Wiring a House by Rex Cauldwell

(New York: For Pros By Pros, 2014), 364

Dad got this for me and a recent GFCI issue motivated me to read through it. This book is easy to follow with practical advice for electrical work. The wiring diagrams and photos are especially helpful for visualizing home circuits.




  • Use the right tool for the job
  • Above code
  • Write the breaker number on the back of each switch and receptacle plate
  • Never work on an energized circuit
  • When possible, work with one hand

Chapter 1: The Basics

Chapter 2: Tools

  • "You can judge how serious people are about their work by the quality and maintenance of their tools."
  • Quality tools are expensive but worth it.

Chapter 3: Service Entrance

Chapter 4: Panels and Subpanels

  • Neutral is grounded at the utility pole, and is a ground reference point in the panel
  • Put loads on at the same time on opposite phases (this is why neutral wire can be smaller than hot wires)

Chapter 5: Grounding

  • Grounding is the foundation of the electrical system. It keeps all non-current-carrying conductors and metal parts at 0-volt potential.
  • If a hot wire touches something that is grounded it will return to the panel via ground and trip the circuit breaker
  • Surge arresters suppress voltage surges by directing excess voltages and currents into the grounding system

Chapter 6: Wiring Room by Room

Chapter 7: Fuses and Circuit Breakers

  • Direct short: hot and neutral wires touch
  • Ground fault: hot wire touches something grounded

Chapter 8: Ground-Fault Circuit Interruptors (GFCI)

  • GFCI compares the current flowing to the load with the current coming from the load, and trips if they aren't equal
  • Use portable GFCI extension cords

Chapter 9: Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI)

  • AFCIs use circuitry measuring wave forms to detect arc faults on the branch circuit and trip to reduce fire risk
  • Arc faults are unintentional discharge characterized by low and erratic current which can start a fire

Chapter 10: Receptacles and Boxes

Chapter 11: Switches

Chapter 12: Wiring Fixtures

Chapter 13: Wiring Appliances

Chapter 14: Lighting and Surge Protection

Chapter 15: Standby Generators and Inverters

Chapter 16: Electric Vehicles and Cell Phone Boosters

Topic: self-competence


Created: 2023-07-30-Sun
Updated: 2023-12-20-Wed