How to Run A New Electrical Circuit
By Dave Donahue
At some time or another you may want to add an electrical circuit to your panel. Of course to run this circuit and terminate it to the panel you will need to have an available breaker or space available to install a new one. In this blog/article we will assume there is an existing breaker available and we are running a new outlet circuit for you home. If in fact you do not have an available breaker but have sufficient space to install a new one, check to make sure you install the correct size breaker and that your panel can accommodate it.
1) Before beginning your project, ensure you have the necessary tools and protection to do the work. If in doubt on this or any DIY project, contact your local electrician. To begin the work you will want to identify the space for your new breaker (if one is not already available). Inspect the panel for an available breaker and or locate the space for the breaker.
2) Install and run the electrical wire from the end of the run to the panel. If it is easier to run your wire from the panel, this is fine. Do not terminate the wire yet! Install and terminate your receptacles on the circuit.
3) Once the wire has been run to the panel, open the panel back up and locate the breaker spot to be used for the new circuit. Locate the knockout on the top of the panel on the side the new wire will terminate. Punch out the knockout carefully and pull the wire through. Strip out the wires allowing enough wire to reach and terminate at the breaker. Fasten the appropriate connector to the wire and and panel. NMB (or non-metallic, high temperature wire) connectors are typical for this particular project. Install the new breaker being mindful to install the correct breaker for your circuit being run. (120, 240, etc.) Ensure power is “off” before installing. Wires connected to the breaker will be the hot wires black, red,blue. For 120 circuits install the black wire as the hot wire. Terminate the neutral wire to the neutral bar (white) and ground (green) to the ground bar.
4) Some electricians if not all double check their work before terminating the wire to the breaker. Make sure all ground wires are attached, wire is terminated to the correct terminals and the wires are secure. This may take extra time but in the long run will save you time and headaches if you need to troubleshoot. Turn the power on to the circuit and test your receptacles with a electrical tester. If needed troubleshoot the circuit.
This is a simple step by step process to install a new circuit in your home. While your wiring, breaker size and projects will be different, this blog is intended for those installing a new branch circuit for receptacles on a 120 circuit. As always, if in question of how to safely perform this project or any electrical DIY work, consult your local southern Colorado electrician.
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This is an original article written by Dave Donahue for Swartz Electric. This article may not be copied whole or in part without the express permission of Swartz Electric, LLC.
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