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Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Wiring, 5th Edition: Current with 2011-2013 Electrical Codes (Black & Decker Complete Guide) Paperback – May 1, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 216 customer reviews

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About the Author

Based in Minneapolis, MN, the editors of Creative Publishing international have produced dozens of America's best-selling do-it-yourself books on home repair, home improvement and landscaping.


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Product Details

  • Series: Black & Decker Complete Guide
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Creative Publishing international; Fifth Edition edition (May 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589236017
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589236011
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.9 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (216 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #296,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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