Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

121 of 122 people found the following review helpful
I cannot write a review for how someone who is a professional electrician would look at this book; I am a fairly decent handiman, but know very little about electrical wiring. I own a home that is in desperate need of electrical updating - the existing wiring dates back to the 1920s. After having an electrician appraise the job at $7500, I thought I'd look into seeing how much of it I could do myself, and so in order to learn about what I can and what I cannot do, I decided to buy this book and educate myself.

I didn't want a book that had a couple of little tricks here and there. I wanted a book that sat me down and explained all the way from the beginning just what electrical wiring is all about. I didn't want a professional electrician's manual, either.

And so, to those ends, this book is absolutely on target! I have already learned a huge amount of stuff in just the first two chapters, which I'll probably have to go back and re-read because there's just so much there. But it is presented so well, and although it talks about very basic stuff, it doesn't treat the reader like a dummy.

The color photographs and diagrams are fantastic, too.

After the first sections that take up about 1/3 to 1/2 of the book, then it gets into specific tasks, such as pulling electrical cable, how to do wiring diagrams, step-by-step instructions for wiring boxes, wall sockets, light switches, etc. It even gets into some advanced stuff at the end.

So far I'm very well pleased with this book. If I can get a lot of this work done - such as pulling the cables through the house - I will be able to then get the professional electrician to come in to finish off the job with the real hard and tricky stuff. I hope that this will end up saving me thousands of dollars. Very sweet!
66 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2011
I have a class in Electrcal/Electronic Technology and one in Domestic Electrical Installation. As a tutor/instructor, I find the book informative,the illustrations are real-life like,and simply put,just what you want the students to see and read,so that they can conceptualize better.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
62 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2012
I read every word of this book up until the case studies where I kind of picked and chose what interested me. It does a great job of explaining the basics of wiring and the different types of equipment and hardware, and has a fair amount of real world examples that are pretty easy to understand.

A few things bothered me though, and are all in somewhat of a way related to home automation.

In the section on different types of switches they mention a few types including dimmers and some automation switches that will not work with 2 conductor wire because they require a neutral, and simply state that it can not be done. It can be done if 3 conductor wire is ran from the device to the switch in order to keep the neutral, but they don't mention that or show how to do it, which would be nice.

On the same note, about half of the wiring examples they had for wiring switches are examples that as far as I know, are no longer valid per the 2011 NEC. The NEC now states that switch boxes must contain a neutral wire even if it isn't used (just cap it off in that case.) The book still has several examples of the outdated practice of just running a switch loop with 2 conductor wire. Unless I'm misunderstanding what the book is saying, I'm really not sure how that got overlooked, especially since it is one of only a few changes in the code. That is the point of releasing a new edition of the book, right?

In the home automation section, most of the examples of "automation" that they show are nothing more than decades old remote controllers. There is nothing on actual automation packages which are what consumers are looking for today. If someone wants to know how to install a remote device on their fan they can read the 2 page instruction booklet that comes with it. If they are going to have a section on automation they really need to cover some of the technologies that have came about and are being used now. Such as power line and wireless systems, IE z-wave, x-10, Insteon, etc.

One last thing on the negatives. What exactly is a multimedia box??? I laughed when I saw that. I have never heard a network port box called a multimedia box, and it certainly should never be installed next to a power receptacle. Cat 5, 5e, 6, etc should really never be located that close to power, and I have never ever seen it happen in residential or commercial settings. They mention to not run lines closer than 6 inches, but the standard is normally listed as 12 to 16, although it realistically isn't that important anymore due to much better anti-cross talk and interference measures. Just thought it was insane that they officially labeled it the way they did.

That being said. All of the basic wiring and electrical stuff is very good. Just like almost everything in life though, don't take it as the final word.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2011
Superb book, especially for someone with minimal experience in electrical projects. The set of wiring diagrams showing numerous possible types of projects is the best part. Easy to follow.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2012
This is the best book I've yet seen on wiring, and it really demystifies the process. The images and diagrams are easy to understand. I used this book as a reference in a bathroom remodel where I was re-running the wiring, installing new lights and GFCI plugs, and installing a towel warmer. I had no prior experience in wiring or electricity, and this book really made me feel confident about what I was doing.

That being said, I had some questions that I couldn't answer that I think this book should have included, like:

- My house was built in 1940 and has old knob-and-tube wiring in some of the walls. Can I join this knob and tube directly to my 14/2 wiring? What do I do about grounding?

- If I cut off wiring that I don't intend to use, and it's not feasible to pull it all out, how do I cap off hot wires in order to make them safe?

