Home Electrical Wiring Types and Rules

Home Electrical Wiring Types and Rules : Home Electrical Wiring

An electrical wiring or an electrical circuit is a continuous path or medium for electricity to flow “to and fro” from a power source. There are a number of options when it comes to wiring: parallel wiring, series wiring, missed wiring or switch wiring.

Parallel or series wiring home electrical wiring system is done to connect fixtures or receptacles on a circuit. You may also add switches on the way of the wiring.

Normally, these receptacles, switches, 220v outlets, main electrical panel and circuit breakers and light fixtures are mounted in housing boxes.

Parallel Electrical Wiring

Parallel electrical wiring is done in most homes. Receptacles and light fixtures operate on the same circuit with the hot and neutral wires running together from one housing box to another. Wires to individual devices or appliances branch off from them.

Series Electrical Wiring

Series electrical wiring or series circuit passes the hot wire through a series of devices before joining the neutral wire that returns to the power source. Series wiring is rarely used for home light circuits because if one light bulb fails, all the lights will go out in the circuit. A string of old-style Christmas tree lights is an example of series wiring.

Switch Wiring

Switch wiring is quite simple to understand. It controls the flow of electricity and turns devices and appliances ON and OFF. A switch is installed only on hot wires. A switch basically completes or breaks a circuit and thus controls the flow of electricity. When a switch is ON, it completes a circuit allowing flow of electricity and when it is OFF, it breaks the circuit hence electricity is not able to flow.

Home Electrical Wiring Rules

  1. In most residential electrical wiring, black and red wires are used. The black wire carries is “hot” while the black wire is neutral. (Codes may differ geographically around the world)
  2. White, green or bare wires are normally used for electrical grounding or earthing.
  3. Home Appliances using higher wattage should have higher amp outlet and switches.
  4. Appliance using 200v should have separate wiring for 220v outlet.
  5. No “Hot Wire” (wire in which electricity is running, should be left bare. All electrical joints should be tapped and insulated.


Whatever wiring option is chosen, it is important to have electrical grounding and follow home wiring rules for safety. Electrical wiring is not a DIY work. Most electrical wiring jobs are prone to electrical shocks and hence they should only be done by a professional and experienced person.

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