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Old 11-02-2011, 01:49 AM   #1
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Default suggest a book to teach me about electrical work

I am going to try to tackle an electric HERMS system this winter, I know little about electrical work beyond wiring outlets and house fans.

The thread I started asking for assistance with the build is here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/yet...thread-277733/

I thought I would appeal to the larger audience with a new thread.

I would really rather not kill myself building something so is there a book that anyone can suggest to get me up to speed?

Some kind of "electrical work for dummies" wanting to survive?

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Old 11-02-2011, 03:33 AM   #2
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To begin, electricity is dangerous if you don't know what you're doing or are careless about it. Household electricity is silent and quick. In the right situation, you can get "hung up" on the lines which causes your muscles to constrict which in turn makes you hold onto whatever was electrocuting you even harder which, if you don't get off of it can cause you to stop breathing or your heart to stop. Fun huh? Don't take electricity lightly.

That being said, if you are careful, you can easily do your own electrical wiring. I would buy a book on household wiring, something that would include running conduit and romex. Any handyman how-to book on electricity will give you all the information needed to run electricity to your brewing sculpture. Make sure you that you check into local and state codes. You can also look into the NEC (National Electrical Code) if you want but I wouldn't really recommend it because it can become confusing quickly.

Always follow safe practices when working with electricity. Disconnect power before working on a circuit, test with a tester (the correct way) before touching wiring, don't wire while standing in a swimming pool, etc, etc. You can also use a trick that an older journeyman electrician taught me while I was an apprentice, only touch bare wires with one or the other hand. That way, if the wire is live, it doesn't give you a direct path from hand to hand which is also across your heart.

You can ask people on the forums for some specific electrical help. I know there are a lot here that are electricians or know a lot about electricity. Before you ask though, do a search first to see if has already been answered. When it comes to doing any kind of control panel, there are tons of diagrams in the forums and loads of posts on the subject. But if you can't find it, don't be afraid to ask. I know I didn't answer your question specifically, I hope it does help though.

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Old 11-02-2011, 12:58 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by MadViking View Post
To begin, electricity is dangerous if you don't know what you're doing or are careless about it. Household electricity is silent and quick. In the right situation, you can get "hung up" on the lines which causes your muscles to constrict which in turn makes you hold onto whatever was electrocuting you even harder which, if you don't get off of it can cause you to stop breathing or your heart to stop. Fun huh? Don't take electricity lightly.

That being said, if you are careful, you can easily do your own electrical wiring. I would buy a book on household wiring, something that would include running conduit and romex. Any handyman how-to book on electricity will give you all the information needed to run electricity to your brewing sculpture. Make sure you that you check into local and state codes. You can also look into the NEC (National Electrical Code) if you want but I wouldn't really recommend it because it can become confusing quickly.

Always follow safe practices when working with electricity. Disconnect power before working on a circuit, test with a tester (the correct way) before touching wiring, don't wire while standing in a swimming pool, etc, etc. You can also use a trick that an older journeyman electrician taught me while I was an apprentice, only touch bare wires with one or the other hand. That way, if the wire is live, it doesn't give you a direct path from hand to hand which is also across your heart.

You can ask people on the forums for some specific electrical help. I know there are a lot here that are electricians or know a lot about electricity. Before you ask though, do a search first to see if has already been answered. When it comes to doing any kind of control panel, there are tons of diagrams in the forums and loads of posts on the subject. But if you can't find it, don't be afraid to ask. I know I didn't answer your question specifically, I hope it does help though.

I have no intention of taking electricity nicely, I enjoy living. I found a few handymen electricity guide books and will get one or two of those to read before planning further. Unfortunately beyond this board I have no one to help me with anything like this - perhaps I could find someone to help in exchange for beer.

I already know what my panel will look like and most of the components needed, I think
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Old 11-02-2011, 02:17 PM   #4
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Honestly, the Home Depot 1-2-3 books are pretty good. (BE CAREFUL)

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Old 11-03-2011, 11:14 AM   #5
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Everybody's going to tell you to exercise precautions and follow established procedures and codes- because that's particularly important with electricity. Strangely, I can't recommend a book, because my knowledge of electricity and how to install or modify household wiring has just been picked up over the years from this person or that (and verified, and sometimes discarded, by reading here and there).

As with many things these days, there are lots of resources on the Internet explaining how to do electrical wiring and infrastructure. There are some very good threads right here on HBT. If I were to make a single recommendation, it would be not to move outside your "comfort zone" until you are quite sure of what you are doing. Even then, have a written step-by-step procedure or script and follow it. I just completed a home standby generator installation, and when I reached what I felt were my limits, I got the professionals in to do the work. The money involved could have been the cheapest I ever spent.

Recently, I watched a History Channel program on electricity, and when it first became common in the late 19th and early 20th century, the death rate among the people who installed and worked with it was worse than any war. They didn't understand it and there were no accepted or established procedures, so they died like flies.

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