- Can I run wiring where there's blown-in insulation, or does it require some type of shielding?

- How can I identify which appliances, outlets, fixtures map to which circuits in my panel so that I can calculate current load on those circuits?

- How do I know if the fuses in an old screw-in fuse box are over the recommended capacity and pose a fire hazard?

- Do I need to update my existing panel to new ARC4 breakers? What's the implication if I don't?

All that being said, I still thought that this was a terrific book and I highly recommend it.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2013
Five stars for the detailed photos and concise text which provide foolproof guidance. But this book is typical of electrical DIY books in that it provides a confusing version of the underlying science, IMHO. So I will use my review to provide my own. Hopefully some will find it useful.

There are three wires entering the home. They originate from the top, middle and bottom of a coil inside the utility pole transformer. This coil is immersed in a 60 Hertz oscillating electromagnetic field created by a surrounding coil attached to the power company wires. The voltage between the top and middle wires is 120 V; that between the middle and bottom wires is also 120 V so connecting top to bottom gives 240 V. The middle wire is called "neutral" and the top and bottom wires "hot". Houses are wired so each hot wire supplies about half the overall household power. Interestingly, this minimizes current (thus heating) in this neutral wire, as the AC phases from each hot wire cancel each other out.

To protect against dangerously high voltages entering the home, such as from nearby lightning strikes, the neutral wire is connected to the earth via the home plumbing or a rod driven into the soil. Thus the neutral wire is "grounded". (Since the three wires are connected inside the transformer, any of them could be used for grounding, although neutral is the best choice since it limits "ground faults" to 120 V. See below.) So neutral means that you have split the voltage available at the transformer in half; and ground means that your wiring is attached to the earth to protect against an electromagnetic pulse from lightning.

But connecting the neutral wire to your plumbing/soil creates a new hazard: ground faults, which could produce a 120 V shock should one accidentally contact either hot wire while also in contact with a faucet or concrete floor and thus with neutral. This would happen, for instance, if a hot wire inside a damaged power cord touched the metal exterior of a washing machine or power tool. To guard against this, manufacturers originally attached these surfaces to the neutral wire, inside the appliance, out of sight, so an errant hot wire would have an alternative parallel path to neutral which would cause a short circuit and shut off power at the circuit breaker. This scheme depended on plugging the appliance into the receptacle in a particular way, matching plug neutral to receptacle neutral, so a polarized wide-slot/narrow-slot convention was adopted.

Unfortunately, this approach could still fail if the receptacle were accidentally wired backward, with hot and neutral reversed, causing our appliance exterior to be permanently hot instead of permanently neutral, an accident waiting to happen. To solve this problem, a three-prong receptacle was introduced. Now protection was provided by connecting the appliance exterior to a new round pin on the plug, which connected to a second neutral wire in the receptacle, bare copper to avoid confusion, which connected to the original neutral wire only at the electrical panel (before it is contaminated by connections to hot wires indirectly through appliances, which tends to make it slightly less neutral), thus reducing the chances of wiring errors. This new wire normally carries no current, that is, is never attached to the hot wire through an appliance; that function continues to be performed by the original neutral wire. Its sole purpose is to lie in wait for some hot wire to come in contact with the conductive surface to which it is attached. As with the original current-carrying neutral wire, should this happen, it will overheat and trip the circuit breaker, shutting off power.

Although this is referred to as "equipment grounding", in fact, as mentioned, it protects against shocks by introducing a parallel circuit which connects an errant hot wire directly to neutral, effectively bypassing the path to neutral which includes you and the ground you're standing on. It is similar to grounding, in that it provides a parallel circuit which protects inhabitants, but unlike it because the protective circuit works by bypassing ground, not including it.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2012
The book is excellent. I bought it thinking I could see projects in the book depicted on the dvd. Wrong! The dvd is just a gimmick to encourage you to buy, which worked on me. I bears no relationship to the book, is vague and very general, and is short. Buy the book knowing there is no real dvd included.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2012
I can see the diagrams in the "Cloud" but I didn't receive any diagrams in the download to my Kindle Fire. Kind of hard to do electrical wiring without diagrams!!!!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2011
This is a wonderful book for someone with little or no experience with electrical wiring, I added it to my personal library as an additional resource for home projects. The photos are a nice touch and are very helpful as is the DVD that accompanies the book. I would recommend this book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2012
There are so many things you lose getting this in the e-book format. It was a waste of money. You can not print out the charts you need to calculate power on circuits. This was worthless.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.