice, this collection of tips and techniques will help you wire faster and better. From straightening cable to labeling wires, our master electricians share their favorite tricks for making every wiring job the best it can be.

Uncoil without kinks

Pack boxes neatly

Peel UF like a banana

No-snag fish tape connections

Identify roughed-in wires

Test before touching

Troubleshooting GFCIs

Multiple switches, one hot wire

Strip sheathing first

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Comments from DIY Community Members

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July 12, 2:34 PM [GMT -5]

The electrician who wired my new house showed me a trick he uses every day. At every box, receptacle or switch, he loops about 24 " of unsheathed wire on top of the box, in the wall cavity. The wire staple is placed to hold the wire tight to the stud, with the 24" loop free. He does this to provide extra wire to be pulled trough the knock outs should a switch or receptacle change result in a broken wire. This can save major headaches if you ever break a wire during electrical work.

October 23, 5:06 PM [GMT -5]

as far as labeling goes...make a sharpie your best friend. Mark an "HR" on the inside of the first box you pull to from the panel. HR stands for homerun and is the first device connection point from the panel. This makes it much easier to troubleshoot later should something go wrong. Additionally, use a long piece of plastic sheathing to write what will be on your circuit and slip it over the "hot wire" in your panel during the rough-in. This way, when you cut-in your panel and make all your breaker connections, you won't spend hours with two guys and walkie-talkies trying randomly flip breakers on and off to label your panel correctly. After you get your breakers connected simply lean your cover against the wall, look at the label on that particular wire, and label your panel accordingly. The few minutes that it will take during the rough will save you hours on the final trim work.

January 26, 1:20 AM [GMT -5]

Re: stripping covered cable. They make a cheap, aluminum stripper for 12/2 etc. worth carrying in your toolbox. I have 2 electrician brothers-in-law that turned me on to it, & I have one in my "Electrical" toolbox.

January 26, 1:20 AM [GMT -5]

Re: stripping covered cable. They make a cheap, aluminum stripper for 12/2 etc. worth carrying in your toolbox. I have 2 electrician brothers-in-law that turned me on to it, & I have one in my "Electrical" toolbox.

January 22, 1:00 PM [GMT -5]

Another no-no I spotted was the the outlet is "backstabbed" which is against most electrical codes these days (and it isn't taped, but maybe that comes later).

RC

November 15, 7:26 AM [GMT -5]

UNCOIL WITHOUT KINKS

I agree that taking coils out of the package as you suggest is correct, however, the coil must be "walked", that is, hand over hand to the end of the coil.

Throwing the coil, no matter what size, would allow it to go about five feet and you would still have to untangle the wire.

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