The electrical wiring plan, layout, or drawing defines the electrical connections in a house or room. Designing and drawing the plan is the first step in electrical installation or renovation. Below is an overview of the electrical plans.
Scope of Electrical Plan
The electrical wiring layout encompasses every component of the proposed electrical system. Below are some things you expect to see in an electrical plan:
- Respective positions for switches and outlets
- Connections or placements for major appliances, like air conditioning units
- Locations and connections for electrical cables
- Power ratings, such as electrical cable ratings in terms of voltage and current
In short, a qualified person should be able to read the electrical diagram and understand what you want to power and how much electricity you need.
Creating an Electrical Plan
Creating an electrical plan involves a professional contractor working with clients to meet their needs. The electrical contractor will consider your home size, number of rooms, layout, and expected appliances or devices, among other things. The contractor must also consider the existing building code.
For example, a homeowner planning to use their basement as a machine workshop requires a different electrical plan from a homeowner who wants to use the basement as a private office. The machine workshop will likely require more electrical power supply than the office. Contractors often use computer programs to create these plans.
Purpose of Electrical Plan
You may need an electrical plan even if you don't want one because they serve multiple purposes. For example:
- The electrical installer needs the diagram to understand where to put electrical cables, fixtures, and appliances during installation.
- Maintenance, renovation, or repair contractors need the diagram to understand where everything is located (for example, the placement of electrical wires behind walls).
- The government needs the plan to confirm that your electrical system meets the relevant building codes.
- A homeowner needs a plan to ensure their electrical installation meets their needs without creating unnecessary installations.
Consider a case where you finish your basement without using an electrical plan. A couple of years later, the basement suffers a significant electrical malfunction requiring a major repair. Diagnosing and fixing the malfunction will be harder than it would have been with an accurate electrical plan.
An electrical plan underscores the need for a professional contractor for major electrical work. A DIY installer might not know how to draw a good plan, and a poor plan might not meet the government's requirements or plan purposes.
For more information, contact a local electrician.