How to Draw a Home Electrical Plan

Planning a major remodel or DIY project? Plan out the electrical work beforehand. Trust us, it's not as difficult as it looks.

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A carefully drawn home electrical plan helps show the building inspector that you've thought through your project. And spending an extra hour or two with pencil and paper helps you spot potential problems before you begin tearing into walls, saving you time and expense in the long run. A drawing must include the locations and types of fixtures, switches, receptacles, hardwired appliances, and cables. Then, on an attached sheet, provide a list of materials.

Know the Layout

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Get a pad of graph paper, a straightedge, a compass, and several colored pencils if you're installing several circuits. Make a scale drawing of the room, including features such as counters and cabinets.

Using widely accepted symbols, make a quick freehand drawing using colored pencils to indicate each circuit. Are the switches in convenient locations? Are all the circuits correctly loaded? Do you have enough receptacles, and are they easy to reach? Once you've made your final decisions, draw a neat, final version of the plan.

See an Example

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Our plan for wiring a kitchen includes a 15-amp circuit for lights, some controlled by three-way switches. A 20-amp refrigerator circuit, two 20-amp small-appliance circuits, and a 20-amp circuit for the dishwasher and garbage disposer are included. The range has its own circuit.

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