Top positive review
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Comprehensive manual for aspiring pros and sophisticated amateurs
on April 8, 2011
This comprehensive guide is designed to teach aspiring professionals the design concepts and electrical code for issues facing residential electricians. Its content is also helpful to serious amateurs (not beginners) wanting to gain a more thorough knowledge of wiring than can be learned from the pictorial DIY guides. This book emphasizes the National Electric Code (NEC) for each topic and is updated every three years to include the changes made to the NEC. The code's phrasing is not always intuitive, and much of the text explains NEC requirements.
Although the volume is sold primarily to students taking technical courses and those studying for the residential electrician license exam, it can be useful to serious do-it-yourselfers. If you are building a house or adding on, you will find topics regarding new construction that simply aren't covered in DIY pictorial guides. This 800 page book presents the "complete picture" and code for subjects including service entrances, voltage drop calculations, conductor sizing, sub-panels, branch circuit design, central heating systems, spas, standby electrical systems, interconnected smoke detectors, etc.
If you have some expertise and want to wire your new home so that it will pass inspection, this book tells you what you need to know. The book can help the sophisticated amateur get it right. That said, my advice is to hire a licensed journeyman electrician to guide and review your major projects. Safety is critical, and your local home inspector may not be thorough enough to catch things that could lead to fire or malfunction.
"Electrical Wiring Residential" has almost no content on repairs or upgrades to existing wiring. The focus is new construction. Most professionals will admit to carrying in their truck a heavily illustrated DIY guide like Black & Decker's "The Complete Guide to Wiring" or Home Depot's "Wiring 1-2-3." And, persons tackling small repair or upgrade projects would be better served by an illustrated DIY guide. These DIY books are more beginner friendly.
If you need a text covering mostly new construction with a strong focus on NEC requirements, this book is thorough (and more than occasionally redundant). As an aside, there are a surprising number of grammatical errors (usually subject/verb disagreement). Moreover, there are passages where new text was careless integrated with prior content. Some sections have contradictory passages with content pertaining to prior code in the same paragraph with text based on new code. That said, a careful reading will correctly decipher the meaning. Those wanting a less academic approach to the subject should check out the latest edition of Rex Cauldwell's "Wiring a House."
Note: Always search for books consistent with the latest NEC. You want books with current content so that your work will pass inspection. Moreover, the code updates include sensible improvements of modest cost that can prevent damage and save lives.