Electrical switches (CEC2018-Sec26)

Electrical switches are used to disconnect current flow on the circuit by opening one of the phases or all current caring electrical phases. Electrical switches are categorized based on voltage, Amperage, Type-of-switching and appearance as follow:

  • Styles: 1. Regular switches (Toggle, Slider push-button, and rocker) 2. Decora switches
  • Switching types: 1. Single pole switch 2. Double pole switches 3. Three-way switches 4. Four-way switches 5. Dimmer switches (Electrical dimmer switches come in different forms and styles like sliders, Knob, Touch, and other configurations) 6. Motion sensor switches 7. Light sensor switches 8. Programmable switches 9. Timer switches 10. Speciality switches
  • Voltage and amperage Ratings: 1. 15A-120V switches 2. 15A-220V switches 3. 20A-120V switches 4. 20A-220V switches 5. 15A-347V switches 6. 20A-347V switches 7. 15A-480V switches 8. 20A-480V switches 9. 15A-600V switches 10. 20A-600V switches and other voltages and amperages


Electrical switches installations and wirings (CEC2018-Sec26)

Electrical switches wiring, And installation can be different based on the types and what they are used for.

Single-pole switches

Single pole electrical switches are installed and wired that power will come to the switch through white wire and transferred back to the light or switched device through black conductor, In this case only one two conductor wire comes two the switch (black, White and bare ground wire) and if the power is wired to the switch and from switch goes to the light or switched device, Then the switch will be connected to both black or power caring conductors which are usually color coded (black, red, or blue), And in this case the white wires are connected together which are used for neutral.

Single pole dimmer switches are wired like single pole switches.


Three-way switches

They are installed and wired to control lights or switching device from two different locations, On wiring three ways switches you need to run a three conductor wire between two switches and one two conductor wire from one three way to light or switching device and another two conductor wire to power.

The connections in this case, All white conductors are used as neutral, And both black and red conductor for three conductor wire are used as traveling conductors and connected to switch’s silver screws and power and lights black conductor are connected to common terminal and usually is black screw. Three-way dimmers are wired like three-way switches.


Four-ways switches


Four-way switches are similar to three ways switches; In this case you will control a device from three different locations so you will need two three-way switches and one four-way switch.

While installing four way switches you will need a wire that has three conductors between from three-way switch to four-way switch then from four-way switch to another three-way switch. And the connections white is used for neutral and the black and red conductors for each three conductors are connected to four-way switches (four-way switch will have four connecting terminals, Which two are connected to black wires and two to red wires).

Four-way dimmers are wired like four-way switches.

All other switches are similar to single pole, Three-way, And four ways switches except the speciality switches which use come with wiring and installation instructions and are strait forward. For free estimate for all your electrical wiring and installation contact our Edmonton electricians, Our electrical service department will send an electrician to your project and provide you with free electrical estimate.


Electrical Receptacles (CEC2018-Sec26-239)

Electrical receptacles are also called electrical plugs and outlets can be used to safely transfer electrical current flow to devices and equipment.

The new electrical receptacles come in different shapes and colors and most common one are receptacle with two identical outlets and three plug in slots which are power slot= its narrow vertical slot- smaller than neutral, Neutral slot= its narrow vertical slot slightly bigger than power slot, And ground slot= its round slot at the bottom of plug. And this is for standard 120V- 15Amp. receptacle. And based on voltage and amperage of electrical receptacle it shapes and design might be different.

Electrical outlets are categorized based on voltage, amperage, types and appearance as follow:

  • Styles: 1. Regular plugs and 2. Decora plugs
  • Types: 1. Regular receptacles 2. Combined (Switch + Receptacles) 3. Combined (USB + Receptacles) 4. GFCI receptacles 5. AFCI receptacles 6. IG receptacles 7. Turn-lock (twist lock) receptacles 8. Hospital grade receptacles 9. Temper resistance receptacles 10. Dryer receptacles 11. Range receptacles 12. Speciality receptacles
  • Voltage and amperage ratings: 1. 15A-120V outlets 2. 15A-220V outlets 3. 20A-120V outlets 4. 20A-220V outlets 5. 15A-347V outlets 6. 20A-347V outlets 7. 30A-120V outlets 8. 30A-220V outlets 9. 40A-120V outlets 10-40A. 220V outlets 11. 50A-120V outlets 12. 50A-220V outlets and other voltages and amperages


Also Read :

Electrical Grounding and bounding, Residential electrical requirements



Electrical outlets installations and wiring (CEC2018-Sec26-239)

The first step on wiring an electrical receptacle to make sure that power is shut off to the circuit you are working on it, You can do that by tripping the main breaker on panel or breaker for branch circuit and after you turn off the breaker make sure you test the plug with tester to ensure the power is off.

Electrical receptacle installation varies based on the types, Voltage, Amperage, And usage. There are two ways to wire and terminate and electrical receptacle, You can connect the wires to duplex receptacles by pushing wires into the holes at the back of plug which is called backwiring (It’s not recommended and suitable for aluminum wires), Or you can twist the wire around the screw terminals on the sides of the receptacle and tighten the screw (ensure to hook the wire clockwise to screw terminal), We recommend twisting wire around the screw to create better connections and safer wiring.

Check your local electrical codes before wiring, installing or replacing allowed by local outlets. Most commonly used receptacles are 15 amp and 20 amp receptacles, And the wiring is all black wire are connected to screw on right side of plug when you look at plug from front, And white wires and ground are connected to screw on left side of plug when looking at it from front and ground wire is connected to green screw.

This is standard wiring for plugs and if you are wiring a speciality plug or higher amperage and voltage please follow the installation and wiring instruction provided by manufacture. can electric ltd, Edmonton based electrical contractor will provide electrician for all your receptacle and electrical wiring based on your needs and desires, Feel free to contact Canelectric electricians in Edmonton for all your electrical needs


Pig-tailing (CEC2018-Sec12)

It is electrical wiring method used when you have more than two wires coming in to a device box (switch or plug) and most important use of electrical pig tailing is to update and upgrade aluminum electrical wiring and bring it to up to code and make it safer.


The process of aluminum wires pig-tailing is like this first you will twist aluminum wires together then you will add a piece of copper wire to it which is 4 to 6 inch long, Then you will twist the copper wire around aluminum wire and after that will add antioxidant to bare twisted wires then use connectors to connect them together and use other side of copper wire to connect to electrical plug or switch.

This process is called pig-tailing aluminum wiring and it is requiring for all aluminum wiring based on most electrical code requirements. Our Edmonton electrical contractor department has great rates for upgrading your aluminum wiring to make you and your family safe, Please contact our Edmonton electrician for a free estimate.


Also Read :

Residential Electrical Services: Wirings and Installations



Some electrical Terms:

GFCI (GFI)= Ground fault circuit interrupter

AFCI = Arc fault circuit interrupter

IG= isolated ground

V= voltage

A= Ampere

CEC2018= Canadian Electrical code-2018

Sec= section