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Wiring a House: 5th Edition (For Pros By Pros) Paperback – August 23, 2002

ISBN-13: 009-4115585279 ISBN-10: 1561585270 Edition: 4th

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Product Details

  • Series: For Pros By Pros
  • Paperback: 245 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press; 4 edition (August 23, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561585270
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561585274
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #820,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Electricity is one of the least understood yet most important aspects of do-it-yourself building and renovation. Used safely, it allows us to enjoy a life of convenience, but when its basic rules are violated it can destroy one's home. A master electrician, building inspector, and licensed general contractor, Cauldwell shows how to properly use electricity in this revision of his 1996 text. Starting with electricity's basics, he then explains tools of all types, shows how and where electricity enters the house, and explains grounding (which is vital for safety). Proceeding through the house, Cauldwell demonstrates how to wire both new construction and renovations and to install receptacles, switches, fixtures, and wired-in appliances. Important safety information is provided, including ground-fault circuit interrupters, lightning, and surge protection. Finally, Cauldwell gives instructions for wiring "Above Code," his system of wiring that exceeds the minimum standards required by the electrical code and results in a safer, higher-quality installation. This title does an outstanding job of explaining an area of perennial confusion for do-it-yourselfers. Recommended for every collection.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Master electrician Cauldwell has been wiring houses for almost thirty years and is in a fine position to explain the job. From avoiding the wrong materials to designing new wiring and working with old, Wiring a House focuses on safety and long-term durability alike, telling how to work with both new and old construction. An invaluable guide. -- Midwest Book Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Very well written and easy to understand.
T. Kuzak
If you are a licensed electrician, and have been wiring houses all your life, then you probably don't need this book--although it is still a good read.
E. Greenwald
Wiring 1-2-3 is another group-effort type book like the Black and Decker.
Atheen M. Wilson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

139 of 142 people found the following review helpful By C. MacPhail TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
I am a homeowner who has done dozens of minor and major electrical projects over the last 20 years.

This book is full of practical tips and details I have not seen in the basic books. I wish I had read it years ago.

Not the best starter book, it's for those who want to go beyond the starter books.

Cauldwell has and conveys a deep understanding of the electrician's work. His many insights and "Above Code" sidebars help you do a better job than your $90-an-hour electrician would do.

Heavy emphasis on mechanical tips...fishing, drilling, etc. which is usually the most challenging part.

Excellent photos and illustrations.

I don't give it 5 stars because there's too much missing. How many conductors are permitted in size X conduit? What gauge wire do I need for 50 amp service? What if it's a long 100+ ft. run? Can the ground wire be a smaller gauge? The book desparately needs reference tables for this kind of stuff.

There are no tips for pulling wire through conduit, bending PVC conduit, or outdoor wiring in general.

Too bad, because in many respects this a masterpiece.
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70 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Dewit Yerselfer on March 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm building my own house. I am a former industrial electrical engineer (I've moved on to other things). The problem with being an engineer is that I know the big picture, (I can spec a panel and size the service entrance cables in a heartbeat, I used to know the NEC like the back of my hand). The problem that I run into is figuring out the way the guys who install the stuff I spec make what I spec meet code and do it quickly and easily.
This book will show you how the guys who do installations every day do them.
If you understand basic electricity, this book will be a good guide to help you do an installation that will make your inspector happy.
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196 of 213 people found the following review helpful By Atheen M. Wilson on December 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I've decided to remodel my spare bedroom. It's one of those "furnished closet" type spaces that tends to collect junk at an alarming rate. While it's a lovely little room when it's empty, it disappears in the furniture that gets put into it. Even the sliding glass doors over the small balcony don`t give one an illusion of spaceousness. I had a roommate for a while who used that room, and she had to climb over her bed just to get to her bureau.
The plan is to put up lighted crown molding to add dimension and indirect lighting to the room and to remodel the ample closet space into a bureau cum mini-closet cum desk area. By putting in a full sized futon, I can use the room as a sitting room/spare bedroom, and without the clutter, it'll seem quite spacious.
To accomplish my goal, the project required some rewiring of the room, so I found three books that seemed to have the information I needed: Wiring 1-2-3 by the people at Home Depot, The Complete Guide to Home Wiring by the Black and Decker people, and Wiring a House by Rex Cauldwell. Each is an excellent book with much to offer, but I definitely found that each had a slant that made it specialized in some way.
Of the three books, only the Cauldwell book was written in a person-to-person format. The author is a third generation electrician with years of experience, and as he says quite charmingly, "I have written this book from lifelong experience and knowledge--some of which has been passed down through each generation. However, there is no one within my family to pass the gauntlet to--no fourth generation to pick up the trade. Therefore, by reading this book you will become heir to my knowledge and experience. You, in effect, will become the fourth generation (p. 1).
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Cauldwell's book, overall, is an excellent text for those who are building their own homes and doing the bulk of the wiring themselves. The book's strengths are the straightforward explanations and clear exploded wiring diagrams. Cauldwell does a good job pointing out common safety issues and how to avoid getting zapped. However, the book has some weak points. One is that he doesn't acknowledge that master electricians (and utility company engineers) don't agree on many wiring procedures, particularly in the areas of grounding the electrical system and wiring branch circuits. For example, I followed his recommendation of installing two ground rods -- and was ordered by the utility company to remove one of them before they would wire the meter, as their policy was to only have one rod (I found that utility companies have their own policies for grounding residential electric systems that aren't always the same as the 96 NEC). A couple master electricians disagreed with his suggested procedures for wiring receptacles, although their alternate suggestions certainly weren't easier. They also noted that in my county, placement of smoke detectors is governed by the UBC, not the NEC (smoke detectors in every bedroom, outside BR doors, in living and family rooms, and at the bottom of lower floor stairs). Thus, future editions of the book might remind us to check with our electric utility before getting deeply into the wiring job,to obtain their specific policies and local codes rather than relying only on the NEC. Future editions also might give more information on where to find large capacity receptacle boxes; in order to avoid some of the cable fill violations he aptly describes; and more clearly emphasize to us beginners just how much practice it takes to wire receptacles correctly, particularly in parallel. Otherwise, it's a good book written in a pleasant, digestable style.
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