Electrical Rough-In: How to Save Time and Money with the Right Tools
The first thing you need to do when installing electrical wiring is to make sure there are no hidden wires or cables running through your home. You will have to check all areas where wiring could run underneath the flooring, under furniture, around corners, etc. If you don’t do it now, you might not get to finish your job at all!
You will need a good electrician who can locate any hidden wires. A professional electrician would never leave anything out, so they must know exactly where everything goes. They are trained to spot hidden wiring and will know if something is wrong before you even start digging through the ground. They will tell you immediately if there are problems and how much it’ll cost to fix them.
If you want to save money, hire someone else to do the work. However, if you’re going to spend some extra cash on hiring a professional electrician, here’s why you should consider doing it:
They are more likely to find hidden wiring than you are. Even though they may not be able to see every wire or cable in your house, they will most certainly be able to identify any that aren’t connected properly. Oftentimes, these hidden cables can interfere with your own wiring, which is something you don’t want to take chances with.
You don’t need any extra stress when working with electricity. You can always save money on another part of the house if you want to. If you’re really proud of your talent for finding hidden wiring, go ahead and try to spot those cables without professional help. As long as you know what you’re doing, it shouldn’t be a problem.
What Does Electrical Rough-In Include?
Installing low voltage wiring is a common activity for an electrician. It’s also a safe process, as long as you are aware of the risks involved and you take the proper safety precautions. That being said, there are several things that you need to know before you can begin your project.
Where will your low voltage lighting be installed?
The first thing you need to do is to identify where it will be installed. This is important because you want to make sure you don’t drill any holes in areas where there are no lights. For example, if you’re installing lighting under your counter tops in the kitchen, but the counter tops only extend a few feet past the stove and stops, then you don’t need to drill holes underneath where the range is located.
You also don’t want to drill any holes in areas where pipes or other important equipment is located. This isn’t a big deal if you’re installing track lighting on the underside of your kitchen cabinets, but it can be if you’re drilling holes into walls for recessed lights. Make sure you know exactly where your plumbing, gas lines, and electrical equipment are located.
How do you plan on powering these lights?
You will have to run wiring from a switch location (most likely near your main electrical panel), to the location where you want to install the light. There are two types of low voltage lighting that you can choose from: Hardwired or Plug-In.
Hardwired lights are connected to your home’s electrical wiring using special wiring and in-line connectors, and no external power source is needed. These are most often used in retrofit situations where no existing wiring exists.
Plug-In: Most often used in new construction or remodeling projects where wiring exists in the walls. These are connected to your home’s electrical system using a “cut-in” connector (similar to those used for ceiling fans).
What materials will you need?
This will largely depend on the type of lighting (hardwired or plug-in) you decide to install. Most hardwired lights come with their own installation materials. You will need to purchase an electrical “cut-in” connector and the appropriate wire for the type of light you plan on installing. You may also need to purchase a special tool to crimp your connectors to the wires.
Plug-in lights require only that you have a “cut-in” connector installed near where you want your light, as well as any wiring (NM-B) to power it. You may also need to purchase a receptacle if there isn’t one located near your desired installation area, and the appropriate light bulb (this isn’t necessary for dusk-to-dawn lights).
Does Someone Have To Be At Home While The Wiring Is Being Installed?
No. You can do all of this work yourself without having to hire an electrician, or have someone else working with you. Hardwired lights are a bit more complicated to install, but the convenience of not having to run wiring and having to find a power source near your light outweighs the difficulty.
Plug-in lights only require you to install wiring to where you want the light, then just plug it in when you’re ready to use it since no electrical knowledge is needed on your part. The only thing you will have to pay for is the “cut-in” connector and the wiring itself.
The amount of time it will take you to wire your home for low voltage lighting will vary depending on how many lights you want installed, and the accessibility of your walls (wiring behind walls can often be a long, tedious process). Add an extra day if you plan on installing hardwired lights since this is more complicated.
What Else Do I Need To Know?
First of all, you should always turn off your house’s main breaker before working on any wiring. This should go without saying, but you don’t want to be the person who gets killed because they didn’t!
There are two types of electrical circuits in your home: General Purpose (combination of lights, outlets, etc) and Lighting Service (dedicated solely to lighting). It is important to note that your house’s general purpose circuits probably can’t handle the wattage that some of the lighting you will be using, so you may have to upgrade your service (if this is the case, hire an electrician).
Finally, if you’re going to be doing a lot of electrical wiring in your home, you might want to consider having your entire house rewired. Dedicated “lighting circuits” are required for most low-voltage lights to reach their full brightness, so if you’re installing a lot of these lights then it might be a good idea to have your home’s electrical system upgraded to support this.
This is probably a larger job than most people are willing to tackle themselves, but it still might be worth looking into if you’re going to be putting in a lot of work for your new lighting system. This would be a job for an electrician.
What Are The Different Types Of Low-Voltage Lighting Equipment?
There are three different types of lighting that we will discuss: Plug-in, hardwired, and solar-powered.
These lights run on standard house current and can simply be plugged into any wall outlet. This makes them very convenient, but the downside is you cannot install them where there isn’t an outlet.
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