Whether you’re doing industrial wiring or residential wiring for electricity, you’ve got a complex task ahead of you. Needless to say, industrial wiring is essentially a much more complex form of residential wiring. This article will assume that you have some elemental electrical wiring knowledge or aptitude, and it will simply provide you with a very basic overview of what you need to understand with regard to residential wiring and industrial wiring.
It will be up to you to look up your local building and electrical codes for your home or office space. Also, check your local laws to see if you are even permitted to do your own amateur wiring before you proceed. Above all things, approach any wiring project with this knowledge at the forefront of your mind: “electricity can be deadly.” Put your safety ahead of all other concerns.
Basics of Doing Residential Wiring
Red wires and black wires are usually “hot”. This means that there is a current (amps) flowing from the circuit breaker to the electrical box or the appliance in question.
The white wires usually are “returns”. This means that they allow current (amps) to flow back to the circuit breaker after the electricity has passed through the load or appliance in question.
White wires should not be connected together with ground wires, with the exception being back at the circuit panel bus bar. If you fail to observe this rule, then every single time the load is energized (such as turning on an appliance), electricity will flow through the ground wire and the return wire simultaneously. This is very dangerous.
A ground wire is usually bare and attaches to an appliance’s frame. Under normal circumstances, current should not be passing through it. Only when there is a short circuit should electricity pass through the ground wire; this happens so that the circuit breaker will kill the flow of current to the site or appliance.
Basics of Doing Industrial Wiring
Smart industrial wiring is based on 3-phase electrical power. 3-phase electric allows less workload to be placed on each wire involved while at once allowing them to work together to give you maximum results. With 3-phase electric, the wires are smaller and the motor is smaller than a typical single-phase motor. These factors allow greater efficiency and longer lasting motors and wires.
There are four types of 3-phase electrical power:
- Common 3 Wire
- Common 4 Wire
- 3 Wire with Grounded Hot Leg
- Special 4 Wire
No matter which type of 3-phase electrical power you choose to use, you’ll need a voltage meter in order to determine the actual voltages that are available to you. The type does not determine this.
Industrial wiring typically runs through metal conduits, armored cable, or a raceway. These enclosures are the safety ground–never the neutral wire.
The above information should give you a nice guidepost for doing more research into and getting more practice with either residential wiring or industrial wiring. Again, safety comes first!