In this article we will talk about what material is needed for electrical rough-in. You can also learn about what is roughing in for electricians.
In short, the rough-in electrical process is the first stages of the construction process for electricians. Once the carpenters have built the walls, and put the roof on, is typically when the electrical rough-in stage starts.
Electricians will drill holes into wood studs, pull wires, and cut them into electrical boxes. Insulators and drywallers will then seal up the walls, which then turns into electrical finishing.
What We Cover in this Article:
- How to Find Electrical Rough-in Materials
- Quick Electrical Rough-in Material List
How to Find Electrical Rough-in Materials (Home, Condo, or Apartment)
Typically, a home or condo will have electrical prints that we electricians refer to, as well confirm that the engineer has done their job properly.
We use these various construction prints to figure out the electrical material needed for roughing-in, know how to do the job properly, and complete the job.
The panel schedule is the first place to look to figure out what electrical equipment pertains to that dwelling.
The electrical panel (panel schedule) tells us how many home runs we will have to pull, and how many circuit breakers the home will need!
The electrical panel schedule will also tell you the size of wires, such as #14, #12, or #10 by looking at the size of circuit breakers.. now technically, this doesn’t always work, so it’s best to use proper calculations, or simple look at the job site’s equipment schedule.
An equipment scheudle is a list of all the main electrical devices in a building. It will tell you about wire size, number of condutors, phases, and any special notes.. do not miss this page!
Electrical prints are VERY GENERAL, and only tell us how many electrical devices there are in the home, what height those devices are to be installed at, and are useful for counting how many devices there are.
In a commercial setting, these electrical prints will tell you what circuit they belong to, but in a residential home, it’s up to the electrician to figure out what plugs and lights will go on what circuits.. so make sure not to overload them!
But many of the electrical devices, like ovens (range), clothes dryers, and washers are very straight forward, because we know that they are a simple home run.. that means we just run the wire to it’s location, cut in the wires into the box, and we’re done until finishing!
For devices like general plugs and general lighting, we pull a home run, typically to the closest device box, then run jumpers (branch circuitry) from there.
A good electrician will learn quick to keep wires to a minimum in a box, so rather than pull all wires from that home run box, it’s wiser to daisy chain off each box to reduce the amount of wires, which makes splicing easier.. as well as getting the plug or GFI plug to fit into the box easier, too!
Quick Electrical Rough-in Material List
Here is a quick list of what you may need while doing electrical rough-in for your home:
- Various wire sizes.. Make sure to read your own Equipment Schedule and Electrical Nameplate!:
- #14/2 (Plugs, Lights, Fridge, Microwave, Dishwasher, Clothes Washer, Hood Fan)
- #12/2 (Kitchen Counter Plugs)
- #10/2 (Air Conditioning Unit)
- #10/3 (Clothes Dryer)
- #8/3 (Oven or Range)
- Circuit Breakers.. (These are expensive, so this will be one of your biggest costs! You will need single-pole breakers for electrical devices that just need one circuit, like basic plugs and lights. You will need double-pole breakers for things like clothes dryers and ovens! Also.. New code rules are all about ARC-Fault Circit Breakers, so ask your inspector about circuit breakers to make sure you are doing it right!)
- Electrical Boxes (View my different electrical boxes article):
- Single Gang (which means only 1 electrical device like a switch or plug)
- Double Gang (for 2 electrical devices)
- Triple Gang (for 3 electrical devices.. these have to be supported on two sides of the box!)
- Vapor Boxes (used on the outside walls of the home for the vapor barrier.. only use these out the outside walls because they are expensive!)
- Octagon boxes (these are for your lights! Do not use a square box for lights!)
- Various Electrical Hardware and Components
- Wire Nuts (It’s best to have blue and red wire nuts to make splicing easier, and make sure no copper is exposed!.. Wire nuts are also called “Marettes” which is a brand-name.. just like how Kleenex is to tissue!)
- 4040’s (Plastic Connectors) – These are required for the electrical panel when you are entering into a metal box. The plastic device boxes don’t need connectors because they have a built-in plastic clamp for us!
- If using armored cable, you’ll need metal connectors, anti-shorts, and metal boxes.
Electrical Rough-In Material List Guide (OVERVIEW)
So I hope that helps you understand the basic electrical materials required for roughing-in a home.
First, figure out your home runs off your panel schedule. While figuring out home runs, you’ll also be able to figure out your circuit breaker required, at the same time!
Second, look at your electrical prints. Literally walk around with the prints in your hand on the job site and figure out how many electrical device boxes you’re going to need, and how much wire you’ll need for your home runs (from the electrical panel to the first device, like your oven), as well as the branch circuitry (which is jumping from device to device from the home run.. example: the plug home run goes to the first electrical box, then you run wires to each plug that is powered off that home run!)
Third, try to figure out the path you’ll be taking for the various wires you’ll be pulling. It will help you plan for the day where you’ll drill holes, and pull wire!
From there, you’ve done more than half the battle!
Some odds and ends you’ll need are your wire nuts, 4040 plastic connectors to enter into the electrical panel, and a bigger metal connector to enter the house’s main electrical feeder into the panel.
If you have any questions about the best rough-in material for electricians, just leave a comment below!
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