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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:   (doi:10.13031/2013.17766) in Planning the Residential Electrical Distribution System. Chapter 6 in Fundamentals of Electricity for Agriculture,3rd edition, 157-178. St. Joseph, Michigan: ASAE. . Copyright 2004 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Mich.
Authors:   Gustafson, Robert J., and Mark T. Morgan
Keywords:   Electrical Service to a Residence Electrical Symbols for Plans and Blueprints Placement of Outlets and Switches Branch Circuits Sizing the Service

This chapter is intended as a general guide for planning an electrical system for a new residence or evaluating the needs of an existing residence. It deals with

  • number, type and location of outlets needed,
  • type and number of branch circuits needed to supply power to the outlets, and
  • sizing and locating the service equipment.
In an existing residence, a detailed inspection of the present electrical system and inventory of existing loads will be needed. In both new and existing structures, plans and specifications, such as an architectural drawing (blueprint), will be useful. The specifications in this chapter are intended to meet the requirements of the U. S. National Electric Code (NEC). However, care must be taken to consult the most current version of the NEC for changes and any existing state, local, provincial, or national codes that may supersede or apply in place of the NEC. The purpose of these codes is to safeguard people and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity. These codes establish a minimum standard acceptable for safety. A system meeting the code requirements should be essentially hazard-free, but will not necessarily be efficient, convenient, or adequate for good service or future expansion. Therefore, good judgment and other guidelines will be necessary in designing efficient and convenient systems.

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